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I'm trying to describe an approach that doesn't just blindly follow established opinion, but seeks validation through experimentation. Any ideas?

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Catmatic, of course. – Peter Olson Aug 1 '11 at 3:05
up vote 6 down vote accepted

In the context of your description, I would offer pragmatic. From TheFreeDictionary:


  1. Dealing or concerned with facts or actual occurrences; practical.

Though, this may not be connotatively sound given your circumstance, so you could perhaps go with empirical. Again, from TheFreeDictionary:


  1. Relying on or derived from observation or experiment: empirical results that supported the hypothesis.

  2. Verifiable or provable by means of observation or experiment: empirical laws.

Both of these terms are often used in science in relation to experimentation.

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OP's seeks validation through experimentation criteria makes empiricism (empirical, empiricist) the best antonym for dogmatic. +1. – Patrick M Aug 20 '14 at 20:27

I would go with flexible or open-minded. The general idea is being unconstrained by common go-to rules.

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I'd guess an extreme opposite would be skeptic:

Someone who habitually doubts beliefs and claims presented as accepted by others, requiring strong evidence before accepting any belief or claim.

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How about amenable :

1.Willing to respond to persuasion or suggestions.
2.Willing to comply with; agreeable.

There are the alternatives:


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Catmatic - all the way. Dogmatics follow rules irregardless. Catmatics are always open to a better, more fun and creative way.

Cats Rule

Mhisssss Bdrrrppp

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Humorous, but it's not a recognized word, and it was already coined in a comment to the question.... – Hellion Aug 20 '14 at 20:12
and why would one species be the opposite of another? – Octopus Jul 20 '15 at 19:41

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