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

  • 11
    Catmatic, of course. Aug 1, 2011 at 3:05
  • @PeterOlson - I was going to say Vegematic.
    – Hot Licks
    Jan 29, 2017 at 19:28

5 Answers 5


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.

  • OP's seeks validation through experimentation criteria makes empiricism (empirical, empiricist) the best antonym for dogmatic. +1.
    – Patrick M
    Aug 20, 2014 at 20:27

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


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.

  • This is a good answer, because both dogmatic and skeptic connote extreme positions.
    – Theresa
    Apr 27, 2017 at 0:55

How about amenable :

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

There are the alternatives:



Antonyms for dogmatic:

  • ambiguous
  • equivocal
  • impartial
  • indefinite
  • vague
  • willing
  • yielding
  • amenable
  • 1
    Hi, @Bill Braaten, welcome to ELU. Please note the above site message re: answer length. Given the number of options you've offered, it would be helpful to offer a short definition of each antonym in order to more clearly understand the differences between them, as well as how well they work as answers to the question.
    – freeling10
    Jan 29, 2017 at 16:43
  • the answer did not require excess verbiage, and was complete, Jan 30, 2017 at 17:18
  • These adjectives are opposite to what characterizes dogmatism (inflexibility, etc.) however there is no single adjective among them which I satisfying consider an antonym to "dogmatic". I would go for "pragmatic" as per another answer.
    – Rolf
    Aug 28, 2018 at 12:10

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