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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?

  • 10
    Catmatic, of course. – Peter Olson Aug 1 '11 at 3:05
  • @PeterOlson - I was going to say Vegematic. – Hot Licks Jan 29 '17 at 19:28
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In the context of your description, I would offer pragmatic. From TheFreeDictionary:

prag·mat·ic

  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:

em·pir·i·cal

  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
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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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  • This is a good answer, because both dogmatic and skeptic connote extreme positions. – Theresa Apr 27 '17 at 0:55
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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:

Uncertain
Diffident
Flexible
Impressionable

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Antonyms for dogmatic:

  • ambiguous
  • equivocal
  • impartial
  • indefinite
  • vague
  • willing
  • yielding
  • amenable
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    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 '17 at 16:43
  • the answer did not require excess verbiage, and was complete, – Bill Braaten Jan 30 '17 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 '18 at 12:10

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