Types of Knowledge:
Empirical: based on perceptions and experience. Empirical knowledge is primary or embryonic, apprehending the surface level of a phenomenon.
Rational: the logical analysis of empirical knowledge can reveal the underlying core nature of a phenomenon. As we define solutions to problems, the practice of deliberately rationalizing empirical knowledge is the opposite approach from relying on preconceived formulas or jumping to conclusions. It helps us avoid pragmatism (which addresses effects rather than cause).
There is a dialectical (mutually contradictory and interdependent) relationship between empirical and rational knowledge. Both kinds can be direct (your own), or indirect (someone else’s that you learn from). When enough empirical data is acquired, this lays the basis for rational understanding (quantitative change becomes qualitative).
Our social practice verifies or disproves our theory. In turn, our theory (revised, if necessary) becomes a guide to further practice. Which then verifies (or not), the refined theory. This should be a constant back-and-forth and advancing process.