rationalism


ra·tio·nal·ism

noun \ˈrash-nə-ˌli-zəm, ˈra-shə-nə-ˌli-\

philosophy : the belief that reason and experience and not emotions or religious beliefs should be the basis for your actions, opinions, etc.

Full Definition of RATIONALISM

1
:  reliance on reason as the basis for establishment of religious truth
2
a :  a theory that reason is in itself a source of knowledge superior to and independent of sense perceptions
b :  a view that reason and experience rather than the nonrational are the fundamental criteria in the solution of problems
3
ra·tio·nal·ist \-nə-list\ noun
rationalist or ra·tio·nal·is·tic \ˌrash-nə-ˈlis-tik, ˌra-shə-nə-ˈlis-\ adjective
ra·tio·nal·is·ti·cal·ly \-ti-k(ə-)lē\ adverb

First Known Use of RATIONALISM

1827

Other Philosophy Terms

dialectic, dualism, epistemology, existentialism, metaphysics, ontology, sequitur, solipsism, transcendentalism

Rhymes with RATIONALISM

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rationalism

noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Philosophical view that regards reason as the chief source and test of knowledge. Rationalism has long been the rival of empiricism, the doctrine that all knowledge of matters of fact ultimately derives from, and must be tested by, sense experience. As against this doctrine, rationalism holds reason to be a faculty that can lay hold of truths beyond the reach of sense perception, both in certainty and in generality. In stressing the existence of a “natural light,” rationalism also has been the rival of systems claiming esoteric knowledge, whether from mystical experience, revelation, or intuition, and has been opposed to various irrationalisms that tend to stress the biological, the emotional or volitional, the unconscious, or the existential at the expense of the rational.

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