Rationalism - Wikipedia


rationalism literature

Rationalism. Rationalism is the term used to describe writers and philosophers who privilege scientific reason and logical thought over and above everything else. The Rationalists in America were very much influenced by the Enlightenment that was happening in the 18th century in Europe. In philosophy, rationalism is the epistemological view that "regards reason as the chief source and test of knowledge" or "any view appealing to reason as a source of knowledge or justification". More formally, rationalism is defined as a methodology or a theory "in which the criterion of the truth is not sensory but intellectual and deductive". What are our values? Where do these values come from? What role do we play in our fate? What role do these things play in the Declaration of Independence, and our approach to government? Let's look at some passages and determine whether or not they are influenced by Rationalism.

Definition of Rationalism

In philosophyrationalism is the epistemological view that "regards reason as the chief source and test of knowledge" [1] or "any view appealing to reason as a source of knowledge or justification". In an old controversy, rationalism was opposed to empiricismwhere the rationalists believed that reality has an intrinsically logical structure. Because of this, the rationalists argued that certain truths exist and that the intellect can directly grasp these truths. That is to say, rationalists asserted that certain rational principles exist rationalism literature logicmathematicsethicsand metaphysics that are so fundamentally true that denying them causes one to fall into contradiction.

The rationalists had such a high confidence in reason that empirical proof and physical evidence were regarded as unnecessary to ascertain certain truths — in other words, "there are significant ways in which our concepts and knowledge are gained independently of sense experience". Different degrees of emphasis on this method or theory lead to a range of rationalist standpoints, from the moderate position "that reason has precedence over other ways of acquiring knowledge" to the more extreme position that reason is "the unique path to knowledge".

In recent decades, Leo Strauss sought to revive "Classical Political Rationalism" as a discipline that understands the task of reasoning, not as foundational, but as maieutic, rationalism literature. In the 17th-century Dutch Republicthe rise of early modern -period rationalism—as a highly systematic school of philosophy in its own right for the first time in history—exerted an immense and profound influence on modern Western thought in general, [6] [7] with the birth of two influential rationalistic philosophical systems of Descartes [8] [9] who spent most of his adult life in the Dutch Republic in the period — and despite frequent moves, he wrote all his major work during his plus years in the United Provinces [10] [11] [12] [13] and Spinoza [14] [15] —namely Cartesianism [16] [17] [18] and Spinozism.

In the past, particularly in the 17th and 18th centuries, the term 'rationalist' was often used to refer to rationalism literature thinkers of an anti-clerical and anti-religious outlook, and for a time the word acquired a distinctly pejorative force thus in Sanderson spoke disparagingly of 'a mere rationalist, rationalism literature, that is to say in plain English an atheist of the late edition The use of the label 'rationalist' to characterize a world outlook which has no place for the supernatural is becoming less popular today; terms like ' humanist ' or ' materialist ' seem largely to have taken its place.

But the old usage still survives. Rationalism is often contrasted with rationalism literature. Taken very broadly, these views are not mutually exclusive, since a philosopher can be both rationalist and empiricist. The empiricist essentially believes that knowledge is based on rationalism literature derived directly from experience.

In other words, as Galen Strawson once wrote, "you can see that it is true just rationalism literature on your couch. You don't have to get up off your couch and go outside and examine the way things are in the physical world. You don't have to do any science. Whereas both philosophies are under the umbrella of epistemologytheir argument lies in the understanding of the warrant, which is under the wider epistemic umbrella of the theory of justification. The theory of justification is the part of epistemology that attempts to understand the justification of propositions and beliefs.

Epistemologists are concerned with various epistemic features of belief, which include the ideas of justificationwarrant, rationalityand probability. Of these four terms, rationalism literature, the term that has been most widely used and discussed by the early 21st century is "warrant". Loosely speaking, justification is the reason that someone probably holds a belief. If "A" makes a claim, and "B" then casts doubt on it, "A"'s next move would normally be to provide justification.

The precise method one uses to provide justification is where the lines are drawn between rationalism and empiricism among other philosophical views.

Much of the debate in these fields are focused on analyzing the nature of knowledge and how it relates to connected notions rationalism literature as truthrationalism literature, beliefand justification. At its core, rationalism consists of three basic claims. In addition, rationalists can choose to adopt the claims of Indispensability of Reason and or the Superiority of Reason — although one can be a rationalist without adopting either thesis.

Rationale: "Some propositions in a particular subject area, S, are knowable by us by intuition alone; still others are knowable by being deduced from intuited propositions. Generally speaking, intuition is a priori knowledge or experiential belief characterized by its immediacy; a form of rational insight.

We simply "see" something in such a way as to give us a warranted belief, rationalism literature. Beyond that, the nature of intuition is hotly debated. In the same way, generally speaking, deduction rationalism literature the process of reasoning from one or more general premises to reach a logically certain conclusion, rationalism literature. Using valid argumentswe can deduce from intuited premises.

For example, when we combine both concepts, we can intuit that the number three is prime and that it is greater than two. We then deduce from this knowledge that there is a prime number greater rationalism literature two. Thus, it can be said that intuition and deduction combined to provide us with a priori knowledge — we gained this knowledge independently of sense experience, rationalism literature. Empiricists such as David Hume have been willing to accept this thesis for describing the relationships among our own concepts.

Most rationalists agree mathematics is knowable by applying the intuition and deduction, rationalism literature. Some go further to include ethical truths into the category of things knowable by intuition and deduction. Furthermore, some rationalists also claim metaphysics is knowable in this thesis. In addition to different subjects, rationalists sometimes vary the strength of their claims by adjusting their understanding of the warrant.

Some rationalists understand warranted beliefs to be beyond even the slightest doubt; others are rationalism literature conservative and understand the rationalism literature to be belief beyond a reasonable doubt. Rationalists also have different understanding and claims involving rationalism literature connection between intuition and truth. Some rationalists claim that intuition is infallible rationalism literature that anything we intuit to be true is as such.

To argue in favor of this thesis, Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniza prominent German philosopher, says, "The senses, although they are necessary for all our actual knowledge, are not sufficient to give us the whole of it, since the senses never give anything but instances, that is to say particular or individual truths.

Now all the instances which confirm a general truth, however numerous they may be, are not sufficient to establish the universal necessity of this same truth, for it does not follow that what happened before will happen in the same way again. Rationale: "We have knowledge of some truths in a particular subject area, S, rationalism literature, as part of our rational nature. The two theses go their separate ways when describing how that knowledge is gained.

As the name, rationalism literature, and the rationale, suggests, the Innate Knowledge thesis claims knowledge is simply part of our rational nature. Experiences can trigger a process that allows this knowledge to come into our consciousness, rationalism literature the experiences don't provide us with the knowledge itself.

The knowledge has been with us since the beginning and the experience simply brought into focus, rationalism literature, in the same way a photographer can bring the background of a picture into focus by changing the aperture of the lens, rationalism literature. The background was always there, just not in focus.

This thesis targets a problem with the nature of inquiry originally postulated by Plato in Meno. Here, Plato asks about inquiry; how do we gain knowledge of a theorem in geometry?

We inquire into the matter. Yet, knowledge by inquiry seems impossible. If we lack the knowledge, we don't know what we are seeking and cannot recognize it when we find it. Either way we cannot gain knowledge of the theorem by inquiry. Yet, we do rationalism literature some theorems. By claiming that knowledge is already with us, either consciously or unconsciouslya rationalist claims we don't really "learn" things rationalism literature the traditional usage of the word, but rather that we simply bring to light what we already know.

Rationale: "We have some of the concepts we employ in a particular subject area, S, as part of our rational nature. Similar to the Innate Knowledge thesis, the Innate Concept thesis suggests that some concepts are simply part of our rational nature. These concepts are a priori in nature and sense experience is irrelevant to determining the nature of these concepts though, sense experience can help bring the concepts to our conscious mind.

Rationalism literature philosophers, such as John Locke who is considered one of the most influential thinkers of the Enlightenment and an empiricist argue that the Innate Knowledge thesis and the Innate Concept thesis are the same. As with the other theses covered under the umbrella of rationalism, the more types and greater number of concepts a philosopher claims to be innate, the more controversial and radical their position; "the more a concept seems removed from experience and the mental operations we can perform on experience the more plausibly it may be claimed to be innate.

Since we do not experience perfect triangles but rationalism literature experience pains, our concept of the former is a more promising rationalism literature for being innate than our concept of the latter. My understanding of what a thing is, what truth is, and what thought is, seems to derive simply from my own nature. But my hearing a noise, as I do now, rationalism literature, or seeing the sun, or feeling the fire, comes from things which are located outside me, or so I have hitherto judged.

Lastly, siren s, hippogriffs and the like are my own invention. Adventitious ideas are those concepts that we rationalism literature through sense experiences, ideas such as the sensation of heat, rationalism literature, because they originate from outside sources; transmitting their own likeness rather than something else and something you simply cannot will away. Ideas invented by us, such as those found rationalism literature mythologyrationalism literature, legendsand rationalism literature tales are created by us from other ideas we possess.

Rationalism literature, innate ideas, such as our ideas of perfectionare those ideas we have as a result of mental processes that are beyond what experience can directly or indirectly provide. Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz defends the idea of innate concepts by suggesting the rationalism literature plays a rationalism literature in determining the nature of concepts, to explain this, he likens the mind to a block of marble in the New Essays on Human Understanding"This is why I have taken as an illustration a block of veined marble, rather than a wholly uniform block or blank tablets, that is to say what is called tabula rasa in the language of the philosophers.

For if the soul were like those blank tablets, truths would be in us in the same way as the figure of Hercules is in a block of marble, when the marble is completely indifferent whether it receives this or some other figure. But if there were veins in the stone which marked out the figure of Hercules rather than other figures, rationalism literature, this stone would be more determined thereto, and Hercules would be as it were in some manner innate in it, rationalism literature, although labour would be needed to uncover the veins, and to rationalism literature them by polishing, and by cutting away what prevents them from appearing.

It is in this way that ideas and truths are innate in us, like natural inclinations and dispositions, natural habits or potentialities, and not like activities, although these potentialities are always accompanied by some activities which correspond to them, rationalism literature, though they are often imperceptible.

To be considered a rationalist, one must adopt at least one of those three claims. The following two theses are traditionally adopted by rationalists, but they aren't essential to the rationalist's position. The Indispensability of Reason Thesis has the following rationale, "The knowledge we gain in subject area, Sby intuition and deduction, as well as the ideas and instances of knowledge in S that are innate to us, could not have been gained by us through sense experience.

The Superiority of Reason Thesis has the following rationale, '"The knowledge we gain in rationalism literature area S by intuition and deduction or have innately is superior to any knowledge gained by sense experience". In addition to the following claims, rationalists often adopt similar stances on other aspects of philosophy. Most rationalists reject skepticism for the areas of knowledge they claim are knowable a priori. Naturally, when you claim some truths are innately known to us, one must reject skepticism in relation to those truths.

This is the view that we know some truths without basing our belief in them on any others and that we then use this foundational knowledge to know more truths. Rationalism - as an appeal to human reason as a way of rationalism literature knowledge - has a philosophical history dating from antiquity, rationalism literature.

The analytical nature of much of philosophical enquiry, the awareness of apparently a priori domains of knowledge such as mathematics, combined with the emphasis of obtaining knowledge through the use of rational faculties commonly rejecting, for example, direct revelation have made rationalist themes very prevalent in the history of philosophy. Since the Enlightenment, rationalism is usually associated with the introduction of mathematical methods into philosophy as seen in the works of DescartesLeibnizand Spinoza.

Even then, the distinction between rationalists and empiricists was drawn at a later period and would not have been recognized by the philosophers involved. Also, the distinction between the two philosophies is not as clear-cut as is sometimes suggested; for example, Descartes and Locke have similar views about the nature of human ideas.

Rationalism literature of some varieties of rationalism argue that, starting with foundational basic principles, like the axioms of geometryrationalism literature, one could deductively derive the rest of all possible knowledge.

The philosophers who held this view most clearly were Baruch Spinoza and Gottfried Leibnizrationalism literature, whose attempts to grapple with the epistemological and metaphysical problems raised by Descartes led to a development rationalism literature the fundamental approach of rationalism. Both Spinoza and Leibniz asserted that, in principleall knowledge, including scientific knowledge, rationalism literature, could be gained through the use of reason alone, rationalism literature, though they both observed that this was not possible in practice for human beings except in specific areas such as mathematics.

On the other hand, Leibniz admitted in his book Monadology that "we are all mere Empirics in three fourths of our actions. Although rationalism in its modern form post-dates antiquity, philosophers from this time laid down the foundations of rationalism.

He is considered to be the first known proponent of Indian materialism, and forerunner to the Charvaka school of Indian thought, which holds direct perceptionempiricismrationalism literature, and conditional inference as proper sources of knowledge, embraces philosophical skepticism and rejects Vedas, Vedic ritualismand supernaturalism. Pythagoras was one of the first Western philosophers to stress rationalist insight. Pythagoras "believed these harmonies reflected the ultimate nature of reality.

He summed up the implied metaphysical rationalism in the words "All is number". It is probable that he had caught the rationalist's vision, later seen by Galileo —of a world governed throughout by mathematically formulable laws".


Rationalism: Examples and Definition | Philosophy Terms


rationalism literature


Rationalism, in Western philosophy, the view that regards reason as the chief source and test of knowledge. Holding that reality itself has an inherently logical structure, the rationalist asserts that a class of truths exists that the intellect can grasp directly. There are, according to the. Karl Popper and Literary Theory: Critical Rationalism as a Philosophy of Literature. Together they provide a compelling record of the author's longstanding concerns, most important among these the precise meaning of Leibniz's rationalism--in what sense he maybe called a rationalist. What are our values? Where do these values come from? What role do we play in our fate? What role do these things play in the Declaration of Independence, and our approach to government? Let's look at some passages and determine whether or not they are influenced by Rationalism.