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rationalism

Subject: Philosophy

Any philosophy magnifying the role played by unaided reason, in the acquisition and justification of knowledge. The preference for reason over sense experience as a source of knowledge ...

rationalism

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World Encyclopedia

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2004
Subject:
Encyclopedias
Length:
60 words

... Philosophical theory that knowledge about the nature of the world can be obtained solely by reason, without recourse to experience. Rationalist philosophers, such as Descartes , Leibniz , and Spinoza , argued that reality could be logically deduced from ‘self-evident’ a priori premises. It contrasts with empiricism . In theology, rationalism holds that faith be explicable by human reason rather than divine...

rationalism

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A Dictionary of Social Research Methods

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2016
Subject:
Social sciences, Sociology
Length:
77 words

...rationalism In welfare, economics, and political theory, the assumption that both the researcher and the subjects being researched are considered to be rational. The use of this assumption is questioned by critics. A second usage—critical rationalism—is a short name sometimes used for the Popperian hypothesis-testing approach to science. Popper demarcated science as that body of theory which has been critically assessed, with no statement about the world being considered valid until it has been...

rationalism

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A Dictionary of Atheism

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2016
Subject:
Religion, Philosophy
Length:
210 words

...rationalism 1. A theory or ideology that emphasizes the use of reason and rational methods of comparison for evaluating knowledge claims. As a purely epistemological approach, rationalism can be adopted within theology and applied to religious questions. Rationalist claims can also be extended, however, so that reason is perceived to be the only guiding principle in life, thereby undermining the need for any form of religious belief. In this second application, rationalism becomes an existential philosophy in its own right, and has played a central role...

rationalism

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A Dictionary of Human Geography

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2013
Subject:
Social sciences, Human Geography
Length:
189 words

...safe and dangerous, and so on. Though humanism in its various forms extends beyond rationalism, it encompasses it. In human geography, rationalism became axiomatic in the 1960s and 1970s courtesy of the location theory then de rigeur in economic and urban geography ( see regional science ). Since then, more complex understandings of human thought and decision-making have been favoured when seeking to explain behaviour within and between places. Rationalism in the second sense is now thought to be unduly normative , while the first sense is far too...

rationalism

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Nick Spencer

The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church (4 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2022
Subject:
Religion
Length:
177 words

...reasoning alone. It is frequently distinguished from empiricism , rejecting the latter’s emphasis on sensory experience and casting doubts on its reliability. Rationalism was more influential in continental Europe (indeed is sometimes called Continental rationalism, in comparison with British empiricism), with Descartes , Spinoza , and Leibniz as leading early rationalists. Rationalism was used by early anti-religious movements in the 19th cent. as the basis of their atheism and secularism, e.g. the Rationalist Press Association. Nick Spencer J....

rationalism

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A Dictionary of Sociology (4 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2015
Subject:
Social sciences, Sociology
Length:
154 words

... Used loosely to indicate a rejection of faith or religion, and more strictly a view that all knowledge can be expressed in the form of a system, and that, in principle, everything can be known. In sociology it is sometimes used to refer to the alternative offered by Max Weber to the empiricist natural science model. The strong version of rationalism, that knowledge (at least in the social sciences) comes from reason alone (as opposed to sense-experience), is sometimes supported by writers as different as Weber, Talcott Parsons , and Louis...

RATIONALISM

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The Oxford Dictionary of the Jewish Religion (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2011
Subject:
Religion
Length:
232 words

... , the view that reason, however defined, is the ultimate foundation of knowledge. Faith and reason were viewed as antithetical, and rationalism became synonymous with criticism of certain religious beliefs (e.g., revelation, miracles, the sacred character of scripture). Apologetics usually attempted to demonstrate by rational argument the reasonableness of religious doctrines if properly understood, or at least to deny that they contained anything inherently unreasonable. Medieval philosophy, in both its Neoplatonic and Aristotelian forms, held that...

rationalism

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The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Linguistics (3 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2014
Subject:
Linguistics
Length:
50 words

... The philosophical doctrine that knowledge is based on reason rather than on the experience of the senses: opposed in that sense to empiricism . Invoked by Chomsky in the 1960s in arguing for specific factors other than the input from sense experience in a child’s acquisition of...

rationalism

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A Dictionary of Philosophy (3 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2016
Subject:
Philosophy
Length:
253 words

...of the authority of Kant , the subsequent history of philosophy has tended to minimize or even to deny the possibility of a priori knowledge, so rationalism depending on this category has also declined. However the idea that the mind comes with pre-formed categories that determine the structure of our language and ways of thought has survived in the work of linguists influenced by Chomsky . The term rationalism is also used more broadly for any anti-clerical, antiauthoritarian humanism , but it is unfortunate that it is empiricists such as Hume who are in...

rationalism

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A Dictionary of Psychology (4 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2015

... n . 1. The doctrine associated especially with the French philosopher René Descartes ( 1596–1650 ), the Dutch philosopher Baruch Spinoza ( 1632–77 ), and the German philosopher and mathematician Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz ( 1646–1716 ) that it is possible to obtain knowledge by reason alone, that there is only one valid system of reasoning and it is deductive in character, and that everything is explicable in principle by this form of reasoning. See also a priori , Hume's fork , nativism . Compare empiricism . 2. The more...

Rationalism

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The Continuum Encyclopedia of British Philosophy

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2010
Subject:
Philosophy
Length:
877 words

... The term ‘rationalism’, though always associated with an emphasis on human reason or intellect, has been used to capture various different views in the history of philosophy. One way to negotiate these would be to distinguish according to (1) the domain(s) to which they claim reason is relevant (religion, ethics , science , mathematics), (2) the role(s) reason is supposed to play (enabling, justificatory, motivational) and (3) the alternative(s) with which reason is contrasted (external authority, faith, revelation , sentiment, experience)....

rationalism

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Alan Lacey

The Oxford Companion to Philosophy (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2005
Subject:
Philosophy
Length:
1,852 words

...we are bordering on naturalism , but rationalism has perhaps more usually been concerned with the genetic questions. When justification is at issue rationalism is usually concerned (as with Plato and to a lesser extent Aristotle ) with distinguishing real or proper knowledge from lesser grades of cognition like true opinion, which are unstable and cannot be relied upon. When contrasted with feeling or sentiment, especially in the eighteenth-century opponents of the ‘ moral sense ’ school, rationalism, often then called intuitionism, takes the form...

Rationalism

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The Oxford Dictionary of Architecture (4 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2021
Subject:
Art & Architecture
Length:
753 words

... In practice, Rationalism promoted an approved International style from which all historical and decorative elements were expunged, drawing on influences from e.g. Constructivism and De Stijl , and no deviations from it would be tolerated. Among key buildings were Gropius ’s Bauhaus , Dessau (1925–6), Le Corbusier ’s Maison Stein , Garches (1927), and houses at the Weißenhofsiedlung , Stuttgart (1927), while theoretical and unifying bases were provided by CIAM and certain writers, notably Giedion . Rationalism flourished in Italy...

Rationalism

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Encyclopedia of the Enlightenment

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2005
Subject:
History, modern history (1700 to 1945)
Length:
4,522 words

...the discourse of the Enlightenment, “rationalism” also denoted the attitude of those who would subject religious institutions, feudal privilege, and the social and political order to rational scrutiny and criticism. Such rationalist critics could be either Rationalists or Empiricists in the philosophical sense. Finally, “rationalism” was also used of those who subjected religion and theology to historical and critical investigation, leading to “higher criticism” of the Bible as a human document. Philosophical Rationalism The philosophical Rationalists agreed...

Rationalism

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A Concise Companion to the Jewish Religion

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2003
Subject:
Religion
Length:
315 words

... The attitude in which religious faith has to justify itself at the bar of reason before it can be accepted. There is much reasoned appeal in the Bible. The Hebrew prophets seek to persuade by rational argument. The translation, in the Jewish Publication Society version, of the verse in Isaiah (1: 28): ‘Come let us reach an understanding says the Lord’, may not be an accurate rendering. A footnote to the translation says: ‘Meaning of Hebrew uncertain.’ Yet the implication that the prophets do employ reason becomes apparent from even the most casual...

Rationalism

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A Dictionary of Modern Design (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2016
Subject:
Art & Architecture
Length:
269 words

... An Italian movement in tune with the progressive tenets of Modernism in the 1920s and 1930s, Rationalism initially centred on the activities of Gruppo Sette , an architectural group founded in 1926 , the members of which included Luigi Figini , Gino Pollini , and Giuseppe Terragni . Their designs were characterized by the manipulation of clean, abstract forms harnessed to new materials and the potential of contemporary technologies. They hoped that their progressive aesthetic might become the official style in Mussolini’s Fascist Italy...

European Rationalism

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The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Art Terms (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2010
Subject:
Art & Architecture
Length:
50 words

...Rationalism A later development and modification of architectural Modernism , dating from the late 1960s and the 1970s. Architects such as Aldo Rossi gave a stone-faced massiveness to the basic forms of Modernism, whereas Mario Botta banded the bold geometry of his articulated volumes in different coloured travertine...

critical rationalism

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A Dictionary of Human Geography

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2013
Subject:
Social sciences, Human Geography
Length:
108 words

...rationalism An approach to research that emphasizes relentless criticism as the key to rigour and the achievement of truthful, accurate knowledge of the world. The approach is closely associated with the philosopher of science Karl Popper (1902–94). Popper argued that a good scientist always looks to refute rather than simply verify a hypothesis, model, or theory. In theory, one negative result trumps one hundred positive results of a scientific test or experiment. In geography, David Harvey’s Explanation in Geography highlighted critical rationalism....

moral rationalism

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A Dictionary of Ethics

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2020
Subject:
Philosophy
Length:
87 words

...rationalism Any metaethical view according to which reason—typically via moral intuition or a priori means—grasps moral reality. There are two main types of rationalist position in metaethics . The first is non-naturalist in orientation. Thinkers such as Plato , Samuel Clarke , and Richard Price are exemplars of such a position. The second type of rationalist position is Kantian. Views of this type often claim not only that reason grasps moral reality but also that moral reality is grounded in practical reason. See also non-naturalism ; ...

Economic rationalism

Economic rationalism   Reference library

Oxford Companion to Australian Politics

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2008
Subject:
Social sciences, Politics
Length:
1,528 words

...rationalism ‘Economic rationalism’ is an Australian label for what is known elsewhere as supply‐side economics, neo‐liberalism, laissez‐faire, structural adjustment, ‘free’ market policies or, more simply, ‘economic reform’. In Australia, economic rationalism began in the early 1980s with the floating of the Australian dollar and the deregulation of Australian capital markets. It became a mantra some four years later in May of 1986 when the Federal Treasurer, Paul Keating , warned that without vigorous economic restructuring Australia would become a...

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