The Rationalist View

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The Rationalist View

The Rationalist View

Shapes our Identity: The ability to be rational is what separates us from other species. It is what makes us humans. As we learn self-control, we distinguish ourselves from our primitive counterparts.

Plato: 427 BC- 347 BC

Socrates: 470 BC - 399 BC

Descartes: 1596 - 1650

Kant: 1724-1804

Notable Rationalists

Fun Fact: The opposite of a rationalist is an empiricist, an individual who believes sense experience is the ultimate source of all our knowledge.


Rationalism: "The belief that reason and experience and not emotions or religious beliefs should be the basis for your actions, opinions, etc." – Merriam Webster

Intuition/Deduction Thesis: Some propositions are knowable by us by intuition alone; still others are knowable by being deduced from intuited propositions.Innate Knowledge Thesis: We have knowledge of some truths in a particular subject area as part of our rational nature.The Indispensability of Reason Thesis: The ideas and instances of knowledge that are innate to us could not have been gained by us through sense experience.The Superiority of Reason Thesis: The knowledge we gain by intuition and deduction is superior to any knowledge gained by sense experience.

The Four Main Claims of Rationalism

What Are Some Advantages to Rationalism?

Promotes Independent Thinking: Any decision you make is based on your own reasoned approach to it. Often, indivduals are swayed by family, friends, peers, and even society. Rationalism is a solution to this.




Problems are Solved Faster: The issues are approached with a clear mind, and an objective, rational point of view disregards any external distractions. This makes problem solving much efficient.

Prevents Conflicts: Plato states that conflict occurs between reason and anger, also known as the "spirited element". This leads to wars and violence. However, unlike anger, reason and rationalism seek what is good, and what is right

A straw appears bent in a glass of water. An empiricist would look at this and say: I can observe this with my eyesight, therefore the straw is bending. A rationalist would look at this using reason and say: the straw isn't actually bent. It is the light refracting it.



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