Definition of rationalism in English:


Line breaks: ra¦tion¦al|ism
Pronunciation: /ˈraʃ(ə)n(ə)lɪz(ə)m


[mass noun]
  • 1The practice or principle of basing opinions and actions on reason and knowledge rather than on religious belief or emotional response: scientific rationalism
    More example sentences
    • Jacobi's version of Pascal's wager was also decisive for another later religious critic of secular rationalism, Søren Kierkegaard.
    • This battle for God was an attempt to fill the void at the heart of a society based on scientific rationalism.
    • The Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard rejected this rationalism, correctly seeing that such thinking leads to loss of all meaning.
  • 1.1 Philosophy The theory that reason rather than experience is the foundation of certainty in knowledge.
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    • By operationalizing Godel and set theory, Badiou's rationalism makes no concessions at all to the worldly or to the empirical.
    • Often, empiricism is contrasted with rationalism, a theory which holds that the mind may apprehend some truths directly, without requiring the medium of the senses.
    • But sometimes the problem is thought to lie deeper, for example, in Kant's rationalism in moral theory and his ideas of teleology and race in anthropology.
  • 1.2 Theology The practice of treating reason as the ultimate authority in religion.
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    • Sadly, such distinctive rationalism of non-Hindu religions finds no place in this textbook.
    • Ultimately, rationalism is just another ‘ism’ - a religion of ideology the fundamentalist worship of which is just as dangerous as any other unfounded belief on how the world works.
    • Having said that, it could be argued that this puts heavy weight on the scale in favor of preserving tradition and providing a compelling reason for overturning it by constructive rationalism.



More example sentences
  • Clearly this is even more ridiculous and embarrassing to admit for someone who claims to be an atheist, rationalist.
  • Even the rationalists and atheists are not free from its evil influence.
  • One does not have to be an atheist to be a rationalist, empiricist or skeptic.


Pronunciation: /-ˈlɪstɪk/
More example sentences
  • His religious turn became an open possibility as far back as the 1970s, when he forsook rationalistic analytic philosophy for neopragmatism.
  • Kant demolished the rationalistic arguments of Anselm, Descartes, and others, for the existence of God.
  • The justifications for their actions were rationalistic in form if not content: they were, in their own view, ‘scientific’ racists.


Pronunciation: /-ˈlɪstɪk(ə)li/
More example sentences
  • But isn't there a difference between saying, ‘Discussion of art requires the use of reason,’ and, ‘An understanding of aesthetics can be derived rationalistically, via logic + sense perception’?
  • National Socialism has caused a complete change of attitude among a large number of people, particularly workers, who were originally just rationalistically minded.
  • Hypotheses, by this light, may originate rationalistically as well as any other way, certainly there is no problem with this.

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Pronunciation: mɪˈlɔːd
used to address an English nobleman