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

Definition of rationalism in English:


[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.
Example sentences
  • 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.
Example sentences
  • 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.
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