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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.



Pronunciation: /ˈraʃ(ə)n(ə)lɪst/
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: /raʃ(ə)n(ə)ˈlɪstɪk/
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: /raʃ(ə)n(ə)ˈlɪstɪk(ə)li/
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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