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Questions tagged [rationalism]

For questions regarding the epistemological view opposing empiricism. Rationalism, traditionally associated with philosophers like Descartes, Leibniz and Spinoza, emphasizes reason, rather than experience, as the basis for knowledge. Not to be used for the concept of rationality or rational thinking in general.

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Have any modern philosophers redone Descartes' Meditations?

With insights we get from the cognitive sciences, and advancement in philosophy in general (such as the coherentist theory of Truth) we would definitely do the Meditations differently.
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Innateness - Locke's Criticism - Comprehending a philosophical text

During the discussion of "Innate Knowledge Thesis", there comes a point when some rationalists defend their standing in such a way which shows it as the capacity of mind to knowing several truhts. And,...
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Does philosophy shed any light on how parties can fruitfully debate without an agreed source of truth?

A hallmark of recent political developments is extreme partisanship, where each side has near total distrust of the other. To exacerbate this situation there has been a breakdown in agreement over ...
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How does Descartes' “cogito, ergo sum” affect Hume's experienced based epistemology and Kant's transcendental philosophy?

My attempts so far: Descartes, being a rationalist, used "cogito, ergo sum" to lead to the concept of innate ideas. Hume, being a radical empiricist, believed in experience based epistemology. Kant ...
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Which of Descartes’ arguments for the existence of God is the most successful and why?

With regards to his 3rd Meditation and 5th Meditation proofs of God, I can't seem to find any reason to see one as being more successful than the other. Mainly because while his ontological proof ...
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Non-euclidean geometry = decisive argument against rationalism?

Why is non-Euclidean geometry, as encountered in relativity theory, always used as the prime counterexample to rationalism – and regarded as pretty much decisive? The parallel postulate was ...
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The philosophical relationship of morality, rationalism, atheism and physicalism

I am an atheist and I hold a physicalist view of the world, that the world is made but of one kind of stuff (call it "physical", if you want) and the universe is composed only of one kind of ...
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Which works of Plato and Aristotle (Ancient Greek if there is more worth it) should I read to get a context to study Continental Rationalism?

I'm trying to get a better ground to get into Continental Rationalism between Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz, etc. I read on the Plato Encyclopedia of Philosophy that Plato and Aristotle influenced them, ...
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What is common between the rationalists and empiricists?

Philosophy counsels us to begin with the most certain of definitions. In that spirit, returning to a question I've often avoided, what is the common definition of knowledge between the rationalists ...
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Spinoza and causality

Spinoza puts causality above freedom. As a follower of Descartes and a rationalist, in unsterstanding of everything he goes from simple to complex, from subject to objects. In order to understand ...
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Measurement devices and empiricism

In the first physics lecture I ever visited, the professor shortly demonstrated the fallibility of our senses with a spinning disc optical illusion to justify the use of measurement devices. He didn't ...
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Can there be information without a “knower”?

I am trying to wrap my head around the principle of conservation of information as formulated by Leonard Susskind and others, which seems to me at first glance to be incompatible with the 2nd law of ...
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Is this a real quote by Bergson

I read in a text that when Henri Bergson was confronted about his arguments against abstract rationalism by pointing out that "he used reason to argue against rationalism" he replied "Hence, the final ...
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Descartes and existence

What does it mean to exist for Descartes? Of course I know about cogito ergo sum, but is that all there is to it? Is the only criterion to exist to be able to think? Or is there more to it? And if it ...
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How are the relation between monads formed?

So each person is a monad, and there is no causation between monads. Perception occurs as a result of aggregation of monads. The aggregation between them gives the perception. My question is, if each ...
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Existentialism and Rationalism

I am reading an essay on philosophy and since my english isn't great, I don't understand the essay below, especially the second line (bolded). The essay is about the two views about the human ...
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What are the more complex/interesting examples of synthetic a priori statements?

The usual examples of synthetic a priori statements are – it seems at least since Kant: "Nothing can be simultaneously red and green all over" 7 + 5 = 12 (or any other basic arithmetic statements). ...
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How Can the Unobservable be Verified?

Empirical evaluations and judgments concerning the observable world (e.g. whether or not I'm eating a watermelon right now) are evidently verifiable; you can confirm that I am indeed eating a ...
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Can a rationalist ever be a materialist?

Note that I am using rationalist in its strict philosophical sense, as in rationalist like Descartes or Leibniz, not rationalist as it might be understood colloquially. from the Encyclopedia ...
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What is critical rationalism?

In the philosophy of science classical rationalism equates rationality with proof and proof with Truth. What is the meaning of rather 'critical rationalism'? Is it the view advocated by Popper by ...
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What does Bachelard mean by “Applied Rationalism”?

I've heard this term many times. I've tried to google it but there is a very little about it. There is no online resource which explains the term and what is this position. So my question is, What ...
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Do any other famous examples of synthetic a priori exist?

From what I understand in the context of Western philosophy René Descartes famous statement "I think therefore I am" is an example of sythetic a priori. Descartes was a rationalist and this statement ...
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Are passive observation and active experimentation the only ways of knowledge production?

This is the topic of my essay for a high school theory of knowledge class. I think that the question implies that all knowledge stems directly (in the case of passive observation) or indirectly (in ...
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Kant's refutation of empiricism

I have been told from numerous sources that Kant's arguments against empiricism basically "refuted" it, specifically the ones found in his "Critique of Pure Reason". Unfortunately, for me, reading ...
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Defenses of Descartes's rationality in regards to “cogito” fallacy?

What philosophers and in what writings, if any, have attempted to explain or defend Descartes's rationalism in respect to the "cogito ergo sum" fallacy pointed out by philosophers like Russell, and ...
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What unique ideas does speculative realism present?

Speculative realism seems to be based primarily on opposing the Kantian philosophy of correlationism - I quote Meillassoux: Correlationism consists in disqualifying the claim that it is possible to ...
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Weber and Marx - Modern Culture and Dominant Culture

Not sure if this is the right forum, but this seems to be the best fit. IF there is a better forum, please direct me. Marx and Weber are both concerned with the role of "culture" or "idea/ideology" ...
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What's so speculative in rationalists metaphysics?

From Loux's: Metaphysics: A Contemporary Introduction. The metaphysical theories of the rationalists, by contrast, were anything but conservative. In their hands, metaphysics results in ...
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Spinoza's a priori proof for the existence of God

I am currently studying some aspects of Spinoza's philosophy, mainly in contrast to Kant. It seems to me that Spinoza is just the kind of "dogmatic metaphysician" Kant criticises. I know that Kant ...
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What were Descartes's justifications for the human ability to doubt, and why did he think it was so important?

In his Meditations on First Philosophy, Rene Descartes resolved to systematically doubt that any of his beliefs were true. This was done in order to build a system of belief that would consist of only ...
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To be or not be—what would a conscious computer decide?

The Prometheus myth can be interpreted as consciousness being a burden. Camus used the myth of Sisyphus to debate the same issue. It is the theme of a famous speech from Hamlet. Heidegger talks of ...
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how are rationalism and empiricism related to modern epistemology? Should epistemology be seen as incorporating both? [closed]

Epistemology by simplest definition is the theory of knowledge and one of the things it addresses is the source of knowledge. On the other hand we know that rationalism (deduction) and empiricism (...
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When can we call an explanation “rational”?

There are a lot of questions involving rational judgment, rational choice, rational explanation, etc... And at the same time, it seems that "being rational" is a guiding principle for a lot of people. ...
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Is Skepticism the most rational standpoint?

Is Philosophical Skepticism - the one that advocates true knowledge is impossible, the most rational standpoint? I am asking this based on the observation that there are very few things whose ...