Skip to main content

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.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
4 votes
2 answers
368 views

What are some cases in which we can use reason but not logic?

I am curious whether there have been philosophers arguing that there are contexts in which we can use reason, but not logic. For example, some authors might say that logic cannot be used in the very ...
3 votes
2 answers
69 views

Can somebody help me choose relevant literature

I want to excuse myself beforehand if this is an inappropriate question on this forum. I'm just starting studying and I need literature for my little paperwork in a philosophy seminar. The main line ...
2 votes
1 answer
51 views

Is it audacious and false to encapsulate Descartes Philosophy in this one simple sentence? [closed]

Namely: "I, therefore God, therefore body and mind". I want to see if I understand the bigger picture of his Philosophy.
2 votes
0 answers
51 views

How does the Scholastic concept of synderesis relate to rationalism?

In Summa Theologiae I q. 79 a. 12 "Whether synderesis is a special power of the soul distinct from the others?" co., Thomas Aquinas describes "synderesis" as a habit to acquire ...
0 votes
2 answers
317 views

Are Gödel's Incompleteness Theorems a refutation of Rationalism?

According to Putnam, Gödel's theorems show that the set of truths in Number Theory (i.e., true propositions involving natural numbers and their properties) is not recursively enumerable, whereas all ...
5 votes
8 answers
2k views

Can art be rated objectively?

I know this question possibly have been asked multiple times am really sorry, but this maybe is a little different. Art as we know is a simple one way humans express themselves. Using imagination and ...
10 votes
3 answers
12k views

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). ...
2 votes
1 answer
81 views

Is this is more stable version of Descartes experiment? [duplicate]

Everyone knows Descartes old experiment now. He concludes with absolute certainty that “I am, I exist”. However this could very well be a delusion, since the evil genius could have corrupted the mind ...
0 votes
1 answer
129 views

Is the evaluation of art's subjectivity wrong? and what is the goal behind our interpretations of art?

if art is subjective wouldn't that will make it a tatuology? Can The statemente"I like X more than Y, therefore X is better than Y be considered a tautological argument? because it equates repeat ...
2 votes
1 answer
59 views

Are transcendental and indispensability arguments reciprocally structured?

This question occurred to me in the course of addressing a recent question about what counts as evidence in philosophy. There, I offered that transcendental arguments are structurally akin to ...
0 votes
1 answer
164 views

Explanandum and Explanans in Greek Philosophy

From Wikipedia: 'An explanandum is a sentence describing a phenomenon that is to be explained, and the explanans are the sentences adduced as explanations of that phenomenon. For example, one person ...
5 votes
1 answer
141 views

Descartes and his taxonomy of ideas

Given the context of philosophical ideas such as tabula rasa, empiricism, and rationalism, René Descartes is known for his philosophy of mind and his attempt to analyze thinking as well as his ...
3 votes
1 answer
98 views

Does Plato think we can have synthetic a posteriori knowledge?

I understand that Plato thinks our knowledge of universals is innate, and therefore synthetic a priori knowledge. However, does he think we can have any knowledge that is synthetic and a posteriori? ...
1 vote
1 answer
262 views

Who is "Anti-Descartes"?

We learn from writings of Descartes that he is always trying to seperate the rational mind from emotional mind and he trusts his rational mind while being sceptic to emotional mind. Also he has a ...
0 votes
0 answers
44 views

What differences and relationships are between "innate ideas" and "presuppositions of knowledge"?

p149 of Section "Rationalism and Empiricism" in Big Questions by Solomon talkss about "innate ideas": One of the main points of debate between the rationalists and the empiricists�...
0 votes
1 answer
72 views

How shall I understand these two "oppositions": pragmatism against idealism, positivism against irrationalism?

https://www.britannica.com/topic/Western-philosophy/The-19th-century says As for the 19th century, however, if one single feature of its thought could be singled out for emphasis, it might be called ...
0 votes
1 answer
83 views

Philosophers who explore the importance of history/culture giving us meaning in life?

Take the example of the concept of 'femininity': An existentialist thinker might suggest the meaning of femininity is completely subjective and one must decide the meaning of femininity for themselves ...
2 votes
1 answer
122 views

How are the words "atheist", "non-religious" and "rational thinker" perceived differently in the U.S.?

Disclaimer: my question is not technically about philosophical concepts but rather about their perception in American culture. I listened to a couple of interviews with Neil deGrasse Tyson, an ...
2 votes
4 answers
375 views

What is the anti-thesis of Existentialism?

Existentialism represents a turning away from systematic philosophy (with its emphasis on metaphysical absolutes and principles of rational certainty) and toward an emphasis on the concrete existence ...
3 votes
2 answers
151 views

Does Spinoza Propose that Thought Cannot Aprehend Extension?

Currently reading Ethics, and I understand most of what I have been reading so far, although the epistemology is subtle and hard to understand so I am wondering if this can be cleared up for me. In ...
6 votes
2 answers
613 views

What is the relationship between the scientific experimental method and the two espistemologies of empiricism and rationalism

What is the (historical and theoretical) relationship between the scientific experimental method and the two espistemologies of empiricism and rationalism? I can read here and there that the ...
3 votes
3 answers
576 views

Are only human beings capable of rationally intentional acts?

Max Horkheimer's 1947 book The Eclipse of Reason argued that over the course of history, the conception of reason shifted from the objective - the Greek idea that reason qua logos governs the Cosmos - ...
2 votes
3 answers
113 views

Question on Spinoza’s idea of substance

Fundamental to Spinoza’s philosophy is the idea of substance as “that which is conceived through itself.” But it’s hard for me understand the content of this phrase. What does it mean, for something ...
2 votes
4 answers
247 views

Isn't it rationality circular reasoning?

Rationalists say that reason is the source of ultimate truth or logic. Reason is absolute but if reason is absolute then won't defending it through reason be a circular reasoning? Like you can't ...
8 votes
6 answers
2k views

Is there "empirical" distance without "mathematical" distance?

Mathematicians since antiquity have been thinking about length and angle, including doing things with straight-edges, rulers, compasses, and protractors. Fast-forward to modern physics, and you'll see ...
2 votes
1 answer
53 views

Must beliefs be consciously entertained?

In discussing the Innate Knowledge Thesis in the article titled Rationalism vs Empiricism in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, there appears to be a discrepancy (emphasis mine). A serious ...
1 vote
2 answers
2k views

Quotations from Descartes on Animals as Automata

Animals do not feel pain and are automata. This view is commonly attributed to Descartes. And I would agree that in his philosophy no other conclusion makes sense. But still, I want to distinguish ...
0 votes
0 answers
69 views

Leibniz's theory of subtance and causal interaction - with God

It follows from Leibniz' complete concept theory of truth that substances have no causal interaction with another. But Leibniz also says that created substances depend on God and that God conserves ...
5 votes
1 answer
255 views

Spinoza’s argument for substance monism

Substance monism is a very significant part of Spinoza’s philosophy. But after reading the first part of his Ethics, an understanding of his arguments for it eludes me. Specifically, I have trouble ...
2 votes
3 answers
598 views

Is it possible to refute any form of innate knowledge?

The standard definition of rationalism is that a rationalist believes that humans have innate knowledge(concept) or ability to intuit/deduct. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think according to the ...
0 votes
1 answer
201 views

The meaning of the word theory

The normal, day-to-day meaning of the word 'theory' denotes the uncertainty regarding factuality. For instance, when we say that "it is just another theory" what we imply is that there can ...
6 votes
4 answers
388 views

Question about Cogito, ergo sum

As far as I know Decartes tried to prove that he existed from the fact that he was thinking. And he thought this was only proof. My question is following: -- why is the argument brought up above, ...
1 vote
0 answers
75 views

Contributions of Descartes

What ideas did Descartes have about knowledge and reality that were so incongruent with the prevailing neo-Aristotelian paradigm of knowing the real essences of things through abstracting from sense ...
10 votes
5 answers
5k views

How do rationalists justify the scientific method?

From what I understand rationalism allows some knowledge to be acquired innately, and that rationalism was created as the opposite of empiricism. Since the scientific method assumes that knowledge is ...
2 votes
1 answer
4k views

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 ...
2 votes
1 answer
339 views

What is the position of the Traditionalist School on Epistemology?

I am at a lower intermediate level when it comes to philosophy, having started by studying Hindu philosophy and the Traditional School of René Guénon, Frithjof Schuon and their ilk. I mainly focused ...
6 votes
2 answers
3k views

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 ...
2 votes
3 answers
888 views

Are formal sciences rationalistic and natural sciences empiricist?

As the title say, are the formal sciences (mathematics, logic, etc) fundamentally rationalistic while the natural ones (chemistry and physics) fundamentally empiricist? Physics, Chemistry, and ...
8 votes
6 answers
854 views

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 ...
6 votes
1 answer
338 views

Was there a "mechanist" program of early rationalists, like Descartes and Leibniz?

Leibniz and Descartes are said to put forth "mechanist philosophies," but I am having trouble identifying what "mechanist" means. Does it involve their affinity to natural science and mathematics and ...
6 votes
1 answer
713 views

Rationalism and Catholicism / Protestantism

How much more “incompatible” was rationalism with Catholicism compared to Protestant christianity? Of course everyone learned in high school that the enlightenment was in direct opposition to ...
3 votes
1 answer
749 views

Spinoza and causality

Spinoza puts causality above freedom. As a follower of Descartes and a rationalist, in the understanding of everything he goes from simple to complex, from subject to objects. In order to understand ...
1 vote
0 answers
95 views

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.
2 votes
0 answers
100 views

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,...
2 votes
1 answer
2k views

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 ...
3 votes
2 answers
241 views

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 ...
2 votes
1 answer
2k views

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 ...
1 vote
0 answers
216 views

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 ...
3 votes
3 answers
449 views

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 ...
3 votes
1 answer
97 views

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, ...