from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Irrational thought, expression, or behavior; irrationality.
  • n. Belief in feeling, instinct, or other nonrational forces rather than reason.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. philosophical movement formed as a cultural reaction against positivism in the early 20th century

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The principles of a system of thought opposed to rationalism; irrationality; the quality of not being guided by reason.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • For a bird's-eye view of the history of the idea of irrationalism in philosophy, two preliminary method - ological observations are in order.

    Dictionary of the History of Ideas

  • It is being argued that the gov't should intervene in the decision to save vs. consume because such decisions are being made by 'non-market' factors such as irrationalism, people with poor financial education, 'media perceptions' etc.

    Trade Deficit, Saving, and Tax Policy, Arnold Kling | EconLog | Library of Economics and Liberty

  • Berlin does concede that Hamann was not a "heaven-storming" irrationalist, but he does not specify how his "irrationalism" differs from that of the heaven-stormers.

    'The Magus of the North'

  • So I am not pushing a kind of irrationalism here, because just as a society of friendship would, for Aristotle, make the institution of justice unnecessary, so the kind of transfer envisaged for philosophy above is validated by an analogous kind of displacement of one authority by another — by the power of the discourse endowed with new philosophical responsibilities to make the expected disciplinary procedures inessential. [

    Post-Secular Conviviality

  • "irrationalism" directed against the new philosophy falls to the ground.

    A New Philosophy: Henri Bergson

  • But it is to suggest just how very difficult it is to dispel fear, anxiety, insecurity, self-interest and irrationalism in matters that usually reside most comfortably in a textbook.

    Robert Teitelman: Politics and economic truths

  • Ironically, to explain asset swings, many economists end up arguing that investors have been seized by bouts of irrationalism, crowd psychology and momentum trading or fooled by "informational problems, poor incentives, and inadequate competition," allowing assets to diverge from intrinsic values, as determined by the model.

    Robert Teitelman: Frydman and Goldberg's Beyond Mechanical Markets

  • For Mr. Gingrich to use this kind of irrationalism is a bid to replace the rule of law with the rule of emotions.

    Newt's Bain Opportunism Is Mitt's Opportunity

  • That last detail—from passenger accounts of the accident—reminded me of listening to European Council President Herman Van Rompuy in New York last fall, explaining that Greece would never default, that the euro zone's financial position was not a serious cause for alarm, and that the main thing was to prevent further outbursts of market irrationalism.

    What Is Europe Sinking About?

  • One form of opposition is what Coleman calls "irrationalism."

    Economics and its Enemies, Arnold Kling | EconLog | Library of Economics and Liberty


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