from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. Reliance on reason as the best guide for belief and action.
- n. Philosophy The theory that the exercise of reason, rather than experience, authority, or spiritual revelation, provides the primary basis for knowledge.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. The theory that the basis of knowledge is reason, rather than experience or divine revelation.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. The doctrine or system of those who deduce their religious opinions from reason or the understanding, as distinct from, or opposed to, revelation.
- n. The system that makes rational power the ultimate test of truth; -- opposed to sensualism, or sensationalism, and empiricism.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. In general, adherence to the supremacy of reason in matters of belief or conduct, in contradistinction to the submission of reason to authority; thinking for one's self.
- n. In theology:
- n. In general, the subjection of religious doctrine and Scriptural interpretation to the test of human reason or understanding; the rejection of dogmatic authority as against reason or conscience; rational latitude of religious thought or belief.
- n. More specifically, as used with reference to the modern sehool or party of rationalists, that system of doctrine which, in its extreme form, denies the existence of any authoritative and supernatural revelation, and maintains that the human reason is of itself, and unaided by special divine inspiration, adequate to ascertain all attainable religious truth.
- n. In metaphysics, the doctrine of a priori cognitions; the doctrine that knowledge is not all produced by the action of outward things upon the senses, but partly arises from the natural adaptation of the mind to think things that are true.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. (philosophy) the doctrine that knowledge is acquired by reason without resort to experience
- n. the doctrine that reason is the right basis for regulating conduct
- n. the theological doctrine that human reason rather than divine revelation establishes religious truth
Enlightenment rationalism is also the logical basis of democracy, and Classic Liberalism (aka “conservativism”).
Scientistic rationalism is however equally non-scientific where it mistakes a highly relevant alethic model for an epistemic certainty.
In epistemology and in its modern sense, rationalism is "any view appealing to reason as a source of knowledge or justification" (Lacey 286).
This rationalism is dimissed by the Romantics, and in the Gothic fiction that develops from Romanticism.
A movement dedicated to secular rationalism is all well and good, but what bothers me about the New Atheists is that in large part their movement seems to be dedicated to the proposition that religious belief, and therefore believers in general are both stupid and bad.
The truth is that christianity has survived much greater threats than this recent fad of so called rationalism, which isn't really rationalism at all.
The sinister cast which the word rationalism bears in much of the popular speech is evidence of this fact.
(ii) Another method is sometimes termed rationalism or abstract intellectualism.
I’ve never felt that there’s a hierarchy of genres, and neither am I necessarily convinced that rationalism is an adequate response to the world, either in fiction or in life.
The whole basis of rationalism is weakened when it moves from reactive doubt to active disbelief (i.e. active belief that X or Y just can’t happen because they don’t fit the current paradigm,) and is further weakened when all those active disbeliefs cohere into a belief-system in its own right, one with all sorts of wandering signifiers and subtle assurances of certainty.