Rationalism



the principle or habit of accepting reason as the supreme authority in matters of opinion, belief, or conduct.
Philosophy.

the doctrine that reason alone is a source of knowledge and is independent of experience.
(in the philosophies of Descartes, Spinoza, etc.) the doctrine that all knowledge is expressible in self-evident propositions or their consequences.

Theology. the doctrine that human reason, unaided by divine revelation, is an adequate or the sole guide to all attainable religious truth.
Architecture, (often initial capital letter)

a design movement principally of the mid-19th century that emphasized the development of modern ornament integrated with structure and the decorative use of materials and textures rather than as added adornment.
the doctrines and practices of this movement.
Compare (def 1).

Contemporary Examples

Yes, Holmes was the quintessence of the Victorian rationalism, “the most perfect and reasoning machine that the world had seen.”
How Sherlock Holmes Took on the Capitalists Ian Klaus December 20, 2011

Historical Examples

I cannot suppose he stands alone in his rationalism, but I have no means of knowing to what extent his views are shared by others.
Life and Work in Benares and Kumaon, 1839-1877 James Kennedy

He was temperate in his rationalism and thrifty in his philanthropy.
Shelley, Godwin and Their Circle H. N. Brailsford

The Shrine of Wisdom seemed to take up and weld together all the mysticism and all the rationalism of the world.
Atlantic Classics, Second Series Henry C. Merwin

We may admit that the clergy are more blameworthy than the orators of rationalism.
Mountain Meditations L. Lind-af-Hageby

The Calvinist had written against rationalism with one eye upon heresy and the other upon Lutheranism.
History of Rationalism Embracing a Survey of the Present State of Protestant Theology John F. Hurst

Dr. Beswick’s rationalism on the subject rose to trouble her.
The Faith Doctor Edward Eggleston

Now Germany is notoriously a land of religious criticism and rationalism.
The War and the Churches Joseph McCabe

His rationalism could not take the place of a knowledge of history.
A History of Mediaeval Jewish Philosophy Isaac Husik

But he has asked himself the question, “What can I do to lessen the hold which rationalism has upon my country?”
History of Rationalism Embracing a Survey of the Present State of Protestant Theology John F. Hurst

noun
reliance on reason rather than intuition to justify one’s beliefs or actions
(philosophy)

the doctrine that knowledge about reality can be obtained by reason alone without recourse to experience
the doctrine that human knowledge can all be encompassed within a single, usually deductive, system
the school of philosophy initiated by Descartes which held both the above doctrines

the belief that knowledge and truth are ascertained by rational thought and not by divine or supernatural revelation

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