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Definition of Rationalism
Rationalism is a philosophical domain ththe at amplifies the importance and prominence of reason in deduction and eventual acquisition of knowledge. It majors on the inherent humathe n capacity and ability to deduce truth based on intellectual capabilities and prowess (Cottingham 6). There are various variations in rationalism, that border on moderate philosophical inclinations to extreme philosophical standpoints.
The moderate philosophical inclination anchors on the role of reason in the acquisition of knowledge. The extreme standpointthe posits the relevance of reason as the sole gateway to the acquisition of knowledge. Rationalism has numerous similarities with Socratic philosophical approach that anchors on a rational interpretation of events and happenings that manifest in daily human interactions (Cottingham 12).
In recent times, there have been several scholarly undertakings that sought to rekindle the classical understanding of rationalism as a philosophical domain that deciphers reasoning as an integral component in the acquisition of knowledge. However, there should be a clear distinction between other related concepts such as rationality and rationalization (Cottingham 14).
Rationalism is a concept that has an immeasurable influence on various domains of society. For instance, its impact and impression on politics are evident and well documented. About rationalism, political undertakings should adopt a rational approach that amplifies the essence of reason in deduction of political philosophies.
Rationalism introduces correlation between philosophy and mathematical procedures that seek to integrate both aspects into the process of deducing philosophical knowledge and ideas. Consequently, this domain manifests as continental rationalism due to its prevalence and application in continental institutions of learning across Europe (Cottingham 17).
There is connection between empiricism and rationalism regarding their philosophical outlook and interpretation of issues that affect humanity. The basic assumption in empiricism is that acquisition of knowledge materializes through numerous experiences that people encounter in daily undertakings (Cottingham 22).
The fundamental difference in these philosophical inclinations regards the argument as to the source of knowledge in a social context. Supporters of rationalism contend that basic mathematical concepts such as geometry play an instrumental role in deduction of knowledge in society.
Promoters and Philosophical Outcomes
In the history of rationalism, there are certain events and personalities who played an integral role in the promotion and propagation of its philosophical inclination. Such historical features heralded a new dawn for rationalism because they contributed immensely in the development of the philosophical body of knowledge that is rationalism (Zecha 31).
Their views and articulations continue to influence the contemporary understanding of rationalism and its relation to other philosophical concepts. Through their efforts, modern philosophical scholars contextualize the essence and rationale of reason in deduction and acquisition of knowledge in society.
One such scholar is René Descartes, who argued that eternal philosophical concepts alone have an impact on the relevance of reason in the acquisition of knowledge (Zecha 34). He supported this position by alluding to dreams as part of human experience.
According to Descartes, dreams have no empirical value about the acquisition of knowledge. He rightly argued that dreams are illusionary and therefore cannot qualify as credible sources of human knowledge. Descartes researched extensively on nature and source of fundamental truths (Zecha 35). He developed a criterion for deduction of truth and essence of truth regarding the reality of human existence.
Another key contributor to the field of rationalism is Baruch Spinoza, whose philosophical ideologies revolved around systems and logic in deduction and acquisition of knowledge (Nelson 12). Through his philosophical exploits, Spinoza attempted to seek answers to various areas of concern with regard to human existence.
He further exploited the reality of the existence of God. He argued that the existence of God is an empirical philosophical concept that only exists in human thought processes. His philosophical ideas continue to stir heated discourse among modern scholars who seek to unravel the essence of his complex ideas. His geometrical deduction of ideas still holds relevance in the academic arena (Nelson 15).
Gottfried Leibniz also made an immeasurable contribution to the development and propagation of rationalism. He contested the Cartesian dualism and argued against the reality of the world as articulated in other disciplines. He particularly contributed to the development of rationalism through monads theory, which was a reaction to the ideas of his contemporaries (Nelson 23).
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The theory derives a correlation between the influence of living and non-living things in deduction and acquisition of knowledge. Through his scholarly exploits, he derived methods and procedural undertakings that sought to establish factors of causation in different contexts (Nelson 24).
Personal Understanding of Rationalism
In my opinion, rationalism is an area of study that offers immense value for knowledge and other processes that determine its acquisition. It majors on the inherent human capacity and ability to deduce truth based on intellectual capabilities and prowess. There are various variations to rationalism, that border on moderate philosophical inclinations to extreme philosophical standpoints.
The moderate philosophical inclination anchors on the role of reason in the acquisition of knowledge. I believe that rationalism offers a real opportunity for individuals to understand and interpret various activities that take place in the modern world. This philosophical domain assists individuals to make sense of various activities that manifest in human interactions.
Cottingham, John. Rationalism. Newyork: Thoemmes Press, 2010. Print.
Nelson, Alan. A Companion to Rationalism. London: John Wiley & Sons, 2012. Print.
Zecha, Gerhard. Critical Rationalism and Educational Discourse. London: Rodopi, 2011. Print.