by Tanja Tuulikki Välisalo last modified Mar 09, 2010 11:09 AM


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Rationalism stresses the formation of knowledge and truth through reason and logic.

  • Rationalism views knowledge as a priori, i.e. existing independently of human perception.
  • Thus, the bases of rationalism are the abstraction and theorization of the researched phenomena, and researchers apply either deductive or inductive logic to form their reasoning.

Rationalism and empiricism are fundamental principles in the philosophy of science.

Links to more information:

Markie, Peter, 2008. Rationalism vs. Empiricism. Zalta, Edward N. (ed.). The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Fall 2008 Edition).

Lennon, Thomas M. and Shannon Dea, 2008. Continental Rationalism. Zalta, Edward N. (ed.). The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Fall 2008 Edition).

Rationalism. New World Encyclopedia.

Rationalism. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia.

A priori and a posteriori. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia.