Introduction to Philosophy/Rationalism
Rationalism is a philosophical movement declaring that the most certain form of knowledge is derived from reason and that our senses are not reliable submitters of information about the outer world. The most famous rationalists were Descartes, Spinoza and Leibniz, creating theories of knowledge totally independent from any experience. The senses, according to the rationalists, can not tell us real truth, for example: we could dream that we are the king of the world and not truly be, but the angles of a triangle still sum up to 180 degrees. Knowledge from reason alone and not experience is known as a priori. Plato is considered by many to be the main precursor to rationalism, whereas his student, Aristotle, is often considered to be a precursor to empiricism.
Reference and further readings
- Rationalism at Wikipedia.