Rationalists believe that reason is the best guide for beliefs and actions. Humans possess all the knowledge we need for our daily lives. This way of thinking was widely accepted and had many followers back in the day.

I think therefore I am

René Descartes

Descartes also was one of the first philosophers who cast away religion. He solely believed in the humans’ power of logic guided by definition, sound arguments, and clear thoughts. With this, we could achieve anything.

Epistemology: Apriori and A posteriori

We are learning something new every day. Epistemology contains how we understand these things. Three terms are essential to know. The first is apriori, which states that we can use logic and reason to come to an inevitable conclusion. For instance, using mathematical or physics equations to solve a problem. Thus, rationalism originated.

Apriori and a posteriori are each other’s opposites. The second is a posteriori, which includes ‘learning through experience.’ Lastly, there are innate ideas that you are born with. Regulae ad direction ingenii, translated as rules for the direction of the mind. 

rationalism reading

Straightforward difference Rationalism vs Empiricism

The difference between rationalism and empiricism is as simple as ABC; they are each other’s opposites. For instance, rationalism includes innate ideas, reason, and deductive reasoning. In contrast, empiricism holds to induction sense perception and has no innate ideas. The inductive and deductive reasoning will be explained further in this article. Innate ideas include the belief in reincarnation. Therefore, your knowledge from previous lives is embedded in you.

The sole difference between rationalism and empiricism is the acceptance and denial of whether humans are born with imprinted ideas, knowledge, and principles.

Empiricism explained

Ideas can be either simple or complex. Simple ideas only include one single aspect, such as color. Knowledge is acquired from experience. Therefore, all learning starts with understanding. The mind is Tabula Rasa which means ‘blank sheet.’ This so-called ‘blank sheet’ gets filled with ideas throughout the years. For example, with experiences or observations by using our senses.

rationalist rene descartes

René Descartes

Descartes believed that much of what is wrong in the world is caused by the misuse of the mind. This is evoked by confusion, lousy definition, and not thinking logically.

Learning from experience and constantly reflecting on the things that came on his path. Descartes sought knowledge in himself rather than reading it in books. Therefore, he socialized a lot with people from various different ranks.

Descartes stated that we should provide our mind with the toolset. Hence, we can solve relatively complex problems more accessible. For instance, a big concern should be divided into more minor issues by asking rational questions. René calls this: ‘method of doubts.’

Inductive and Deductive Reasoning

Inductive reasoning may be logically valid but, on the other hand, can be realistically false. This type of reasoning is frequently used in mathematics. The video below shows an example of a basket filled with mangoes. They give two statements: “mango is a fruit” and “the basket if filled with mangoes.” The conclusion is that the basket is filled with mangoes. Well, this is logically true. It may be realistically false if there is a different fruit in the basket.

Deductive reasoning is always logically and realistically rue. For example, we take two other statements. Statement one says: “all mangoes are fruit,” and the second statement says: “all fruits have seeds.” From this information, we can conclude that “mangoes have seeds.” In this example, statements one and two are true. Therefore, the conclusion will always be proper.

To summarize, inductive reasoning starts at a specific argument and comes to a general conclusion. On the other hand, deductive reasoning does the opposite. It begins at the public judgment and comes to a specific argument.

Don’t Memorise on Introduction to Inductive and Deductive Reasoning

If you want to know more about how you can beat your SWS, see this article: ‘Sine Wave Syndrome‘. above is a summary of all different types of philosophies if you want to learn all about them. Knowing all kinds of philosophy may aid you to enhance your ability to solve problems, can help you to improve your communication skill, persuasive powers, and writing skills. Knowing different ways of thinking helps you to relate to something in your life which provides you some sort of clarity that will make you feel better overall.