- 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.
- 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 functionalism (def. 1).
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Example sentences from the Web for rationalism
Raymond Guidot, the French design expert, says that Bellini came to Olivetti as "the champion of utter rationalism."
Yes, Holmes was the quintessence of the Victorian rationalism, “the most perfect and reasoning machine that the world had seen.”
He was the founder of Tao-tze, a kind of rationalism, which at present has millions of adherents in China.Beacon Lights of History, Volume I|John Lord
The denial of universal ideas is rationalism and materialism in philosophy, as it is Pelagianism and Arminianism in theology.
Anselm had successfully battled with the rationalism of Roscelin, and also had furnished a new argument for the existence of God.
Similar superstitions attached to somnabulism; see Lecky, “History of Rationalism,” vol.The Science of Fairy Tales|Edwin Sidney Hartland
How far the gloomy materialism and superficial rationalism of Lewes may have affected the opinions of Miss Evans we cannot tell.Beacon Lights of History, Volume VII|John Lord
British Dictionary definitions for rationalism
- 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