- 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).
Examples from the Web for rationalist
From the outset, the idea that the rationalist, centrist, administration would pursue this path seemed fanciful.Obama Brinksmanship Puts GOP in Tough Spot on Debt Ceiling|Daniel Gross|January 14, 2013|DAILY BEAST
“It still sells,” answered the proprietor, and editor and publisher, and entire staff of The Rationalist.All Roads Lead to Calvary|Jerome K. Jerome
The Rationalist may, or may not, be emotional, but he certainly prefers to be without morbid fibres.The Churches and Modern Thought|Philip Vivian
Franklin rejected Christianity when a boy and remained a Rationalist to the end of his life.Thomas Paine, The Apostle of Liberty|John E. Remsburg
British Dictionary definitions for rationalist
- 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
Word Origin and History for rationalist
"one who follows reason and not authority in thought or speculation," originally especially "physician whose treatment is based on reason," 1620s, from rational + -ist. Applied to a philosophical doctrine 1640s. Related: Rationalism.