rationalism Meaning, Definition & Usage

  1. noun (philosophy) the doctrine that knowledge is acquired by reason without resort to experience
  2. noun the theological doctrine that human reason rather than divine revelation establishes religious truth
  3. noun the doctrine that reason is the right basis for regulating conduct


Ra"tion*al*ism noun
Cf. F. rationalisme.
  1. (Theol.) The doctrine or system of those who deduce their religious opinions from reason or the understanding, as distinct from, or opposed to, revelation.
  2. (Philos.) The system that makes rational power the ultimate test of truth; -- opposed to sensualism, or sensationalism, and empiricism. Fleming.

Webster 1913