Rationalism and Empiricism - Essay Example

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Rationalism and Empiricism

It is about the psychological side that Pinker claims, "The past tense is the only case I know in which two great systems of Western thought (rationalism and empiricism) may be tested and compared on a single rich set of data, just like ordinary scientific hypotheses." But Searle argues among other things that the debate about the past tense is not a case in which "two great systems of Western thought (rationalism and empiricism) may be tested and compared on a single rich set of data." Searle argued that the features that make them "great systems of Western thought" are left unaffected by the discussion of the past tense. Their debate also included history, computation and information processing in relation to rationalism and empiricism where both thoughts oppose each other.
The Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy which Searle (in Pinker & Searle, 2002) thinks is standard, defines rationalism as the position that reason presides over other ways of acquiring knowledge, or that it is the unique path to knowledge. ...Show more


The debate between rationalism and empiricism is still raging and has not ended. Spanning many centuries, the debate can be found almost everywhere from words and meanings, to history, to computation and information processing (Pinker & Searle, 2002), to the cognitive revolution, to the color story, to art, to artificial intelligence and logic, to Linguistics, and to Psychology (Narayan, 2005).
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