Rationalism believes that knowledge is innate or inborn while learning results from intuition (Lawhead 15). It supports the Priori knowledge idea that states that knowledge comes before experience. Philosophers that support this argument include Leibniz, Kant and Descartes. Conversely, empiricism states that knowledge comes from experience (Lawhead 56). Empiricism supports the idea of posteriori that means that knowledge is dependent solely on experience. Philosophers including Humes, Locke and Berkeley support this idea (Lawhead 59).
According to rationalism, all knowledge is considered to be innate. In other words, we are born with the knowledge to think logically and answer questions. Rationalism tends to be similar to mathematics in so many ways hence requires no knowledge or observation. One of the philosophers that strongly support rationalism is Descartes. He was quite interesting as he employed skepticism to doubt his own knowledge. He doubted everything until he found a single idea that he could not doubt (Lawhead 61). This was his existence. He argued that he could not depend on his senses as there was a demon controlling his thoughts. It can be concluded that Descartes doubted everything but his existence. Being able to think logically and knowing his existence made the argument sound and valid.
Rationalism states that all knowledge comes from the mind. It is concerned with absolute truths that are universally accepted. This is known to be one of the strongest points of this argument (Lawhead 67). This approach encourages all individuals to be rational thinkers and think things through before they accept them to be the truth. On the other hand, it is difficult to apply in every situation in life owing to its abstract nature. Moreover, it sidelines intuition and instinct that are forms of knowledge.
We must have experienced something to know that it exists. How can we know ...
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