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From the Latin ratio, meaning reason
Understanding the world through reason


René Descartes (1596-1650) Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (1646-1716) BaruchSpinoza (1632-1677)

We can best understand the world through logic and reasoning

Key Notions

1. A Priori Knowledge – “Some ideas are true independent of experience”
Knowledgewhich is independent of experience must be more trustworthy because it has less do to with the senses.
a. Mathematical propositions (2 + 2 = 4)
b. Things which are true by definition.
c.Self-evident truths (“God exists”)
2. Innate ideas – “Some things cannot be conceived of as otherwise.
Do not require he proof or suggestions of sense experience are concepts which arepresent from birth.
Truths about God: That He exists and is good.
3. Logical necessity – “Some things cannot be conceived of as otherwise”
When something is logically necessary it is true bydefinition.
“All bachelors are unmarried”

Problems with this view

Plato: certain types of knowledge are innate

1. How is it possible to distinguish between “remembering” and“learning”?

2. How could it be said that a child knows that “all the internal angles of a triangle add up to 180 degrees?
3. If mathematical ideas were innate, wouldn´t we already know theanswer to complicated sums?
4. If ideas such as “Good exists” are innate, why doesn´t everyone believe that?

Critical Rationalism
A strand of philosophy that considers the nature of problemsand their solutions. It encourages a style of thinking that addresses real problems in a practical way, leading to real solutions.

In practice CR offers:

1. Guidance in acquiring newinformation
2. Assessing the validity of information offered by others
3. Taking actions to solve problems using the information that is to hand

It doesn´t offer a solution to...
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