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Rationalism (from Latinratio "reason" or "understanding", derived from radix "root") is one of the 12 fundamental worldviews of which Rudolf Steiner speaks and, in contrast to irrationalism, represents the epistemological standpoint that reality - at least in principle - can be fully fathomed by the combining mind alone, without recourse to empirical data. The opposite position to this is empiricism, for which all knowledge is based on experience. René Descartes is considered the founder of modern rationalism. In the zodiac, rationalism corresponds to the sign of Taurus.

„But someone can think about it and then, after he has been a mathematician, say to himself: This cannot be superstition, that the blue colour has so and so many vibrations. After all, the world is arranged mathematically. Why, if mathematical ideas are realised in the world, should not other ideas also be realised in the world? Such a person assumes that ideas do live in the world. But he only accepts those ideas which he finds, not those ideas which he would grasp from within, for instance, through some intuition or inspiration, but only those which he reads from outwardly sensuous real things. Such a man becomes a rationalist, and his world-view is rationalism. - If, in addition to the ideas which one finds, one also accepts those which one gains from the moral, from the intellectual, then one is already an idealist. Thus a path leads from crude materialism via mathematism and rationalism to idealism.“ (Lit.:GA 151, p. 39)


Für Literatur zu Rationalitätsbegriff und -theorien siehe dort.
  • Laurence BonJour: In Defense of Pure Reason, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, U.K. 1998.
  • Laurence BonJour: A Rationalist Manifesto, in: Canadian Journal of Philosophy Supp. 18 (1992), S. 53–88.
  • John Cottingham: Rationalism, Paladin, London 1984.
  • John Cottingham: The Rationalists, Oxford University Press, Oxford 1988.
  • Willis Doney: Rationalism, in: Southern Journal of Philosophy Supp. 21 (1983), S. 1–14.
  • Anthony Kenny (Hrsg.): Rationalism, Empiricism and Idealism, Oxford University Press, Oxford 1986.
  • Louis E. Loeb: From Descartes to Hume, Continental Metaphysics and the Development of Modern Philosophy, Cornell University Press, Ithaca, New York 1981.
  • Alan Nelson (Hrsg.): A Companion to Rationalism, Blackwell, Oxford 2005.
  • Christopher Peacocke: Three Principles of Rationalism, in: European Journal of Philosophy 10 (2002), S. 375–397.
  • Rainer Specht (Hrsg.): Rationalismus (Geschichte der Philosophie in Text und Darstellung (hg. Rüdiger Bubner), Bd. 5), Reclam, Stuttgart 1979, Neuausgabe 2002. Eine Auswahl repräsentativer Quellentexte mit einführenden Erläuterungen.
  • Rudolf Steiner: Der menschliche und der kosmische Gedanke, GA 151 (1990), ISBN 3-7274-1510-X English: rsarchive.org German: pdf pdf(2) html mobi epub archive.org
References to the work of Rudolf Steiner follow Rudolf Steiner's Collected Works (CW or GA), Rudolf Steiner Verlag, Dornach/Switzerland, unless otherwise stated.
Email: verlag@steinerverlag.com URL: www.steinerverlag.com.
Index to the Complete Works of Rudolf Steiner - Aelzina Books
A complete list by Volume Number and a full list of known English translations you may also find at Rudolf Steiner's Collected Works
Rudolf Steiner Archive - The largest online collection of Rudolf Steiner's books, lectures and articles in English.
Rudolf Steiner Audio - Recorded and Read by Dale Brunsvold
steinerbooks.org - Anthroposophic Press Inc. (USA)
Rudolf Steiner Handbook - Christian Karl's proven standard work for orientation in Rudolf Steiner's Collected Works for free download as PDF.