irrationalism


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irrationalism

See RATIONALISM.

Irrationalism

 

the designation for idealistic currents in philosophy that, as opposed to rationalism, restrict or deny the possibilities of reason in cognition and base their understanding of the world on something irrational, that is, inaccessible to reason or alien to it, asserting the illogical and irrational character of existence itself. The concept “irrationalism” refers to all the different philosophical systems and currents that accentuate one or another aspect of man’s spiritual life that lie outside the rational, such as will (in voluntarism), direct contemplation, feeling, and intuition (in intuitionism), mystical “illumination,” imagination, instinct, or the “unconscious.” All religious and religiophilosophical teachings are in their basic content irration-alistic, even though in their further interpretation they use the forms of rational thinking.

Irrationalism, with its deprecation or negation of rational cognition, must be distinguished from agnosticism, which asserts the complete and fundamental impossibility of objective knowledge of the world.

Irrationalist currents in the most general sense can be traced through the entire history of philosophy: they are characteristic, for example, of medieval mysticism, which, in contrast to the rationalistic claims of Scholasticism, saw the way to attaining god in suprarational contemplation and feeling. Irrationalism in the narrow sense of the term designates those currents of bourgeois philosophy that developed in opposition to modern rationalism. For example, there are the “philosophy of feeling and faith” of F. H. Jacobi, which opposes Enlightenment rationalism, the “philosophy of revelation” of F. W. von Schelling’s last period, the voluntaristic conceptions of A. Schopenhauer (Germany), and the doctrines of S. Kierkegaard (Denmark), which are a unique reaction to the idealistic rationalism of German classical philosophy and, in particular, Hegelian panlogism. The most prominent irrationalists in the mid-19th century were F. Nietzsche, the founder of the philosophy of life, and E. Hart-mann (Germany), with his “philosophy of the unconscious.”

Irrationalist tendencies spread widely because of the crisis of bourgeois society and its culture in the late 19th and early 20th century. Irrationalism is particularly apparent in such currents as the philosophy of life (W. Dilthey, Germany; H. Bergson, France) and existentialism (M. Heidegger, Germany), but irrationalistic currents are also typical of other directions of modern bourgeois philosophy (for example, some varieties of neopositivism). Irrationalism is in direct contradiction to Marxist-Leninist philosophy, which takes a scientific and materialistic world view.

References in periodicals archive ?
The latter is a dig at his family's desire to have their home stay always the same; the former contrasts two forms of idolatry (rationalistic and irrationalistic, scientific and superstitious) rather than, as Ames remembers, rationalistic materialism and idolatrous irrationalism.
215-216) Furthermore, the supposed irrationalism in Kuhn's view of scientific change is based on taking Kuhn's social history of science as an externalist account of scientific change.
His topics include rationalism and irrationalism in Poland, the rise of many-valued logic in Poland, formal metaphilosophy in Finland, an introduction to the history of epistemology, and Polish logic.
The opposite of rationalism for Oakeshott is not irrationalism but authentic practical reasonableness.
As bishop, he further dedicated himself in service to the Church, and he was most pained by instances of irrationalism in the intellectual life of the Church.
On the other hand, Afghanistan is the kingdom of barbarism, fanaticism, backwardness, and irrationalism.
Examles of the doscourse about theater include such as Verdadeiro metodo de estudar by Luis Antonio de Verney, who condemns the lack of verisimilitude and the irrationalism pertaining to the Spanish influence or in Arte poetica ou regras da verdadeira poesia by Francisco Jose Freire who resisted the return to Aristotelean orthodoxy, or in Oracoes e Dissertacoes by Correia Garcao, who referred to Greek and Roman theatre as the only source of tradition and good taste (see Bello 13154).
Pasolini proposes despair as the only mode of revolt, but individual, non-codified despair, with the awareness that this attitude cannot be codified in extreme forms of protest, leading to the "devilish coincidence of irrationalism and pragmatism," that is, to fascism (of the right or of the left) (Bazzocchi, I burattini filosofi 75).
Therefore, these two men sought to immunize human beings through an approach which perceives the past as a historical and social evolution in certain circumstances, while rejecting irrationalism that cannot detect the drastic change affecting these circumstances.
But they do apparently make common cause with a related version of this irrationalism, namely, folk wisdom and populist pursuits or, even, populist vulgarity.
One of the cruder epistemological outcomes of the conquest of African space and time under the Berlin consensus was the promulgation of the doctrine of Western rationalism and African irrationalism.
Thus irrationalism need not be irrational: rationalism is a conjecture about rationality that is open to criticism (1966, 227-31; Bartley 1984, 109-36, 247-60).