While rationalism is mostly known to solely being focused on reason, another definition linking it to epistemology but as a form of theory also exists. The latter definition states that rationalism is ”the idea that some truths of reality, some very important such truths, are known through reason alone”. This means that compared to empiricists , rationalists do believe that through a thought process alone , knowledge CAN be acquired in addition to the one we can get with our sense perception , whereas the empiricists only acknowledge what we can learn from seeing with our eyes, hear with our ears, smell with our nose, taste with our tongue and feel with our hands & skin.
One of the most important Greek philosophers to ever exist, Plato, believed that death was not something to fear. In fact, he believed the total opposite and saw it as a sort of liberation of our souls to acquire pure and true knowledge that was not accessible to us in our ”human” form. He clearly states his opinions concerning the body which he sees as nothing more than a hindrance in the quest of knowing things are they truly are. In Plato’s theory of true forms, he uses the illustration of 3 men and a cave to show how human perception can alter with people who mix knowledge acquired through sense perception (in the cave) from the people who truly see things are they are (outside the cave).
Descartes did not adhere to the “philosophical certainty” given by sense perceptions as it could not always be as accurate as it should. He embodied the acceptance of knowledge through reason alone. He was an outstanding philosopher who heavily relied on his mathematic knowledge to structures his thread of thoughts in philosophy. He was quite upset with all the contradictions and missing link in philosophy, to the point where he stated rules so that one might arrive at ”rationally certain truths” , just like a step-by-step of a mathematical equation to show how one arrived at x answer. The first rule suggests to not accept anything that isn’t undoubtful and that one should always ”avoid precipitation and prejudice in judgement (…)”. The second rule is to ”Divide up each of the difficulties examined in as many parts as possible, and in requisite order for best resolution’ ‘The third one suggests that we “Carry out reflections in due order, starting with the objects which were simplest or easiest to understand, moving to the more complex.”. The 4th one is to make a step-by-step process, just like in mathematic, ”so complete & reviews so general so as to miss nothing.”. He also strongly believed in those two ”mode de pensées” to learn without fear of wrongly thinking: intuition (the faculty by which truths are grasped immediately, without the interference of sense experience or other ideas) and deduction (the faculty which subsequent truths are known with necessity from intuited truths, or from intuited truths taken together with other deducted truths) to. Intuition is the conception of knowing something that just HAS to be by how painfully obvious and easy to understand it is while deduction is a train of thoughts that leads to the obvious. Its an operation of deduction that something Is, with our past knowledge of it, even if it may not be obvious at first. As long as they are deducted from principles that are known to be true and factual..
Chomsky viewed languages as something innate to the human, meaning that the empty blank state (tabula rasa) empiricists claim that humans are born with would not be empty as we get brought into the world. We could define Chomsky’s view of language structure as a sort of universal grammar that predispose everyone to somehow e able to understand, from the start, what is being. According to him, he only reason why we can’t clearly communicate as babies would be because of our lack of knowledge of rule but are still able to kind of understand thanks to inborn structure present in our brains. This is closely linked to Plato’s idea that nothing is learned, it is only remembered” since it states that this whole acquisition of languages and their understanding would be innate.
“Is it not in the course of reflection, if at all, that the soul gets a clear view of facts?”