In contrast with their British empiricist contemporaries, the continental rationalists argued that knowledge does not come primarily through the senses, but through reason. The mind, they argued, contains innate ideas. These innate ideas are the foundation for, and structure of, knowledge. In order to attain truth, one must apply reason to these innate ideas. Consequently, one does not need direct experience of reality to achieve knowledge. Behind this theory was the belief in a common substance out of which all things are formed. Since the rationalist mind is also made from this substance, it shares the same basic structure. It is this shared structure that allows the mind to acquire knowledge of everything else.
The Classics in Rationalist Philosophy Collection includes the key works of the primary continental rationalists: René Descartes, Baruch Spinoza, and Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz. These three thinkers were in constant dialogue with each other’s ideas. Logos’ tagged words and concepts allow you to cross-reference these ideas as key words and concepts are tagged; with a click, you can see the exact part of Descartes’ dualism that Leibniz rejects. Moreover, these works are linked with the rest of your Logos library, allowing you to compare the rationalists and empiricists for yourself. Every word is indexed for near-instant searches.
Interested in modern philosophy? The Classics in Rationalist Philosophy Collection is also available in the Modern Philosophy Research Library (69 vols.) at a significant discount!