Panrationalism (or comprehensive
rationalism) holds two premises true:
rationalistaccepts any position that can be justified or established by appeal to the rational criteria or authorities.
# He accepts only those positions that can be so justified.
The first problem that needs to be dealt with is: what is the rational criterion or authority that they appeal to? Here the panrationalists diverge into two groups:
# Intellectualists — to whom the rational authority lies in the human intellect, in the faculty of reason.
# Empiricists — to whom the rational authority is achieved by sense experience (such as seeing or hearing).
Descartesis considered the father of intellectualism and gave the illustration "cogito ergo sum" as the paradigm to demonstrate what he believed.
The problem of both these appeals is that:
# Intellectualism is "too wide" by letting too much in (basically everything, in a strict sense). And
Kantradically undermined it in his antinomies.
# Empiricism is "too narrow" in that it excludes too much (basically everything, in a strict sense).
Panrationalism is one of the two main positions of
justificationism, irrationalismbeing the other.
*W. W. Bartley, "The Retreat to Commitment", La Salle; Open Court Publishing Company, 1984.
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