User:LGreg/sandbox/Approaches to Knowledge (LG seminar)/Group 1/History/Notes on rationalism

Just a few words about history of rationalism across the disciplines from The Social Animal, David Brooks

Rationalism and reason have prevailed in Ancient Greece. According to Plato, the soul was divided in three: the reason, the spirit and appetite, reason seeking for truth, spirit recognition and glory and appetite for bas pleasures. After the fall of the Roman Empire passions commanded until the Renaissance. Reason dominated once again with development of science and accounting. This lead to the evolution of rational thinking and methodology in all disciplines during the seventeenth century. This method relied on a scientific language with the aim of achieving a lawlike generalisation of human behaviour.

This method seeking for truth had appeared to be highly efficient for science subjects like physics or biology, but more disputable for social sciences. They created models in order to predict human actions in many fields such as politics, international relations or management. It brought some sort of certainty while reducing some phenomena by working on assumptions. It focuses essentially on conscious cognition and not on the unconscious being impossible to rationalise, which explains why the rationalist method does not fit well in these disciplines. As they are based on human behaviour and thus on the unconscious mind, rationalism cannot be used to explain and understand humans truthfully.