Empiricism vs. Rationalism

In another thread, WJM writes:

Also, when I say I must accept such a prioris in order to even hope to deliberately establish a rational worldview, that means that without such premises, reason (logic) itself breaks down into nonsense.

WJM is laying out the case for rationalism.  Typically, rationalism is described as assuming innate knowledge.  However, some instead assume a priori knowledge.  Thanks to WJM, I now have an inkling on what might be intended by “a priori knowledge.”

The opposing philosophical position is that of empiricism, that knowledge comes through the senses.  Most of those posting here (self included) seem to be empiricists, while WJM is clearly standing for some version of rationalism.

This is intended as a stub topic, to allow comments specifically addressing the rationalism vs. empiricism debate.

William Lane Craig

is on a debate tour of Britain.  Apparently Polly Toynbee pulled out of debating him.  I heard on Uncommon Descent that a replacement had been found. (I’d emailed WLC to volunteer myself! – but I guess it has to be Somebody.)

I’m starting this thread to house any comments about the tour and the debate.

Religion’s misguided missiles

Nearly ten years ago, on the 15th September, 2001, I read this piece in the Guardian, by Richard Dawkins.

I was a theist then, a catholic, in fact, by conversion, in my early twenties, having been baptized in the Episcopal Church of Scotland, sung at matins every Sunday until from age 8 to 11, sent to a Quaker boarding school, where I was devout, if rebellious, and became a Friend, later being confirmed at a High Church Anglican church in Devon, and finally, having married a catholic, feeling I had “come home” to the catholic church.

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