The good man is the perfectly rational or perfect self-consistent man; and that is a full account of virtue, though Kant professes to re-interpret it still further in a much more positive sense as implying the service of humanity.
What the modern empiricist needs is a rational bond uniting the individual with the community or with the aggregate of individuals - a rational principle distinguishing high pleasures from low, sanctioning benevolence, and giving authority to moral generalizations drawn from conditions that are past and done with.
Of course once more Hume saves himself by strong professions of admiration for rational or natural religion.
If this tendency is to take effect, a certain part of Kant's rational scepticism must be accepted.
Kant puts together, as belonging to " Rational Theology," three arguments - he is critic of fond of triads, though they have not the significance for him which they came to have for Hegel.
Ultimately, he argues, if not immediately, there must be a rational cause to account for so rational an effect.
The investigation of these may raise and solve interesting physiological problems, but throw no light on the facts and genetic relationship which a rational explanation of distribution requires.
Pascal and other members of Port Royal openly expressed their doubts about the place allowed to God in the system; the adherents of Gassendi met it by resuscitating atoms; and the Aristotelians maintained their substantial forms as of old; the Jesuits argued against the arguments for the being of God, and against the theory of innate ideas; whilst Pierre Daniel Huet (1630-1721), bishop of Avranches, once a Cartesian himself, made a vigorous onslaught on the contempt in which his former comrades held literature and history, and enlarged on the vanity of all human aspirations after rational truth.
Rational system is the first and last word in this philosophy.
With all its idealism, Greek thought had difficulty in regarding rational necessity as absolute master of the physical world.
The critics of Aquinas - Duns Scotus and the later Nominalists - show some tendency towards rational scepticism.
The Rational Psychology formulates immortality on the ground that the immaterial soul has no parts to suffer decay - the argument which Kant's Critique of Pure Reason " refutes" with special reference to the statement of it by Moses Mendelssohn.
There must be a God, who could compel irrational matter to serve rational ends - so ran the old argument.
The formative principle or force of the world is said to contain the several rational germinal forms of things.
The whole world is represented by the figure of a tree, of which the seeds and roots are the first indeterminate matter, the leaves the accidents, the twigs and branches corruptible creatures, the blossoms the rational soul, and the fruit pure spirits or angels.
This moral development is regarded as a gradual approach to that rational, social and political state in which will be realized the greatest possible quantity of liberty.
It is not exactly an attempt to base Christian faith on rational scepticism.
This group of ideas culminated in the Logos of Philo, expressing the world of divine ideas which God first of all creates and which becomes the mediating and formative power between the absolute and transcendent deity and passive formless matter, transmuted thereby into a rational, ordered universe.
The distinguishing characteristic of scholasticism is the acceptance by reason of a given matter, the truth of which is independent of rational grounds, and which remains a presupposition even when it cannot be understood.
In either case it is of course open to anyone to maintain that the apparent completeness of synthesis really rests on the subtle intrusion of elements of feeling into the rational process.
Morgan sums up a discussion on Lubbock's experiments in which the ants failed to utilize particles of earth for bridge-making, with the suggestive remark that " What these valuable experiments seem to show is that the ant, probably the most intelligent of all insects, has no claim to be regarded as a rational being."
Among the great variety of problems solved are problems leading to determinate equations of the first degree in one, two, three or four variables, to determinate quadratic equations, and to indeterminate equations of the first degree in one or more variables, which are, however, transformed into determinate equations by arbitrarily assuming a value for one of the required numbers, Diophantus being always satisfied with a rational, even if fractional, result and not requiring a solution in integers.
But the bulk of the work consists of problems leading to indeterminate equations of the second degree, and these universally take the form that one or two (and never more) linear or quadratic functions of one variable x are to be made rational square numbers by finding a suitable value for x.
A more rational system of cropping now began to take the place of the thriftless and barbarous practice of sowing successive crops of corn until the land was utterly exhausted, and then leaving it foul with weeds to recover its power by an indefinite period of rest.
In Canada and the United States this rational employment of a leguminous crop for ploughing in green is largely resorted to for the amelioration of worn-out wheat lands and other soils, the condition of which has been lowered to an unremunerative level by the repeated growth year after year of a cereal crop. The well-known paper of Lawes, Gilbert and Pugh (1861), " On the Sources of the Nitrogen of Vegetation,.
But, while in all these doctrines he appears in the character of a Platonic philosopher, traces of rational criticism are not wanting.
He lays it down that man, so far as he is rational, is to himself his own object of thought.
For the motive which may be said to be its cause lies in the man himself, and the identification of the self with such a motive is a self-determination, which is at once both rational and free.
Accordingly a selection of particular plants to breed from, because they possess certain desirable characteristics, is as rational as the selection of particular animals for breeding purposes in order to maintain the character of a herd of cattle or of a flock of sheep.
R-II): he had houses, vineyards, gardens, parks, ponds, forests, servants, flocks and herds, treasures of gold and silver, singers, wives; all these he set himself to enjoy in a rational way - indeed, he found a certain pleasure in carrying out his designs, but, when all was done, he surveyed it only to see that it was weary and unprofitable.
To Bolkonski so many people appeared contemptible and insignificant creatures, and he so longed to find in someone the living ideal of that perfection toward which he strove, that he readily believed that in Speranski he had found this ideal of a perfectly rational and virtuous man.