Leibniz - a Common Rationalist. The Empirical Approach of Rationalism Ursula Goldenbaum Because of Kant’s critique of Rationalism we tend to conceive of Rationalism and Empiricism as the two schools of early modern philosophy which are brought together by Kant’s Transcendental philosophy. This view suggests that empiricism was interested especially in experience whereas rationalism ignored experience and argued merely by reason as mathematics does. As long as the interest in Leibniz was focused above all on his logic there was no strong opportunity to become aware of his intensive efforts to develop a methodological approach to experience for various empirical sciences as other rationalists did as well. It was only within the last few years that the methodological rationalistic approach to experience was rediscovered. Now some scholars even want to claim that Leibniz wasn’t at all that strong a rationalist or at least that he developed two different levels of rationality, a weak and a strong reason. I want to show that rationalism was concerned from its very beginning with a methodological approach to experience and that it was rationalist philosophers like Spinoza, Leibniz and Wolff who developed a strong concept of experience whereas empiricists such as Locke appealed to experience but without any strong concept of experience.
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