Rational knowledge features and examples

Rational knowledge is that which involves all intellectual experiences apprehended through observation and reflection on the nature of objects that belong to empirical reality. Consequently, it is broad because it ranges from physical-chemical disciplines to philosophical and logical reflections.

First, it is necessary to establish that knowledge can be defined as a type of cognitive certainty; therefore, when we speak of rational knowledge, we are referring to the attainment or possession of an intellectual content that was conceived through reason and logic.

According to several philosophers, all human knowledge can be classified as rational, since “knowing” is a human activity, which is a rational entity. That is, knowledge as a concept is a product of the human being, who is a rational animal; therefore, all knowledge is rational.

Man, as the only animal endowed with consciousness, constructed language as a means of communication and learning; for example, the use of a language or script based on an arbitrary system of signs (alphabet) involves a rational effort. For this reason, the knowledge born of this language and this writing will always be rational.

Other thinkers claim that there is a distinction between rational knowledge and knowledge itself. According to this theoretical line, it differs from the rest of cognitive experiences because it must not be disturbed by man’s emotions, intuitions, sensations or subjective values.

With this in mind, it is prudent to question what rationality consists of. Some experts guarantee that it is a capability that allows improvements through the application of a logical-mathematical structure. Likewise, all mental construction requires rational applications if consistency and objectivity are to be maintained.

One of the components of rational knowledge is logic, which can be defined as a form of argumentative rationality. Within this theoretical postulate, logic and reason are intertwined to obtain rational knowledge. Another elementary factor to understand this knowledge is argumentation, which seeks to demonstrate a proposition.


In order to enumerate and explain the characteristics of rational knowledge, it is first necessary to take into account the characteristics of knowledge taken as a generic concept.

-Characteristics of knowledge as a generic concept

cultural dimension

All human knowledge has a remarkably cultural dimension, not only in its origin, but also in its formation and application.

Objective and intercommunicative dimension

Most of the knowledge can be expressed through language, which allows them to acquire a codified, intercommunicative and objective dimension; This guarantees its transmission, conservation and interpretation among different individuals, cultures and languages.

Interaction of the individual in society

Knowledge often encompasses human interactions, resulting in concepts closely related to culture.

That is, knowledge is related to the participation of man in his environment, taking into account other aspects, such as creativity and experience.


After defining these elements, the characteristics that are characteristic of rational knowledge can be raised. These are as follows:

Rational knowledge as analytical and logical

In general terms, it is essentially analytical and logical: its information is logically constituted and follows the content equally through logic. It is an isolated knowledge of emotions and feelings.

Species of synthetic knowledge

Rational knowledge is purely synthetic, which means that the understanding of rational knowledge depends on and derives from experience; Also, it is based on induction.


There are several categories and examples of rational knowledge, which are divided into disciplines or intellectual areas.

In the same way, the different subtypes of rational knowledge are linked by the fact that they are all engaged in the search for truth through a representation or interpretation of that same reality.

According to this approach, it is possible to list the following examples of rational knowledge:

Scientific knowledge

This branch of knowledge arises as a result of rational, methodical and systematic efforts, which require social and collective research, as they seek answers and explanations for specific problems.

In turn, scientific knowledge also seeks to offer us an adequate or correct interpretation of the universe. For example, this can be seen in the disciplines of physics, mathematics and geometry, because they are systematic and methodical forms of knowledge.

philosophical knowledge

This knowledge tries to encompass the knowledge itself through the use of logic and reason; Thanks to this, philosophical knowledge is part of rational knowledge.

In addition, philosophical knowledge also seeks to understand the universe as a whole of meaning, which leads to the breadth of general perspectives of any knowledge through criticism of its own precepts or foundations.

For example, Plato’s or Aristotle’s approaches to the origin of things can be considered as philosophical knowledge; The proposals of authors such as Descartes in his work The Discourse on Method and Machiavelli in his text The Prince are also philosophical knowledge .

Practical knowledge

Like scientific and philosophical knowledge, practical knowledge is a form of learning guided by reason. However, they differ from the two previous ones in that they do not remain in the theoretical aspect, but advocate a more practical notion.

That is, practical knowledge is oriented towards the performance of an action with the aim of achieving an end. Due to the complexity of this category, other variations can be derived, such as political, artistic and economic knowledge.

For example, practical knowledge is everything that pertains to the foundation and organization or hierarchy of social power. Subjects covering economic production or home economics are also practical knowledge.

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