Romanticism Vs. Rationalism

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 12th grade November 2001

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It would be difficult for me to generally categorize myself as a rationalist or a romantic. I have a tinge of style from both factions. For example, rationalism says that we can logically reconstruct society to represent rationally derived values. We need not be bound by the dead hand of the traditional past. But romanticism says that society and history is the process of organic development and growth. The past is interwoven with the present, and forms one fabric. There is no such thing as a totally new order because one must build on the past, not on abstract principles as of rationalism. If I am a rationalist I will only be looking toward my future instead of looking to wisdoms of the past, but I am not. I look back to the past to learn, to reason, and to understand because the events of the past are fascinating. I use these facts and logics to broaden my imagination in order to get a more perception of the future.

Rationalism has in common an idea of linear progress of humankind toward a utopia, a progress guided by reason. I values reason as a prominent step of philosophy. Romanticism is precisely placed neither in choice of subjects nor in exact truth, but in a way of feeling. For me, romanticism is an expression of the beautiful. If I use romanticism to express my view to art then the word romanticism is to say arts that are intimacy, spirituality, creativity, color, and aspiration towards the infinite, expressed by every ways available to the arts. Overall, I am nearer to be a rationalist then of a romantic.