Page:EB1911 - Volume 22.djvu/934

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917
RATISBONNE—RATITAE

very different from

Rationalism within

from that which is

much as it accepts

that of the early and medieval Church.

the Christian Church differs, however,

commonly understood by the term, inasas

revealed the fundamental facts of its

creed. Thoroughgoing rationalism, on the other hand, either categorically denies that the supernatural or the infinite whether it exist or not-can be the object of human knowledge (see AGNOSTICISM), or else, in the mouth of a single person, states that he at least has no such knowledge. In addition to the difficulties presented by the Bible as an historical record, and the literary problems which textual and other critics have investigated, the modern freethinker denies that the Christianity of the New Testament or its interpretation by modern theologians affords a coherent theory of human life and duty. Apart from the general use of the term for a particular attitude towards religion, two more technical uses require notice: (i) the purely philosophical, (ii) the theological. (i) Philosophical rationalism is that theory of knowledge which maintains that reason is in and by itself a source of knowledge, and that knowledge so derived has superior authority over knowledge acquired through sensation. This view is opposed to the various systems which regard the mind as a labula rasa (blank tablet) in which the outside world as it were imprints itself through the senses. ' The opposition between rationalism and sensationalism is, however, rarely so simple and direct, inasmuch as many thinkers (e.g. Locke) have admitted both sensation and reflection. Such philosophies are called rationalist or sensationalist according as they lay emphasis specially on the function of reason or that of the senses. More generally, philosophic rationalism is opposed to empirical theories of knowledge, inasmuch as it regards all true knowledge as deriving deductively from fundamental elementary concepts. This attitude may be studied in Descartes, Leibnitz and Wolff. It is based on Descartes' fundamental principle that 'knowledge must be clear, and seeks to give to philosophy the certainty and demonstrative character of mathematics, from the a priori principle of which all its claims are derived. The attack made by David Hume on the causal relation led directly to the new rationalism of Kant, who argued that it was wrong to regard thought as mere analysis. A priori concepts there are, but if they are to lead to the amplification of knowledge, they must be brought into relation with empirical data.

(ii) The term “rationalism” in the narrow theological sense is specially used of the doctrines held by a school of German theologians and Biblical scholars which was prominent roughly between 174O and 1836. This rationalism within the Church was a theological manifestation of the intellectual movement known as the Enlightenment (Aufklarung), and must be studied in closing connexion with the purely philosophical rationalism already discussed. It owed much to the English deists, to the Pietistic movement, and to the French esprils forts who had already made a vigorous attack on the supernatural origin of the Scriptures. The crux of the difficulty was the doctrine of the supernatural, the relation between revealed and. natural religion. The first great rationalist leader was ]. S. Semler (q.'v.), who held that true religion springs from the individual soul, and attacked the authority of the Bible in a comprehensive spirit of criticism. He ultimately reached a point at which the Bible became for him simply one of many ancient documents. At the same time he did not impugn the authority of the Church, which he regarded as useful in maintaining external unity. Among those who followed in Semler's path were Gruner Ernesti, ]. D. Michaelis, Griesbach, ]. G. Eichhorn. This spirit was exhibited on the philosophical side by Kant who in his Die Religion innerhalb der Grenzen der blossen Vernunft (1793) set forth his doctrine of rational morality (Vernunflglauben) as the only true religion. These two great rationalist movements, the critical and the philosophical, ultimately led to, or were accompanied by, the gradual reduction of religion to a system of morals based at the most on two or three fundamental religious principles. This is the rationalism known as ralionalismus vulgaris, the period of which is practically from 1800 to 1833. Among its exponents were Wegscheider, Bretschneider and H. E. G. Paulus (qq.v.). The general attitude of German theology, however, became gradually more and more hostile, and the works of Schleiermacher, though ina sense themselves rationalist, renewed the general desire for a positive Christianity. Hase's H ullerus Redivivus, an exposition of orthodoxy in the light of modern development, called forth a final exposition of the rationalist position by Rohr. From that time the school as such ceased to have a real existence, though the results of its work are traceable more or less in all modern Biblical criticism, and its influence upon the attitude of modern .theologians and Biblical critics can scarcely be overestimated.

See Standlin, 'Geschichle des Ralionalismus (Gottingen, 1826); Hase, T heolngische Slreilschriften in Gesarnmelte Werke, viii. (1892); Rtickert, Der Rationalisrnus (1859); Tholuck, Vorgeschichle des Rat. (1853-1861) and Geschichte:les Rat. (1865); Ritschl, Christ. Lehre von der Reckgerligung, &c. (1870), vol. i.; Benn, History of Ralionalisrn (1906). See also histories of philosophy and theology in the Igth century, and the valuable article 5.11. by O. Kirn in Herzog-Hauck, Realencyk. xvi. (1905).


RATISBONNE, LOUIS GUSTAVE FORTUNÉ (1827-1900), French man of letters, was born at Strassburg on the 29th of July 1827. He studied at the school of his native town and at the College Henry IV. in Paris. He was connected with the Journal des Débats from 1853 to 1876; became librarian of the palace of Fontainebleau in 1871, and three years later to the Senate. Louis Ratisbonne's most important work was a verse translation of the 'Divina Cornrnedia, in which the original is rendered tercet by tercet into French. L'Enfer (1852) was crowned by the Academy; Le Purgatoire (18 57) and Le Paradis 1859) received the prix Bordin. He is also the author of some charming fables and verses for children: La Cornédie en fan line (1860), Les Figures jeunes (1865) and others. He was literary executor of Alfred de Vigny, whose Deslinées (1864) and Journal d'un poele (1867) he published. Ratisbonne died in Paris on the 24th of September 1900.


RATITAE (from Lat. ralis, a raft), the name given by B. Merrem (Abh. Ale. Wiss., Berlin, 1812-1813; Phys. Kl., p. 259) to the “ flat-breasted birds, ” in opposition to the Carinatae, or those which normally possess a keeled sternum. In thus dividing the birds into two great equivalent groups, he was followed only by C. L. Nitzsch (1829), T. H. Huxley (1867), P. L. Sclater (1880), A. Newton (1884), R. B. Sharpe (1891), whilst inmost of the other numerous classifications the Ratitae (vicariously named Struthiones, Cursores, Brevipennes, Proceres) were treated as of much lower rank.

A diagnosis covering all the Ratitae (slrulhiv, rhea, easuarius, drornaeus, apleryx and the allied fossils dinornis and aepyarnis) would be as follows-(i) terrestrial birds without keel to the sternum, absolutely flightless; (ii) quadrate bone with a single proximal articulating knob; (iii) coracoid and scapula fused together and forming an open angle; (iv) normally without a pygostyle; (v) with an incisura ischiadica; (vi) rhamphotheca compound; (vii) without apteria or bare spaces in the plumage; (viii) with a complete copulatory organ, moved by' skeletal muscles.

The separation of the Ratitae from the other birds, and their seemingly fundamental differences, notably the absence of the keel and of the power of flight, induced certain authors to go so far as to derive the Ratitae from the Dinosaurian reptiles, whilst Arrhaeopteryx (q.'v.) and the Carinatae were supposed to have sprung from some Pterosaurian or similar reptilian stock. Such vagaries require no refutation. But it is quite another question, whether the “ Ratitae ” form a natural group. Sir R. Owen was the first (Comp. Anal. and Physiol. of Vertebrates, ii. 1866) to indicate that the various Ratitae might be referable to various natural groups of the Carinatae. A. W. Forbes likewise had doubts about them. B. Lindsay (P. Z. S., 1885, pp. 684-716, pls. lii.-lv.) found vestiges of a keel in a young rhea, and apteria in the embryonic ostrich, and she concluded that they were descendants of birds which originally possessed