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Short description: Philosophical movement

Irrationalism is a philosophical movement that emerged in the early 19th century,[1] emphasizing the non-rational dimension of human life. As they reject logic, irrationalists argue that instinct and feelings are superior to the reason in the research of knowledge.[2][3][4]

Ontological irrationalism, a position adopted by Arthur Schopenhauer, describes the world as not organized in a rational way. Since humans are born as bodies-manifestations of an irrational striving for meaning, they are vulnerable to pain and suffering.[5]

Oswald Spengler argued that the materialist vision of Karl Marx was based on nineteenth-century science, while the twentieth century would be the age of psychology:[6]

"We no longer believe in the power of reason over life. We feel that it is life which dominates reason."
—Oswald Spengler. Politische Schriften, 1932.[7]


György Lukács believed that the first period of irrationalism arose with Schelling and Kierkegaard, in a fight against the dialectical concept of progress embraced by German idealism.[1]