non-rational (not comparable)

  1. Contrary to reason; lacking an appropriate or sufficient reason; irrational.
    • 2005, Irfan Habib, "How to Evade Real Issues and Make Room for Obscurantism," Social Scientist, vol. 33, no. 9/10, p. 7:
      Indeed, the tirade against information in effect serves to justify the constriction of the area of rationality and scientific approach, in order to find room for all kinds of non-rational sources of "knowledge."
  2. Lacking the ability to reason.
    • 1898, S. S. Laurie, "The Growth of Mind," The School Review, vol. 6, no. 2, p. 83n:
      But what of non-rational beings—the animal or infant-man of attuition?
  3. (often, philosophy) Not within the domain of what can be understood or analyzed by reason; outside the competence of the rules of reason.
    • 1959, Thomas Munro, "Art and Scientific Technology," Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, vol. 19, no. 3, p. 400:
      In the total artistic process the two phases—rational and non-rational, planful and inspirational—may be successive or simultaneous.
    • 1974, John Douglas, "Daedalus on the Challenges to Science," Science News, vol. 106, no. 6 (Aug. 10), p. 92:
      Holton, a Harvard physicist and science historian, introduces us to the two extremist factions he sees attacking science from both sides: the "new Dionysians" who would widen the spectrum of scientific knowledge to include nonrational experience and the "new Apollonians" who would restrict scientific investigation to dealing only with those questions that seem to guarantee rational solution from the outset.
    • 1996, Paul Gewirtz, "On ‘I Know It When I See It’," The Yale Law Journal, vol. 105, no. 4, p. 1036:
      Although some nonrational elements may be inconsistent with legal ideals, others—emotions and intuitions of certain types, imagination, judgment, rhetorical persuasiveness (considered below)—are fully consistent with those ideals.
  4. (economics, social sciences, public policy) Not based on one's own interests; inconsistent with utility maximization.
    • 1896, Edward A. Ross, "The Location of Industries," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, vol. 10, no. 3, p. 247:
      In the nature of things there must be causes that explain why an industrial enterprise—mill, factory, foundry, dairy, refinery—is located at just this or that place, and not somewhere else. Some of these causes are non-rational, such as accident and caprice. . . . The remaining causes are rational and economic; that is, the selected locality is deemed to offer certain advantages in production or marketing.
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