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The word logos was used in Greek philosophy to refer to rationality. Logos was adopted by the Romans as ratio, which became rationality in English. Rationality, like ethics, is considered a uniquely human characteristic, a characteristic that distinguishes humans from other life-forms. Aristotle used logos to describe humans as rational animals, animals that are capable of knowing in the cognitive and moral sense. This Aristotelean notion of the interdependency between rationality and ethics is a characteristic broadly accepted in classical Greek philosophy.

In Roman and medieval times, rationality was associated with religious thought and belief. This association was severed during the Renaissance and the Enlightenment, when the relationship between ethics and religion was questioned. As a consequence, rationality became the characteristic of autonomous persons who possessed ...

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