Difference Between Logical and Rational

Logical vs Rational

We often talk about others, saying they are not rational, or they are not logical. Most of us hardly pay attention to the use of these two words and often treat them as synonyms. Rational and logical are also words used for situations and conditions to emphasize the fact that they are not confusing and against the logic. However, the fact is that rationality and logic are two very different words having entirely different meanings. This article attempts to highlight the differences between logical and rational.


Anyone who is termed as rational makes use of reason. A man who uses his intellect and is not guided by emotion or feelings is said to be a rational person. Judges in courtrooms try to arrive at their verdict being rational as they cannot depend or follow their emotions while trying to do justice. Rationality is a virtue that allows a person to think and behave in an orderly fashion. However, rational behavior is a result of past experiences, perceptions, and the knowledge base of a person. In real life, rational people are also the people who are perceived as being very reasonable. They are also considered intelligent as they are able to see both the emotional, as well as the logical side of an argument.


Something that follows the principles of logic is said to be logical. Even a person is said to be logical if his actions are coherent and make sense. Anything that is logical follows a sequence of events that arrive at the best solution of a problem in the most efficient manner. A logical person is seen as having scientific views and his actions are based upon facts. Math and science are two subjects that are based upon logical reasoning. However, apart from formulae and calculations done in science, there is much in science that is based upon rational thinking to cobble loose ends of a theory together.

Logical vs Rational

• Logical and rational are similar but not interchangeable.

• Math is logical as there is no other way to arrive at a conclusion or the correct answer other than following logical steps.

• Science is mostly logical though there are areas in science that are rational only.

• Man is limited by his five senses of experience, but if we are not able to experience something it does not mean it is irrational.

• If someone is rational, we believe he is a thinking and reasonable man, not susceptible to emotions and feelings.

• Logical reasoning is required to cobble together pieces of evidence to prove the guilt of a suspect in a crime.

• A person can be irrational, whereas it is his beliefs that are illogical.

• Logical reasoning is scientific reasoning based upon facts.

  • signek

    Well said. Thank you.