Philosophical Dialectics : An Essay on Metaphilosophy

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2006-03-02
  • Publisher: State Univ of New York Pr
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While the pursuit of philosophy "of" studies-of science, of art, of politics-has blossomed, the philosophy of philosophy remains a comparatively neglected domain. In this book, Nicholas Rescher fills this gap by offering a study in methodology aimed at providing a clear view of the scope and limits of philosophical inquiry. He argues that philosophy's inability to resolve all of the problems of the field does not preclude the prospect of achieving a satisfactory resolution of many or even most of them. Book jacket.

Author Biography

Nicholas Rescher is University Professor of Philosophy at the University of Pittsburgh.

Table of Contents

Prefacep. vii
Philosophical Principlesp. 1
Philosophical Principlesp. 1
Principles of Informative Adequacyp. 3
Probative Principles of Rational Cogencyp. 5
Principles of Rational Economyp. 7
Issues of Validationp. 10
Dealing with Objectionsp. 14
Aporetic Method in Philosophyp. 17
Consistency and Aporiesp. 17
Some Sample Aporiesp. 19
On Appraising Aporiesp. 21
Enter Distinctionsp. 23
Apory Resolution as Cost-Benefit Analysisp. 24
On Distinctions in Philosophyp. 27
What Distinctions Arep. 27
How Distinctions Failp. 29
Misassimilationp. 31
Historical Backgroundp. 35
The Role of Distinctions in Philosophyp. 36
Philosophical Apories Tie Issues Togetherp. 41
Respect Neglect and Misassimilation as Fallacies of Philosophical Distinctionsp. 45
Respect Neglectp. 45
Simplicityp. 46
Fallacyp. 47
Systemic Interconnectedness and Explanatory Holism in Philosophyp. 51
The Problemp. 51
Summative Featuresp. 52
Fallacies of Composition and Divisionp. 53
Is Existence Mereologically Summative? No-A Whole is More Than Its Partsp. 53
The Analytica/Constructionist Programp. 54
Instances of the Implementation of the Constructionist Programp. 55
Problem Number One: The Fallacy of Termination Presumptionp. 60
Problem Number Two: The Disintegration of Simplicity and the Fallacy of Respect Neglectp. 61
Perspectival Dissonance and Nonamalgamationp. 62
Cognition Is Not Summativep. 63
Reviewp. 65
Externalities and Negative Side Effectsp. 66
Systematic Interconnectedness as a Consequence of Aporetic Complexityp. 71
The Structure of Philosophical Dialecticp. 75
Philosophical Aporeticsp. 75
The Role of Distinctionsp. 78
The Structure of Dialecticp. 81
Developmental Dialecticsp. 84
The Burden of Historyp. 89
The Structure of Philosophical Historyp. 92
Ignorance and Cognitive Horizonsp. 95
Ignorancep. 95
Intractable Questions about the Cognitive Future and Surd Generaltiesp. 97
Insolubilia Then and Nowp. 100
Cognitive Limitsp. 102
Identifying Insolubiliap. 104
Relating Knowledge to Ignorancep. 106
Notesp. 109
Bibliographyp. 115
Indexp. 119
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