Philosophical Dialectics: An Essay on Metaphilosophy

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SUNY Press, Jun 1, 2007 - Philosophy - 128 pages
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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.
 

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Contents

Philosophical Principles
1
Principles of Informative Adequacy
3
Probative Principles of Rational Cogency
5
Principles of Rational Economy
7
Issues of Validation
10
Dealing with Objections
14
Aporetic Method in Philosophy
17
Some Sample Apories
19
Instances of the Implementation of the Constructionist Program
55
The Fallacy of Termination Presumption
60
The Disintegration of Simplicity and the Fallacy of Respect Neglect
61
Perspectival Dissonance and Nonamalgamation
62
Cognition Is Not Summative
63
Review
65
Externalities and Negative Side Effects
66
Systematic Interconnectedness as a Consequence of Aporetic Complexity
71

On Appraising Apories
21
Enter Distinctions
23
Apory Resolution as CostBenefit Analysis
24
On Distinctions in Philosophy
27
How Distinctions Fail
29
Misassimilation
31
Historical Background
35
The Role of Distinctions in Philosophy
36
Philosophical Apories Tie Issues Together
41
Respect Neglect and Misassimilation as Fallacies of Philosophical Distinctions
45
Simplicity
46
Fallacy
47
Systemic Interconnectedness and Explanatory Holism in Philosophy
51
Summative Features
52
Fallacies of Composition and Division
53
The AnalyticalConstructionist Program
54
The Structure of Philosophical Dialectic
75
The Role of Distinctions
78
The Structure of Dialectic
81
Developmental Dialectics
84
The Burden of History
89
The Structure of Philosophical History
92
Ignorance and Cognitive Horizons
95
Intractable Questions about the Cognitive Future and Surd Generalities
97
Insolubilia Then and Now
100
Cognitive Limits
102
Identifying Insolubilia
104
Relating Knowledge to Ignorance
106
Notes
109
Bibliography
115
Name Index
119
Copyright

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About the author (2007)

Nicholas Rescher is University Professor of Philosophy at the University of Pittsburgh. He is the author of more than one hundred books, including Epistemology: An Introduction to the Theory of Knowledge; Realistic Pragmatism: An Introduction to Pragmatic Philosophy; Predicting the Future: An Introduction to the Theory of Forecasting; Process Metaphysics: An Introduction to Process Philosophy; and Dialectics: A Controversy-Oriented Approach to the Theory of Knowledge; all published by SUNY Press. Among his many achievements, he is former president of the American Philosophical Association and recipient of the Alexander von Humboldt Prize for Humanistic Scholarship.

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