The Strife of Systems: An Essay on the Grounds and Implications of Philosophical Diversity

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University of Pittsburgh Pre, May 15, 1985 - Philosophy - 296 pages
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The disagreement of philosophers is notorious. In this book, Rescher develops a theory that accounts for this conflict and shows how the basis for philosophical disagreement roots in divergent 'cognitive values'-values regarding matters such as importance, centrality, and priority. In light of this analysis, Rescher maintains that, despite this inevitable discord, a skeptical or indifferentist reaction to traditional philosophy is not warranted, seeing that genuine value-conflicts are at issue. He argues that philosophy is an important and worthwhile enterprise, notwithstanding its inability to achieve rationally constrained consensus on the issues. Given the nature of the enterprise, consensus is not a realistic goal, and failure to achieve it is not a defect. Accordingly, Rescher argues against the revisionist views proposed by Richard Rorty and Robert Nozick. His discussions are devoted to providing a clear view of why philosophical problems arise and how philosophers address them.

 

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Contents

1 The Problem of Philosophical Diversity
3
The Pivotal Role of Aporetic Clusters
17
3 Why Antinomies Pervade Philosophy
45
4 Escaping Inconsistency via Distinctions
64
5 Developmental Dialectics
78
6 Cognitive Values and Antinomy Resolution
95
The Inevitability of Value Diversity
116
8 The Range of Reason
139
Ramifications of Relativism
173
11 Is There Progress in Philosophy? The Problem of Unattainable Consensus
202
12 Reactions to Pluralism
221
13 More on Scepticism and Syncretism
241
14 Prescriptive Versus Descriptive Metaphilosophy
261
Name Index
279
Subject Index
282
Copyright

9 What Orientational Pluralism Means for Philosophy
159

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About the author (1985)

Nicholas Rescher is Distinguished University Professor of Philosophy at the University of Pittsburgh and co-chairman of the Center for Philosophy of Science. A member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, he has served as president of the Eastern Division of the American Philosophical Association, the Leibniz Society of North America, the Charles S. Peirce Society, the American Catholic Philosophical Association, and the Metaphysical Society of America. Rescher is the author or editor of more than one hundred books, including Ignorance (On the Wider Implications of Deficient Knowledge), Philosophical Inquiries: An Introduction to Problems of Philosophy, and A Journey through Philosophy in 101 Anecdotes.

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