"Philosophy aims at rationally constructed comprehensiveness, now more collectively/dialectically and less individually/reflectively than in the past. So argues Nicolas Rescher in this systematic defense of system. If philosophical about their practice, philosophers who pick up this book won't easily put it down, even if in the end they disagree." Ernest Sosa, Brown University
"What makes the book such a pleasure to read is that it combines the precision and thoroughness of a master philosopher with a writing style that makes for easy reading. This is a book which both novices and experts should read to help both understand the nature of their enterprise better." Philosophy in Review
From the Back Cover
Philosophy is caught in a dilemma. On one hand, its omission as a legitimate venture in empirical inquiry requires its looking to "the big picture" and striving to counteract the fragmented specialization of other cognitive domains. On the other hand, philosophy does not and cannot avert division of labor. Thus, it remains committed to the quest for unity and coherence in our understanding of the nature of things in a world where our knowledge is exploding in scope and in complexity.
Philosophical Reasoning explores this difficult situation and clarifies its implications by expounding and defending the following thesis: that systematization is the proper instrument of philosophical inquiry, and that the effective pursuit of philosophy's mission calls for constructing a doctrinal system that answers our questions in a coherent and comprehensive manner.