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Philosophical Reasoning: A Study in the Methodology of Philosophizing 1st Edition

5 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
ISBN-13: 978-0631230182
ISBN-10: 0631230181
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Editorial Reviews


"Philosophical Reasoning is a probing and commanding study of the methodology of philosophical inquiry. It is an excellent book on the difficult subject of how one should philosophize and what we can reasonably expect of philosophy, and a breath of fresh air falling between the extremes of philosophy as natural science and philosophy as the purely a priori. A very intriguing, articulate and convincing story of the nature of an art Rescher has practiced so well for so long for the benefit of so many. I strongly recommend it." Robert Almeder, Georgia State University <!--end-->

"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

This book is a study in the methodology of philosophical inquiry. Accordingly, it is a venture in metaphilosophy, perhaps the most controversial of philosophical disciplines.

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.


Product Details

  • Paperback: 296 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell; 1 edition (October 10, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0631230181
  • ISBN-13: 978-0631230182
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,209,638 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This is a book on the philosophy of philosophy. Rescher is one of the best writers of philosophy today. He explains why philosophy never comes to a final solution on issues, but is always making progress. Although answers raise more questions, Rescher demonstrates that this is actually a good thing because new issues keep philosophical study and research alive and interesting.

Chapter 7 "Philosophical Aporetics" and Chapter 9 "The Impact of Distinctions" should be read by every student of philosophy. Rescher demonstrates that arguments with plausible premises which conflict with each other are often capable of resolution through thoughtful reasoning. Most important among the tools for argument resolution is the drawing of distinctions. Rescher gives detailed examples of such reasoning in the history of philosophy (going back to Plato and the Presocratics) and in current issues.
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