Axiogenesis : An Essay in Metaphysical Optimalism

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Axiogenesis is an innovative philosophical work that dares to answer the question of the ultimate reason is behind the world's existence and nature. Despite drawing on various strands of neo-Platonic thought, Nicholas Rescher crafts an argument for a metaphysical theory grounded in evaluative considerations that is undeniably unique. With a keen intellectualism, it defends the idea that this actual world of ours represents a possibility that is-realistically speaking-beyond the prospect of improvement.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 236 pages
  • 157.48 x 231.14 x 22.86mm | 748.42g
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • 0739149326
  • 9780739149324

Table of contents

Chapter 1 Preface Chapter 2 Chapter 1. Ultimate Questions Chapter 3 Chapter 2. Ultimate Answers Chapter 4 Chapter 3. Optimalism and its Turn to Axiology Chapter 5 Chapter 4. Intelligence and Rationality as Pivots for Optimality: the Idea of Noophelia Chapter 6 Chapter 5. Abandoning Efficient Causality for Axiotropism Chapter 7 Chapter 6. Meeting Objections to Optimalism Chapter 8 Chapter 7. On the Improvability of the World Chapter 9 Chapter 8. Axiogenesis and Intelligent Design Chapter 10 Chapter 9. Intelligence in an Evolutionary Perspective Chapter 11 Chapter 10. Is Noophelic Axiogenesis Unscientific? Chapter 12 Chapter 11. Leibnizian Physics as a Case Study Chapter 13 Chapter 12. Godel: Noophelia in the Twentieth Century Chapter 14 Chapter 13. Axiogenesis and Theology
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Review quote

Could our universe exist just because that's best? Might alternatives be ruled out simply through being inferior, so that a blank, for example, couldn't have been possible? Originated by Plato, the idea has been historically influential. In this extremely important yet very readable book, a modern philosophical giant shows that the universe could well exist for the reason Plato gave. -- John Leslie, Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada Many philosophers and theologians make grand metaphysical claims about creation, God, or the Good. But rarely have I read a work that so powerfully defends the inevitability of 'ultimate questions' and the move from there to 'ultimate answers.' Not all readers will endorse Rescher's 'value naturalism,' but the journey he takes us on remains indispensable. -- Philip Clayton, Ingraham Professor of Theology, Claremont School of Theology, Author of In Quest of Freedom: The Emergence of Spirit in the Natural World Building creatively on Plato and Leibniz, Nicholas Rescher develops an original metaphysics of ultimate explanation. He gives new life to the bold view that reality is as it is because that is for the best. This work will benefit all inquirers into the ultimate explanation of why things are as they are rather than otherwise. -- Keith Moser Nicolas Rescher has made a noteworthy contribution to the Platonic-Leibnizian tradition of metaphysical optimalism that may finally succeed in restoring this view to intellectual respectability...Rescher has provided a rare example of how to keep discussions of ultimate questions, as he puts it, "on this side of nonsense". Even those who are not convinced by his argument will be grateful for the opportunity it provides to refine and advance their own views. And this is no small feat: Rescher's clear and cogent argumentation shows that it is possible to make progress on questions that many professional philosophers have abandoned as fruitless. American Journal of Theology and Philosophy
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About Nicholas Rescher

Nicholas Rescher is distinguished university professor of philosophy at the University of Pittsburgh. In a research career extending over six decades, he has published over three hundred articles and written over a hundred philosophy texts, including A System of Pragmatic Idealism, The Limits of Science, Conditionals, Philosophical Reasoning: A Study in the Methodology of Philosphizing, Enlightening Journey: The Autobiography of an American Scholar, and Unknowability: An Inquiry Into the Limits of Knowledge.
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