Metaphilosophy : Philosophy in Philosophical Perspective

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The definitive mission of metaphilosophy is to facilitate an understanding of how philosophy works-the aim of the enterprise, the instrumental and procedural resources for its work, and the prospect of its success. Nicholas Rescher unites two facets of metaphilosophy to show that historical perspective and forward-thinking normative, or systematic, metaphilosophy cannot be independent of one another. The descriptive, or historical, metaphilosophy provides an account of what has been thought regarding the conduct of philosophical inquiry, and the prescriptive, or normative, metaphilosophy which deliberates about what is to be thought regarding the conduct of philosophizing. Rescher argues that metaphilosophy forms a part of philosophy itself. This is a unique feature of the discipline since the philosophy of biology is not a part of biology and the philosophy of mathematics is not a part of mathematics. Ultimately, the salient features of philosophizing in general-including the inherently controversial and discordant nature of philosophical doctrines-are also bound to afflict metaphilosophy.
Thus, only by a careful analysis of the central issues can a plausible view of the enterprise be developed. Metaphilosophy: Philosophy in Philosophical Perspective challenges the static, compartmentalized view of metaphilosophy, providing insight for scholars and students of all areas of philosophy.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 254 pages
  • 152.4 x 226.06 x 22.86mm | 498.95g
  • Lexington Books
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • 1 black & white illustrations
  • 0739199773
  • 9780739199770

About Nicholas Rescher

Nicholas Rescher is Distinguished University Professor of Philosophy at the University of Pittsburgh.
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Review quote

This book collects and adds to work by Nicholas Rescher that variously puts philosophy itself in philosophical perspective. It displays the vast, deep, multidimensional knowledge of the field gained in his seventy years at work in it. Like contemporary philosophy itself, the book approaches its subject matter from many angles, always with revealing insight. -- Ernest Sosa, Rutgers University In his new book, Nicholas Rescher, the Pittsburgh polymath, provides an exhaustive normative survey of the many dimensions of metaphilosophy. Very well informed and very useful for anyone interested in this field. -- Tom Rockmore, Peking University Rescher brings the history of metaphilosophy alive, not only by making some of its greatest recent figures understandable as traditional or eccentric thinkers, but by introducing the philosophy of philosophy as something in which the reader can participate. He provides the tools and the motivation to grasp the essential features that have distinguished philosophical inquiry from all other branches of higher learning, and demonstrates what thinking in all cultures can gain from its study. This book is profoundly recommended for those seeking a careful, plain-spoken, but positively well-informed discussion of what philosophy can and should do for anyone hoping to understand its complicated progress and contemporary preoccupations. -- Dale Jacquette, Universitat Bern
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Table of contents

Chapter 1: The Mission of Philosophy Chapter 2: Systematizing the Data of Philosophy Chapter 3: Philosophical Exposition Chapter 4: The Taxonomy of Philosophy Chapter 5: Some Principles of Philosophy Chapter 6: Philosophical Method: Apories and Evaluative Harmonization Chapter 7: Philosophical Legitimation via Systematization Chapter 8: Philosophical Refutation Chapter 9: Coming to Terms with Philosophical Dissensus Chapter 10: Can Philosophy Be Objective? Chapter 11: Influence among Philosophers Chapter 12: Does Philosophy Make Progress? Chapter 13: On Philosophy as a Guide to Life? Chapter 14: The Philosophy Industry in the USA Chapter 15: How the History of Philosophy Relates to Philosophy Itself? Chapter 16: Interpreting Philosophical Texts Chapter 17:How to Think Like a Philosopher
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