Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Philosopher Profile: Nicholas Rescher

Nicholas Rescher (b. 1928) is a Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at the University of Pittsburgh.  He received his doctorate in philosophy at Princeton University in 1951 and has since served as a President of the American Philosophical Association, the American Catholic Philosophy Association, the American G. W. Leibniz Society, the C. S. Peirce Society, and the Metaphysical Society of America (founded by Paul Weiss).  While Rescher has published over 400 articles and 100 books (on a staggering array of topics), he is most famous for his system of “pragmatic idealism” that combines elements of continental idealism with American pragmatism. He has written widely on logic (in its various forms), epistemology, the philosophy of science, metaphysics, process philosophy, ethics, and political philosophy.

Typically I write my own coverage of a philosopher in "philosopher profile" posts, however as I am still learning Rescher I defer by linking to two web addresses.

First, the IEP entry on Rescher absolutely fantastic (link HERE).  Given the sheer breadth of Rescher's corpus I was abit overwhelmed in trying to find a summary of his work online.  But the IEP entry, from what I can tell, is an excellent summary which seems to lose very little.  To get a very good overview of what Rescher's work is about this is a "must read."

Second, THIS interview is very good and provides the flavor of Rescher's main interests, background, and future plans.  (Published in Kinesis (where I published my interview with Robert S. Corrington.)