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Profitable Speculations : Essays on Current Philosophical Themes - Nicholas Rescher

Profitable Speculations

Essays on Current Philosophical Themes

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In this important collection, distinguished philosopher Nicholas Rescher explores a variety of issues significant to contemporary philosophers. The essays fall into three interrelated groups.
The first group surveys key aspects of the recent scene in philosophy in a retrospective mood that is appropriate as the century nears its close. The second group is a critical examination (both historical and systemic) of a conception - that of "possible worlds" - that has played an important formative role in twentieth-century philosophy. The final group presents some philosophical reflections on the human condition viewed from the vantage point of concepts (collectivity, technology, complexity, chance, and rationality) that twentieth-century philosophy has placed in the foreground of philosophical concern. Varied yet cohesive, these reflections on issues of contemporary philosophy are important reading for anyone interested in the state and direction of the discipline.

Introductionp. 1
End-of-the-Century Philosophizingp. 5
Pragmatism in Crisisp. 27
What Sort of Idealism Is Viable Today?p. 49
H[subscript 2]O: Hempel-Helmer-Oppenheimp. 69
Leibniz on Possible Worldsp. 111
Counterfactual Reasoning in Pragmatic Perspectivep. 159
How Many Possible Worlds Are There?p. 187
Use Conditions versus Truth Conditions: On the Utility of Pragmaticsp. 211
Collective Responsibilityp. 225
Technology, Complexity, and Social Decisionp. 243
The Ways of Luckp. 261
Predictive Incapacity and Rational Decisionp. 269
Bibliographyp. 279
Name Indexp. 285
About the Authorp. 289
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780847686780
ISBN-10: 0847686787
Series: Music Reference Collection; 65
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 304
Published: 4th September 1997
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 24.18 x 14.99  x 1.75
Weight (kg): 0.4

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