Download Epistemology: An Introduction to the Theory of Knowledge by Nicholas Rescher PDF

By Nicholas Rescher

A complete advent to the speculation of knowledge.

Guided by way of the founding rules of yank pragmatism, Epistemology presents a transparent instance of the fundamental techniques thinking about wisdom acquisition and explains the rules at paintings within the improvement of rational inquiry. It examines how those rules learn the process clinical growth and the way the improvement of clinical inquiry unavoidably encounters sure normal mess ups. on the middle of the book's deliberations there lies not just the opportunity of medical development but in addition the restrict of technological know-how to boot. This complete creation to the speculation of data addresses a myriad of themes, together with the critique of skepticism, the character of rationality, the potential for technological know-how for extraterrestrial intelligences, and the possibility of insoluble matters in science.

"This publication covers a large span of matters in epistemology and encapsulates advanced debates with lucidity. It lives as much as its objective of organizing learn in modern thought of data right into a 'single systematic whole.'" — Vrinda Dalmiya, college of Hawaii at Manoa

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Additional info for Epistemology: An Introduction to the Theory of Knowledge (Suny Series in Philosophy)

Sample text

Guarded or qualified claims are always securer than their unguarded and unqualified counterparts. If I claim to know that there is good reason to think such-and-such I am on firmer ground than in claiming to know that such-and-such is actually the case. And there are doubtless other general principles along these lines. But the overall lesson is perfectly clear. By revising our knowledge claims so as to make them more qualified, less general, more indefinite and more grounded we can always ensure their certainty.

And one of its key lessons is that of fallibility, the almost inevitable liability of our knowledge to the discovery of error. • The acknowledgment of error with its denial the overall conjunction of one’s affirmations seems paradoxical. ”) Nevertheless, such fallibility represents a fact of life with which we must come to terms. • The ancient problem of the diallelus posed by the absence of any cognitiveexternal standard of cognitive adequacy—also has to be reckoned with. • There is a wide variety of possible responses to this view of the cognitive situation.

We must come to terms with the fact that—at any rate, at the scientific level of generality and precision—each of our accepted beliefs may turn out to be false, and many of our accepted beliefs will turn out to be false. Let us explore the ramifications of a cognitive fallibilism that holds that science—our science, the body of our scientific beliefs as a whole consists largely, and even predominantly, of false beliefs, embracing various theses that we will ultimately come to see (with the wisdom of hindsight) as quite untenable.

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