Nicholas Rescher

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One has to optimize something, some feature or aspect of things. And if this factor is to be ... self-validating and self-sustaining, then the clearly most promising candidate would seem to be intelligence itself.

Nicholas Rescher (born 15 July 1928) is a German-American philosopher at the University of Pittsburgh.

Quotes[edit]

  • I have never thought for a moment that if you cannot say it with numbers that it just is not worth saying. But all the same, I do firmly believe that where you cannot put numbers to work you will understand the matter better and more clearly for being able to explain why.
    • Epistemetrics (2006), Preface
  • Leibniz ... envisioned real possibility in terms rooted in axiological considerations of evaluative optimality. To be sure, it is clear that one cannot just optimize. ... One has to optimize something, some feature or aspect of things. And if this factor is to be something that is qualified, be accepted as self-validating and self-sustaining, then the clearly most promising candidate would seem to be intelligence itself. ... The value at issue here with "being for the best" is a matter of being so as intelligent creatures see it—that is from the vantage point of intelligence itself. Assuredly, no intelligent being would prefer an alternative that is inferior in this regard. And so, for an intelligent being—a rational creature—intelligence itself must figure high on the scale of values.
    • "Issues of Ultimate Explanation," in On Certainty and Other Philosophical Essays on Cognition (2011), Section 7, "Noophelia is the Crux," pp. 79-80

Quotes about Nicholas Rescher[edit]

  • Rescher's work envisions a dialectical tension between our synoptic aspirations for useful knowledge and our human limitations as finite inquirers. The elaboration of this project represents a many-sided approach to fundamental philosophical issues that weaves together threads of thought from the philosophy of science, and from continental idealism and American pragmatism.
    • "About the Author," in Logical Inquiries: Basic Issues in Philosophical Logic. (2014),p. 129

External links[edit]

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