Realism and Pragmatic Epistemology is part of an exciting new trilogy exploring the theory of knowledge by one of the world’s foremost philosophers. Together the books provide an integrated approach to the subject, but each also stands alone, and they can be read in any order.
Nicholas Rescher is Distinguished University Professor of Philosophy at the University of Pittsburgh and co-chairman of the Center for Philosophy of Science. A member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, he has served as president of the Eastern Division of the American Philosophical Association, the Leibniz Society of North America, the Charles S. Peirce Society, the American Catholic Philosophical Association, and the Metaphysical Society of America. Rescher is the author or editor of more than one hundred books, including Ignorance (On the Wider Implications of Deficient Knowledge), Philosophical Inquiries: An Introduction to Problems of Philosophy, and A Journey through Philosophy in 101 Anecdotes.
An examination of philosophical realism from the standpoint of pragmatic epistemology, Realism and Pragmatic Epistemology addresses the core idea of Rescher's work in epistemology: that functional and pragmatic concerns exert a controlling influence on the conduct of rational inquiry and on the ways in which we can and should regard its products.
Pragmatism is widely regarded as a philosophical approach that stands at odds with realism, but Rescher takes a very different approach. He views pragmatism as a realistic position that can be developed from a pragmatic point of view, and utilizes a number of case studies to augment his position. Throughout, he shows how the pragmatic and purposive setting of our putative knowledge of the real world proves to be crucial for the constituting and also for the constitution of our knowledge.