Ventures in Philosophical History

Ventures in Philosophical History

By Nicholas Rescher

The book provides a series of innovative studies of the treatment of major issues by philosophers ranging from classical antiquity to the present day.

PDF, 168 Pages


October 2022

£25.00, $40.00

EPUB, 168 Pages


October 2022

£25.00, $40.00

  • About This Book
  • Reviews
  • Author Information
  • Series
  • Table of Contents
  • Links
  • Podcasts

About This Book

The best and most instructive way to learn about philosophy is by examining the history of the field. For it is here that we come to see how its particulars are identified and addressed by some of humankind’s sharpest intellects. Philosophy began hundreds of years BCE, and by now has grown to a scope and scale beyond acceptability by any single mind. But a sampling of episodes and issues can convey some idea of the nature of the field. And it is with this goal in view—clarifying the detail of some key philosophical issues—that these studies are being put into print. It is the aim of these forays into philosophical history to illustrate how contemporary perspectives, methods, and instruments of analysis can clarify some of the key philosophical teachings both by highlighting the difficulties they encounter and by providing instructive means for addressing them.


“In Ventures in Philosophical History, Nicholas Rescher forcefully brings us to understand how viewing philosophy in terms of the questions it seeks to answer gives us a new appreciation of the dialectic growth of philosophical thought. Using contemporary methods, Rescher illuminates older philosophical questions created by older philosophers, bringing us and them into a continuous conversation. His understanding of the liveliness of contemporary philosophy is refreshing and most welcome.” —Joseph C. Pitt, Professor Emeritus of Philosophy, Virginia Tech, USA.

“Set in his deep command of the history of philosophy, with the common-sense  accessibility for which he is known, Rescher offers new and surprising philosophical insights into a range of historical figures, from Leibniz to Wittgenstein and Gödel.” —Patrick Grim, Distinguished Teaching Professor, Stony Brook University, USA.

“Philosophers today continue to be nourished by the work of earlier philosophers, and, in contrast to natural scientists, they develop the earlier work without replacing it. This is what Rescher teaches us in this new collection of papers as he illuminates various key issues of philosophy.” —John F. Crosby, Professor of Philosophy, Franciscan University of Steubenville, USA.

“Nicholas Rescher provides rich coverage of doctrines of Leibniz, Hume, Kant, Peirce, Wittgenstein, and Gödel. He judiciously applies formal logic to clarify and criticize. The culmination is a clear and convincing account of the agenda of philosophy—how it differs from science, and why its own internal dynamic endures.” —Neil Tennant, Arts & Sciences Distinguished Professor in Philosophy, Distinguished University Scholar, College of Arts & Humanities Department of Philosophy, USA.

Author Information

Nicholas Rescher is an extensively published philosopher. He has been awarded the Aquinas Medal of the American Catholic Philosophical Association, the Helmholtz Medal of the Berlin/Brandenburg Academy of Sciences, and the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany. Honorary degrees have been awarded to him by eight universities in three continents.


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Table of Contents

Preface; Introduction; Chapter 1: The Principles of Leibnizian Metaphysics; Chapter 2: Leibniz and “The Liar” Paradox; Chapter 3: Hume and Conceivability; Chapter 4: Hume and Rationality; Chapter 5: The Rationale of Kantian Ethics; Chapter 6: Kant on a Key Difference between Philosophy and Science; Chapter 7: Pragmatic Perspectives; Chapter 8: Wittgenstein’s Logocentrism; Chapter 9: Did Leibniz Anticipate Gödel?; Chapter 10: The Agenda of Philosophy; Index of Names


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