Rationality in Pragmatic Perspective

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This book presents variations on a common theme: the centrality of functional and thereby pragmatic considerations for the theory of knowledge. It seeks to expound and substantiate the epistemic pragmatism that has long characterized the author’s work, with its central aim of showing that (and how) validation in the cognitive realm is ultimately dependent on the application of knowledge in matters of practice.


“This book presents Dr. Rescher’s functional pragmatism – an original, systematic approach to some of the main problems of philosophy from ontology to ethics. The style is clear, jargon-free and this book makes his ideas accessible to any serious student of contemporary philosophy.” – Professor Richard T. De George, University of Kansas

Table of Contents

1. Pragmatism and Practical Rationality
2. Rational Economy and the Evolutionary Impetus
3. Amphibious Man
4. Immediate Experience and Ontology: Philosophical Realism in Pragmatic Perspective
5. Harmony and a Sense of Proportion in Cognitive Evaluation
6. By the Standards of Their Day
7. Unknowable Truth and the Limits of Inquiry
8. Reductio ad Absurdum
9. Principia Philosophiae: On the Pragmatic Basis of Philosophical Principles

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