Home/Main Menu     Site Map

Record Type: Review   ID: 869

Baffling Phenomena: and Other Studies in the Philosophy of Knowledge and Valuation

Rescher, Nicholas

 In the lead chapter on baffling phenomena, philosopher Rescher argues that anomalies as phenomena, including parapsychological phenomena, should not be rejected by scientists—only the sometimes extravagant theories offered to explain them should be questioned. He defends the value of the principle of sufficient reason while admitting "its origin in a pragmatically based process of cultural selection" (p. 26). In a chapter on epistemology, he abandons strict universality but opts for qualified generalizations. There is a chapter on the "promise of process philosophy" that goes back to Heraclitis and does not equate process philosophy with Whitehead. The "self" is seen "not as a thing but as an integrated process" (p. 86). In this view the act of "materializing nature" is considered a fallacy (p. 77). He sets forth a process ontology that is monistic. This view is certainly hospitable to exceptional human experience. He writes: "The unity of a person is a unity of experience—the coalescence of all of one's diverse micro-experience as part of one unified macroprocess" (p. 85). He briefly describes process theology and presents an agenda for process philosophy. There follows a useful systematic taxonomy of metaphysical positions oriented toward "specifically cognitive or knowledge-organizing systems" (p. 97). Another chapter emphasizes the interconnectedness of philosophical issues. Another refreshing chapter is on pluralistic philosophical perspectivism, which holds that one's philosophy is rooted in one's lifeworld. We have no choice but to "proceed on the basis of some preferred perspective. But you do not have to find it, for it will find you . . . . you have no choice but to go on from where you are—from the particular perspective from which you stand committed by your placement in the world's experiential order" (p. 141). This is the position of this website, with the additional proviso that the impetus for that experiential order comes from one's exceptional human experience. Other provocative chapters are on pre-Socratic thought experiments, the philosophers of gambling (one could say precursors to chaos theorists), and "The History of the Future."
Publisher Information:Savage, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 1991. 223p. Chap. bibl; 1 fig; Name Index: 221-223
Previous Record Previous
in this

List All Titles in This Category (42)

Book Reviews Menu
in this

Click a section below to move around the EHEN website.
Home/Menu       About EHEs      EHE Autobiographies      EHE Book Reviews      EHE FAQ      EHE Network      Email Talk      Experiences Library      Info/Contact      Join Us!      Living EHEs      Parapsychology      Rhea White      Web Links      Web Talk      What's New     

All website graphics, materials and content copyright © 1997-2003
by EHE Network. All rights reserved. For permissions
please contact EHEN's Executive Director, Rhea A. White.

Web Media Management by Palyne Gaenir of ScienceHorizon.

Exceptional Human Experience Network
Exceptional Human Experience Network