In Metaphysical Perspectives, Nicholas Rescher offers a grand vision of how to conceptualize, and in some cases answer, some of the most fundamental issues in metaphysics and value theory. Rescher addresses what he sees as the three prime areas of metaphysical concern: (1) the world as such and the architecture of nature at large, (2) ourselves as nature’s denizens and our potential for learning about it, and (3) the transcendent domain of possibility and value. Rescher engages issues across a wide range of metaphysical themes, from different world views and ultimate questions to contingency and necessity, intelligent design and world-improvability, personhood and consciousness, empathy and other minds, moral obligation, and philosophical methodology. Over the course of this book, Rescher discusses, with his characteristic fusion of idealism and pragmatism, an integrated overview of the key philosophical problems grounded in an idealistically value-oriented approach. His discussion seeks to shed new light on philosophically central issues from a unified point of view.
“Nicholas Rescher’s Metaphysical Perspectives is a magisterial work, in both depth and breadth. The proposed metaphysical theory is novel, though Leibnizean in spirit. It rests on axiological considerations, hence much of the book consists of discussion, brief but unfailingly erudite, of topics not usually regarded as strictly metaphysical. This is why an extended and highly interesting ethical theory is also proposed, succinctly but clearly and eloquently.” — Panayot Butchvarov, professor emeritus, University of Iowa