Pluralism: Against the Demand For Consensus
Nicholas Rescher presents a critical reaction against two currently influential tendencies of thought. On the one hand, he rejects the facile relativism that pervades contemporary social and academic life. On the other hand, he opposes the rationalism inherent in neo-contractarian...
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Nicholas Rescher presents a critical reaction against two currently influential tendencies of thought. On the one hand, he rejects the facile relativism that pervades contemporary social and academic life. On the other hand, he opposes the rationalism inherent in neo-contractarian theory--both in the idealized communicative-contract version promoted in continental European political philosophy by J;urgen Habermas, and in the idealized social contract version of the theory of political justice promoted in the Anglo-American context by John Rawls. Against such tendencies, Rescher's pluralist approach takes a more realistic and pragmatic line, eschewing the convenient recourse of idealization in cognitive and practical matters. Instead of a utopianism that looks to a uniquely perfect order that would prevail under ideal conditions, he advocates incremental improvements within the framework of arrangements that none of us will deem perfect but that all of us "can live with." Such an approach replaces the yearning for an unattainable consensus with the institution of pragmatic arrangements in which the community will acquiesce--not through agreeing on their optimality, but through a shared recognition among the dissonant parties that the available options are even worse.
- Part 1 Consensus, Rationality And Epistemic Morality: The Problem Of
- Is Consensus A Rational Imperative?
- Do The Limitations Of Reason Demand Consensus?
- Is Consensus A Moral Imperative? Part 2 Is Consensus Required In The
- Pursuit Of Truth?: The Philosophical Partisans Of Cognitive Consensus
- The Critics Of Cognitive Consensus
- Modern Limited Defences Of Consensus
- Science And Consensus. Part 3 The Problems Of A Consensus Theory Of Truth:
- What Constitutes Consensus?
- Truth, Objectivity And Consensus
- Ideality And Consensus
- The Consensus Theory Of Truth
- A Contrast Case. Part 4the Experimental Basis Of Cognitive Diversity And
- The Unavoidability Of Pluralism: Rational Judgement And Experience
- Different Experimental Modes And The Prospect Of Scientific Diversity
- Empiricism Entails Pluralism. Part 5 Does Pluralism Lead To Scepticism Or
- Syncretism?: The Question Of Pluralism
- The Defects Of Scepticism
- Pluralism Without Scepticism
- Syncretism And Its Defects
- Pluralism Withour Syncretism
- Is Pluralism Self-refuting? Part 6 Pluralism Without Indifferentism:
- Against Indifferentist Relativism
- A Foothold Of One's Own
- The Arbitrament Of Experience
- Some Possible Objections To An Empiricist Approach
- Pluralism Is Compatible With Rational Commitment. Part 7 Problems Of
- Evaluative Consensus: Consensus And Evaluative Norms
- The Issue Of Axiological Consensus - Value Diversity And The Key Role Of
- Is Evaluative Disagreement Irrational?
- Cognitive Ramifications Of Value Disagreement
- Is Value Disagreement Communally Incapacitating? Part 8 Does Communication
- Require Consensus?: Is Communication Predicated On Consensus?
- The Communicative Dispensability Of Common Conception
- The Presumption Of Communicative Intent
- Communication Can Dispense Shared Beliefs And Values
- Does Communication Presuppose A Pursuit Of Consensus? Part 9 Is Consensus
- Required For A Benign Social Order?: The Question Of Practical Consensus
- Some Examples Of Productive Modes Of Dissensus
- Productive Versus Unproductive Modes Of Conflict
- Acquiescence And Controlled Conflict
- A Consideration Of Some Objecitons
- The Rationale Of An Acquiescence-oriented Approach
- Is Conssensus A Requisite For Co-operation? Part 10 Problems Of Consensus
- As A Political Ideal: A Political Perspective
- Problems Of Idealization And The Search For A Realistic "middle Way"
- Is Consensus A Valid Idea.