Infinite Regress : The Theory and History of Varieties of Change book cover
1st Edition

Infinite Regress
The Theory and History of Varieties of Change

Edited By

Nicholas Rescher

ISBN 9781138510937
Published October 6, 2017 by Routledge
189 Pages

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Book Description

Regression addresses what has come before; it is a matter of looking backward of retrospections? The motionless things of nature are generally forward-looking their problem is that of the question: Where do we go from here? It is primarily with intelligent beings that we ask: How did we get to where we now find ourselves? Regression and infinite regression in particular is thus a concept that has gained a greater prominence in the human sciences than in the sciences of nature.

Argumentation to infinite regress has long been a favored instrument of philosophical dialectic. Philosophers have used it to disprove the positions they model to criticize. Infinite regresses, so they reason, are unrealizable: they cannot be completed so as to achieve some definitive result. And thereby anything that would engender an infinite regress is automatically made ineffective.

Infinite Regress examines the theory of regression and includes information on the topics of vicious regress, innocuous regress, circularity regress, and propositional regress. Also discussed is the history of regression stemming from ancient times, to medieval times, to early modern history. Some of the other chapters in this book focus on world class philosophers including Immanuel Kant, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, and Bertrand Russell. The book will play a significant role in theoretical philosophy as well as in social philosophy and the philosophy of mind.

Table of Contents

Introduction: The Conception of Infinite Regress
Part 1: Systematic Considerations
1. Regress Theory
2. Some Modes of Vicious Regress
3. Some Modes of Innocuous Regress
4. Circularity and Endless Regress
5. Dispensing with "The Regress of Reasons"
6. Propositional Regresses
Part 2: Historical Considerations
7. The Ancients
8. The Medievals
9. The Early Moderns
10. Kant
11. From Hegel to Dewey
12. Bertrand Russell
13. Gilbert Ryle on Mind and the Free Will Perplex

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