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The limits of ignorance



Metascience (2012) 21:483­484 DOI 10.1007/s11016-011-9571-z BOOK REVIEW Nicholas Rescher: Ignorance: On the wider implications of deficient knowledge. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2009, 160pp, £17.95 HB Constantine Sandis Published online: 28 June 2011 Ó Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011 Over the past 50 years, Nicolas Rescher has written over one hundred books across an impressively wide area of philosophical topics, including epistemology, metaphysics, philosophical logic, philosophy of science, metaphilosophy, ethics, socio-political philosophy and both ancient and modern history of philosophy. It is with considerable ease, then, that Rescher considers the broader implications of ignorance in this little book of applied epistemology. The book itself divides into eight independent sections, each an interesting essay in its own right. The thread uniting the whole book is Rescher's unabashed pragmatism that places him closer to Nassim Taleb than to his fellow academic philosophers (though Rescher ends the book with a surprisingly question-begging argument for why `ignorance betokens realism'). Like Taleb, Rescher holds that the chances of informed action and prediction can be seriously increased if we better comprehend the multiple causes of ignorance. The study of ignorance is thereby shown to be of supreme importance in our individual and social lives,



MetascienceSpringer Journals

Published: Jul 1, 2012

DOI: 10.1007/s11016-011-9571-z

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