“The Structure of Appearance is perhaps Goodman’s main work, although it is less widely known than, for example, Languages of Art. It is, in fact, a heavily revised version of Goodman’s Ph.D. thesis, A Study of Qualities. SA is a constitutional system, which, just like Rudolf Carnap’s Der logische Aufbau der Welt, shows how from a basis of primitive objects and a basic relation between those objects all other objects can be obtained by definitions alone. We commented above already on the anti-foundationalist nature of both Carnap’s and Goodman’s constitutional systems. For them, the point of carrying out such a construction was not to provide a foundationalist reduction to some privileged basis (of experience or ontology), but rather to study the nature and logic of constitutional systems as such. In this sense, Goodman’s interest in other “world versions”, such as the languages of art, should be seen as a continuation of his project in SA.”

From: Nelson Goodman (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

“There are, however, many ways to look at the evolution of mankind. Rescher stresses that, after all, intelligence has evolved not because it aids the survival of its possessors within nature. It arose because it represents one effective means of survival. Intelligence is our functional substitute for the numerousness of termites, the ferocity of lions, or the toughness of microorganisms. So, it might even be said that this is our specific manner of fighting the battle for survival: we would not be here if our intelligence-led rationality were not survival-conducive. But does all this mean that intelligence is an inevitable feature of conscious organic life? The answer to such a question is crucial and, as long as Rescher is concerned, is negative.”

From: Rescher, Nicholas | Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy

“Objective pragmatism — or the pragmatism of the right, as Rescher calls it — implies that (a) our social-linguistic world evolved out of natural reality; (b) this social-linguistic world acquires an increasing autonomy; (c) between the social and the natural worlds there is no ontological line of separation, but just a functional one; (d) however, the accessibility to natural reality is only granted by the tools that the social-linguistic world provides us with; (e) this means that our knowledge of natural reality is always tentative and mediated by our conceptual capacities; (f) there is no need to draw relativistic conclusions from this situation, because the presence of an objective reality that underlies the data at hand puts upon personal desires objective constraints that we are able to overcome at the verbal level, but not in the sphere of rational deliberations implementing actions.”

From: Rescher, Nicholas | Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy

“Rescher draws an important distinction between a more flexible “pragmatism of the left” and a more conservative “pragmatism of the right.” Referring to a famous article by Arthur Lovejoy, he notes that there seem to be as many pragmatisms as pragmatists. Usually, however, those who are interested in pragmatism from an historical point of view tend to forget that, from the beginning, a substantial polarity is present in this tradition of thought. It is a dichotomy between what Rescher calls “pragmatism of the left,” namely a flexible type of pragmatism which endorses a greatly enhanced cognitive relativism, and a “pragmatism of the right,” namely a different position that sees the pragmatist stance as a source of cognitive security. Both positions are eager to assure pluralism in the cognitive enterprise and in the concrete conduct of human affairs, but the meaning they attribute to the term “pluralism” is not the same. Rescher sees C. S. Peirce, C. I. Lewis and himself as adherents of the pragmatism of the right, and William James, F. S. C. Schiller and Richard Rorty as representatives of the pragmatism of the left, with John Dewey standing somehow in a middle of the road position.”

From: Rescher, Nicholas | Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy

“prediction is probably most valuable to us when we are not aware we are doing it. The more conscious we are that we are making predictions, the more complicated acting on them may be. This is trivially but consequentially true whenever there is a separation of responsibilities between (a) the agent(s) generating the prediction, (b) the agent(s) responsible for choosing to act on the prediction or ignore it, (c) the agent(s) responsible for deciding how to act and (d) the agent(s) responsible for implementing the desired action responding to the prediction.”

From: The Predictioneer’s Predicament

“As he chose his subjects, Blumenberg followed careful selection criteria. The stories had to be short parables, myths, or aphorisms. They had to contain the germ of philosophical argument without quite articulating it, like metaphors with vivid vehicles but ambiguous tenors. Scholars before him would have dismissed these stories as mere illustrations, but Blumenberg claimed that they are pivotal to philosophical thinking. Indeed, they constitute the hinges on which our rational edifices rest. Through the logic of metaphor, such parables buttress otherwise shaky or implausible narratives about the world and one’s own self. They assert ties between different realms of knowledge and experience that otherwise seem threateningly disconnected. Their vividness manages to convince us when rationality fails. Indeed, it might even distract us from the scandal of its failure.”

From: The Myths of Enlightenment