Satisfying Reason

Studies in the Theory of Knowledge

  • Nicolas┬áRescher

Part of the Episteme book series (EPIS, volume 21)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xii
  2. Nicolas Rescher
    Pages 1-23
  3. Nicolas Rescher
    Pages 24-31
  4. Nicolas Rescher
    Pages 32-53
  5. Nicolas Rescher
    Pages 54-71
  6. Nicolas Rescher
    Pages 72-86
  7. Nicolas Rescher
    Pages 87-102
  8. Nicolas Rescher
    Pages 103-121
  9. Nicolas Rescher
    Pages 122-154
  10. Nicolas Rescher
    Pages 176-211
  11. Nicolas Rescher
    Pages 212-225
  12. Nicolas Rescher
    Pages 226-239
  13. Back Matter
    Pages 241-245

About this book


Leibniz said with a mixture of admiration and inspiration that the Duchess Sophie of Hannover always wanted to know the reason why behind the reason why. And that is just how rationality works: it wants to leave no loose ends to understanding, seeking to enable us to understand things through to the bitter end.
In the twelve chapters that make up Satisfying Reason, Rescher develops and defends the following perspective:
  • That rationality is a cardinal virtue in cognitive matters.
  • That this is not something simple and cut-and-dried: in the pursuit of truth through the development of knowledge we face obstacles -- sometimes even insuperable ones.
  • All that we can do is the best we can, realizing that even our very best may still be imperfect.
  • Nevertheless, the venture is far from hopeless. While absolutes are unattainable in the cognitive venture, some solutions are situationally optimal, being comparatively the best that can be managed under the circumstances.
  • That reason itself enables us to come to terms with this state of affairs, urging us to accept the best we can do as good enough.
Satisfying Reason is an explanation of the presuppositions and methods of rational enquiry, an original exercise in metaknowledge, developing a systematic body of knowledge about the scope and limits of knowledge itself.


Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz knowledge reason relativism

Authors and affiliations

  • Nicolas┬áRescher
    • 1
  1. 1.University of PittsburghUSA

Bibliographic information