Nature's Perspectives: Prospects for Ordinal Metaphysics

Nature's Perspectives: Prospects for Ordinal Metaphysics

by Armen Marsoobian

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“Justus Buchler is an original American philosopher whose powerful, systematic categorial thinking does not fit easily into any of the usual classifications of philosophical schools. While maintaining a commitment to the philosophical tradition’s aim at the utmost lucidity and generality, Buchler was a thoroughgoing critic of all versions of what he called ‘ontological priority,’ the view that some things or characteristics are more real or more metaphysically fundamental than others. His ordinal metaphysics is perhaps the most rigorous instance of an attempt to think philosophically without adopting some version of the doctrine of ontological priority. In abandoning that view Buchler can be compared with certain strains in American pragmatism or in continental critics of traditional metaphysics such as Heidegger and Derrida; and yet he did not abandon the metaphysical enterprise itself but sought to elaborate new categories of truly general scope. This book represents the most comprehensive and many-sided exploration of Buchler’s ordinal metaphysics and its extensions. The authors maintain a high level of philosophical discourse in articulating and sometimes criticizing Buchler’s conception of philosophy and metaphysics. Not only are there chapters addressing such central philosophical concepts as materialism, possibility, identity, and the categorial in the light of Buchler’s thought, but there are intriguing re-evaluations of such widely diverse philosophies as those of Aristotle, Whitehead, Buddhism, and Richard Rorty from a Buchlerian standpoint. The implications of Buchler’s thought for understanding art, community, theology, and even the interpretation of dreams are developed and critically assessed. The volume will be indispensable for students of Buchler and American philosophy and it should be of the greatest interest to anyone seeking a fresh perspective on the thinkers and the problems it treats.”— Gary Shapiro

“This volume approaches Buchler’s significant work from many angles of vision. It critically analyzes his views on poetry and the arts and considers implications of his system for concepts and problems in Christian theology and Buddhism. It compares him with other important thinkers such as Aristotle, James, Whitehead, Dewey, Royce, Rorty, and Freud. It provides detailed evaluations of his epistemology, metaphysics, and social theory. Taken together, these chapters give persuasive evidence for placing Justus Buchler in the first rank of systematic philosophers in this century.” — Donald A. Crosby, Colorado State University

Focuses on biology, health, and characteristic illnesses of prehistoric, historical, and contemporary native populations of Canada. It contains 2,100 entries (eighty percent of which are annotated) collected from the Masterfile data base of the University of Manitoba. generation of eco-theorists. Paper edition (0492-7), $24.95. (RC) An anthology of both original and reprinted essays on the work of philosopher Justus Buchler (b. 1914), intended not as a festschrift but as a study in ordinal metaphysics for philosophers and scholars. The ordinal framework refuses to privilege the traits of the human process and project them onto nature as a whole; it entails, rather, that there is no privileged order of nature, and that human perspectives (even of other human perspectives) are in, of, and about nature. A powerful position, powerfully examined, and one that deserves the attention not only of philosophers, but of the current Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

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State University of New York Press
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