Dr. Nicholas Rescher
University Professor of Philosophy
University of Pittsburgh
1012 Cathedral of Learning
Pittsburgh PA 15260
Phone: (412) 624-5950
Fax: (412) 383-7506
Born in Hagen, Germany in 1928, Nicholas Rescher came to the USA at the age of ten. He is Distinguished University Professor of Philosophy at be University of Pittsburgh where he has also served as Chairman of the Philosophy Department and a Director (and currently Chairman) of the Center for Philosophy of Science. In a productive research career extending over six decades has established himself as a systematic philosopher of the old style with over one hundred books to this credit, ranging over all areas of philosophy with sixteen of them translated from English into eight other languages. His work envisions a dialectical tension between our synoptic aspirations for useful knowledge and our human limitations as finite inquirers. The elaboration of this project represents a many-sided approach to fundamental philosophical issues that weaves together threads of thought from the philosophy of science, and from continental idealism and American pragmatism. And apart from this larger program Rescher has made various specific contributions to logic including the "Rescher quantifier" and the conception autodescriptive systems of many-valued logic, the history of logic (the medieval Arabic theory of modal syllogistic), to the theory of knowledge (epistemetrics as a quantitative approach in theoretical epistemology), and to the philosophy of science (the theory of a logarithmic retardation of scientific progress). Rescher has also worked in the area of futuristics, and along with Olaf Helmer and Norman Dalkey is co-inaugurator of the so-called Delphi method of forecasting. The Encyclopedia of Bioethics credits Rescher with writing one of the very first articles in the field. Twelve books about Rescher's philosophy have been published in four languages.
Rescher earned his doctorate at Princeton in 1951 while still at the age of
twenty-two--a record for Princeton's Department of Philosophy. He has served as
a President of the American Philosophical Association, of the American Catholic
Philosophy Association, of the American G. W. Leibniz Society, of the C. S.
Peirce Society, and of the American Metaphysical Society as well as Secretary
General of the International Union of History and Philosophy of Sciences. He
was the founding editor of the American Philosophical Quarterly. An
honorary member of Corpus Christi College, Oxford, he has been elected to
membership in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Royal Asiatic
Society of Great Britain, the European Academy of Arts and Sciences (Academia Europaea), the Royal Society of Canada, the Institut International de Philosophie,
and several other learned academies. Having held visiting lectureships at
A lifelong student of the work of the philosopher Leibniz, Rescher is responsible for the rediscovery and restoration of Leibniz's cipher machine, a contrivance some 250 years ahead of its time in capability.
To acknowledge some extensive gifting and to recognize his fifty years of service to the institution, the University of Pittsburgh established in 2010 the substantial Nicholas Rescher Prize for Contributions to Systematic Philosophy.
For further information regarding Rescher and his work see:
The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy: http://www.iep.utm.edu/rescher/