Develops a general theory of prediction that encompasses its fundamental principles, methodology, and practice and gives an overview of its promises and problems.
The future obviously matters to us. It is, after all, where we'll be spending the rest of our lives. We need some degree of foresight if we are to make effective plans for managing our affairs. Much that we would like to know in advance cannot be predicted. But a vast amount of successful prediction is nonetheless possible, especially in the context of applied sciences such as medicine, meteorology, and engineering. This book examines our prospects for finding out about the future in advance. It addresses questions such as why prediction is possible in some areas and not others; what sorts of methods and resources make successful prediction possible; and what obstacles limit the predictive venture.
Nicholas Rescher develops a general theory of prediction that encompasses its fundamental principles, methodology, and practice and gives an overview of its promises and problems. Predicting the Future considers the anthropological and historical background of the predictive enterprise. It also examines the conceptual, epistemic, and ontological principles that set the stage for predictive efforts. In short, Rescher explores the basic features of the predictive situation and considers their broader implications in science, in philosophy, and in the management of our daily affairs.
Nicholas Rescher is University Professor of Philosophy at the University of Pittsburgh. He is the author of more than sixty books, including Dialectics: A Controversy-Oriented Approach to the Theory of Knowledge and Process Metaphysics: An Introduction to Process Philosophy, both published by SUNY Press. For more than three decades he has been editor of American Philosophical Quarterly.
"A bold overview of the nature of forecasting. The topic is significant for a number of fields, from philosophy of science (prediction as confirmation) to game theory, indeed to any area where theoretical or practical prediction is required. "--Robert E. Butts, University of Western Ontario
"Comprehensive, carefully crafted, scholarly when necessary, and very readable. This is an important book [that] bears strikingly on a wide range of topics. "--Robert Almeder, Georgia State University
"By sorting through a number of common-sense assumptions and exploring their limitations and strengths, Rescher gives real merit to an intellectual case for a theory of prediction. " --Joseph C. Pitt, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University