In ""Error"", Nicholas Rescher presents a fresh analysis of the occurrence, causality, and consequences of error in human thought, action, and evaluation. Rescher maintains that error-avoidance and truth-achievement are distinct but equally important factors for rational inquiry, and that error is inherent in the human cognitive process (to err is human). He defines three main categories of error: cognitive (failure to realize truths); practical (failure related to the objective of an action); and axiological (failure in evaluation), and articulates the factors that contribute to each. His discussion also provides a historical perspective on the treatment of error by Greek philosophers and later thinkers such as Aquinas, Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz, James, Royce, Moore, and Russell. ""Error"" is an important reexamination of the significance of error to the fields of philosophical anthropology, epistemology, ontology, and theology. As Rescher's study argues, truth and error are inexorably intertwined - one cannot exist without the other. Error is an unavoidable occurrence in the cognitive process - without missteps on the path to truth, truth itself cannot be attained.
NICHOLAS RESCHER is University Professor of Philosophy at the University of Pittsburgh, where he is also chairman of the Center for Philosophy of Science. He has served as president of the Eastern Division of the American Philosophical Association, the Leibniz Society of North America, the Charles S. Peirce Society, the American Catholic Philosophical Association, and the Metaphysical Society of America. Author of nearly one hundred books ranging over many areas of philosophy, he was awarded the Alexander von Humboldt Prize for Humanistic Scholarship in 1984, the Belgian Prix Mercier in 2005, and the Aquinas Medal from the American Catholic Philosophical Association in 2007.