Chapter 1 PrefaceChapter 2 Chapter 1. Ultimate QuestionsChapter 3 Chapter 2. Ultimate AnswersChapter 4 Chapter 3. Optimalism and its Turn to AxiologyChapter 5 Chapter 4. Intelligence and Rationality as Pivots for Optimality: the Idea of NoopheliaChapter 6 Chapter 5. Abandoning Efficient Causality for AxiotropismChapter 7 Chapter 6. Meeting Objections to OptimalismChapter 8 Chapter 7. On the Improvability of the WorldChapter 9 Chapter 8. Axiogenesis and Intelligent DesignChapter 10 Chapter 9. Intelligence in an Evolutionary PerspectiveChapter 11 Chapter 10. Is Noophelic Axiogenesis Unscientific?Chapter 12 Chapter 11. Leibnizian Physics as a Case StudyChapter 13 Chapter 12. Gödel: Noophelia in the Twentieth CenturyChapter 14 Chapter 13. Axiogenesis and Theology
Nicholas Rescher's book Axiogenesis: An Essay in Metaphysical Optimalism is a detailed exposition of axiogenerts: the philosophical theory seeking to explain the world's facts on the basis of evaluative considerations. In classical antiquity, this theory was espoused by Plato (in the Timaeus) and neo-Platonic tradition; in early modern times, it was revived by Leibniz and continued to find favor in the development of rational mechanics from Maupertuis to William Hamilton. However, since then the principles behind axiogenesis and similar theories have fallen out of fashion. This book is therefore unique in that it argues in detail that this metaphysical approach still has traction and endeavors to formulate the theory in a manner that makes it available as a live option for contemporary thinkers. Advanced students of philosophy and professionals in this field, as well as anyone interested in the issue of speculative metaphysics, will find Rescher's contemporary refashioning of axiogenesis a distinctly compelling read.