This wonderful book explains the fundamentals of epistemology -- of how we know what we know -- from the automatic perceptions that serve as the basis for everything we know, to the volitional mental processes our thinking minds go through to know what we are seeing and to grasp it in our distinctively human manner.
Based on Rand's "Introduction to Epistemology," but adding a rich background in biology, physics and philosophy to decades of original thinking, Dr. Binswanger rewards the reader with clear explanations bolstered by cogent examples and illustrations. Covering topics as wide as first axioms and as narrow as natural selection and "the problem of agency," he explains how we form higher levels of knowledge from first concepts.
But his most groundbreaking chapters explain how we go on from there: how we use judgment to advance from higher level concepts to propositions, and then to forming principles. And he makes the case that, while today's world is awash in pragmatism (i.e., to be practical, reject principles) we should take the opposite approach. He shows why grasping and applying principles is critical for the human mind -- and crucial to human existence: "principles offer the only guide to practical success" in the real world.
While the book is well suited to academic study, with good footnoting as well as an extensive bibliography and a detailed index, it is written in a readable style that can be easily understood by any thinking adult.