Models and perspectives on stage: remarks on Giere's Scientific perspectivism

Ron Giere's recent book Scientific Perspectivism sets out an account of science that attempts to forge a via media between two popular extremes: absolutist, objectivist realism on the one hand, and social constructivism or skeptical anti-realism on the other. The key for Giere is to treat both scientific observation and scientific theories as perspectives, which are limited, partial, contingent, context-, agent- and purpose-dependent, and pluralism-friendly, while nonetheless world-oriented and modestly realist. Giere's perspectivism bears significant similarly to early writings by Paul Feyerabend and John Dewey. Comparing these to Giere's work not only uncovers a consilience of ideas, but also can help to fill out Giere's account in places where it is under-developed, as well as helping us understand the work of these earlier authors and their continuing relevance to contemporary concerns in philosophy of science.
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DOI 10.1016/j.shpsa.2009.03.001
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Matthew J. Brown (2012). John Dewey's Logic of Science. Hopos: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science 2 (2):258-306.
Ronald N. Giere (2009). Scientific Perspectivism: Behind the Stage Door. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 40 (2):221-223.

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