Axiomathes 26 (4):349-365 (2016)

Perspectivism is often understood as a conception according to which subjective conditions inevitably affect our knowledge and, therefore, we are never confronted with reality and facts but only with interpretations. Hence, subjectivism and anti-realism are usually associated with perspectivism. The thesis of this paper is that, especially in the case of the sciences, perspectivism can be better understood as an appreciation of the cognitive attitude that consists in considering reality only from a certain ‘point of view’, in a way that can avoid subjectivism. Whereas the way of conceiving a notion is strictly subjective, the way of using it is open to intersubjective agreement, based on the practice of operations whose nature is neither mental nor linguistic. Therefore, intersubjectivity is possible within perspectivism. Perspectivism can also help understand the notion of ‘scientific objects’ in a referential sense: they are those ‘things’ that become ‘objects’ of a certain science by being investigated from the ‘point of view’ of that science. They are ‘clipped out’ of things by means of standardized operations which turn out to be the same as those granting intersubjectivity. Therefore this ‘strong’ sense of objectivity, which is clearly realist, coincides with the ‘weak’ one. The notion of truth appears fully legitimate in the case of the sciences, being clearly defined for the regional ontology of each one of them and, since this truth can be extended in an analogical sense to the theories elaborated in each science, it follows that are real also the unobservable entities postulated by those theories.
Keywords Weak objectivity  Strong objectivity  Intersubjectivity  Operational criteria of truth  Operational criteria of reference  Perspectivism  Scientific realism
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s10516-016-9304-4
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 59,848
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Über Protokollsätze.Rudolf Carnap - 1932 - Erkenntnis 3 (1):215-228.
The Nature of Physical Theory.E. N. & P. W. Bridgman - 1936 - Journal of Philosophy 33 (16):445.
Where Is Science Going?Max Planck, James Murphy & Niels Bohr - 1936 - Philosophy 11 (43):366-367.
Der logische Aufbau der Welt.Rudolf Carnap - 1929 - Annalen der Philosophie Und Philosophischen Kritik 8:106-107.
Relativitätstheorie und Erkenntnis apriori.Hans Reichenbach - 1921 - Annalen der Philosophie 2:493.

View all 6 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Can Metaphysical Structuralism Solve the Plurality Problem?Sophie R. Allen - 2018 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 26 (5):722-746.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Perspectivism, Inconsistent Models, and Contrastive Explanation.Anjan Chakravartty - 2010 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 41 (4):405-412.
The Potential of Perspectivism for Science Education.Jacob V. Pearce - 2013 - Educational Philosophy and Theory 45 (5):531-545.
Beyond Realism.Daniel W. Conway - 1990 - International Studies in Philosophy 22 (2):93-109.
Scientific Perspectivism.Ronald N. Giere - 2006 - University of Chicago Press.
Realism: Metaphysical, Scientific, and Semantic.Panu Raatikainen - 2014 - In Kenneth R. Westphal (ed.), Realism, Science, and Pragmatism. Routledge. pp. 139-158.
Nietzsche, Perspectivism, and Mental Health.Steven D. Hales & Rex Welshon - 1999 - Philosophy, Psychiatry, Psychology 6 (3):173-177.
Questions of the Objects of Knowledge and Types of Realism.Władysław Krajewski - 1992 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 6 (3):205-213.
Nietzsche's Perspectivism.Steven D. Hales & Rex Welshon - 2000 - University of Illinois Press.


Added to PP index

Total views
67 ( #154,160 of 2,433,036 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
3 ( #213,666 of 2,433,036 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes