Peter W. Evans
University of Queensland
Building on self-professed perspectival approaches to both scientific knowledge and causation, I explore the potentially radical suggestion that perspectivalism can be extended to account for a type of objectivity in science. Motivated by recent claims from quantum foundations that quantum mechanics must admit the possibility of observer-dependent facts, I develop the notion of 'perspectival objectivity', and suggest that an easier pill to swallow, philosophically speaking, than observer-dependency is perspective-dependency, allowing for a notion of observer-independence indexed to an agent perspective. Working through the case studies of colour perception and causal perspectivalism, I identify two places within which I claim perspectival objectivity is already employed, and make the connection to quantum mechanics through Bohr's philosophy of quantum theory. I contend that perspectival objectivity can ensure, despite the possibility of perspective-dependent scientific facts, the objectivity of scientific inquiry.
Keywords Perspectivalism  Objectivity  Observer dependency  Quantum mechanics
Categories (categorize this paper)
Reprint years 2020
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: 54,740
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

Making Things Happen. A Theory of Causal Explanation.Michael Strevens - 2007 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 74 (1):233-249.
Scientific Perspectivism.Ronald N. Giere - 2006 - University of Chicago Press.

View all 30 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

The Chinese Rune Argument.Barry Smith - 2001 - Philosophical Explorations 4 (2):66-74.
The Objectivity of Science.Howard Sankey - forthcoming - In Juan Carlos Aguirre-Garcia (ed.), Objectivity in Human Sciences.
The Perspectival Nature of Probability and Inference.Arnold Zuboff - 2000 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 43 (3):353 – 358.
Brandom on Norms and Objectivity.Leonardo Marchettoni - 2018 - Critical Horizons 19 (3):215-232.
Is Physics an Observer-Private Phenomenon Like Consciousness?Otto E. Rossler - 1998 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 5 (4):443-453.
Situated Objectivity.Malcolm Williams - 2005 - Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour 35 (1):99–120.
What Can the Global Observer Know?D. Gasparyan - 2015 - Constructivist Foundations 10 (2):227-237.


Added to PP index

Total views
23 ( #442,789 of 2,386,866 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
3 ( #262,029 of 2,386,866 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes