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Perspectival objectivity

Authors
  • Evans, Peter W.1
  • 1 University of Queensland, Brisbane, Qld, 4072, Australia , Brisbane (Australia)
Type
Published Article
Journal
European Journal for Philosophy of Science
Publisher
Springer Netherlands
Publication Date
Mar 21, 2020
Volume
10
Issue
2
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1007/s13194-020-00286-w
Source
Springer Nature
Keywords
License
Yellow

Abstract

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.

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