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

Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 40 (2):213-220 (2009)
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Abstract

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 similarity to earlier ideas of 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 not fully developed, as well as helping us understand the work of these earlier authors and their continuing relevance to contemporary concerns in philosophy of science.Keywords: Ronald Giere; Paul Feyerabend; John Dewey; Perspectivism; Pragmatism; Pluralism.

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Matthew J. Brown
Southern Illinois University - Carbondale

Citations of this work

Scientific perspectivism in the phenomenological tradition.Philipp Berghofer - 2020 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 10 (3):1-27.
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John Dewey’s Logic of Science.Matthew J. Brown - 2012 - Hopos: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science 2 (2):258-306.
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How models are used to represent reality.Ronald N. Giere - 2004 - Philosophy of Science 71 (5):742-752.
Science without Laws.Mauricio Suárez - 2002 - Mind 111 (441):111-114.
Logic: The Theory of Inquiry.William R. Dennes - 1940 - Philosophical Review 49 (2):259.

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