Perspectival Instruments

Philosophy of Science 89 (3):521-541 (2022)
  Copy   BIBTEX


Despite its potential implications for the objectivity of scientific knowledge, the claim that “scientific instruments are perspectival” has received little critical attention. I show that this claim is best understood as highlighting the dependence of instruments on different perspectives. When closely analyzed, instead of constituting a novel epistemic challenge, this dependence can be exploited to mount novel strategies for resolving two old epistemic problems: conceptual relativism and theory-ladeness. The novel content of this article consists in articulating and developing these strategies by introducing two fine-grained notions of perspectives as the key units of analysis: “broad perspectives” and “narrow perspectives.”



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 84,179

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Giere’s instrumental Perspectivism.Kane Baker - 2020 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 10 (3):1-19.
Five Theses on Instrumental Realism.Davis Baird - 1988 - PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1988:165 - 173.
Thomas Kuhn‘s Latest Notion of Incommensurability.Xiang Chen - 1997 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 28 (2):257-273.
Who needs scientific instruments? Philosophers! Physiology and Philosophy in the fin de siecle.Alexander von Lunen - 2006 - In Bart Grob & Hans Hooijmaijers (eds.), Who Needs Scientific Instruments. Conference on Scientific Instruments and Their Users. Oct 20-22, 2005. pp. 29-36.
Inherent and Instrumental Values in Ethics.Stanley Riukas - 1998 - The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy 40:93-99.
Models as Mediating Instruments.Margaret Morrison & Mary S. Morgan - 1999 - In Mary S. Morgan & Margaret Morrison (eds.), Models as Mediators: Perspectives on Natural and Social Science. Cambridge University Press.
Incommensurability and Theory Change.Howard Sankey - 2011 - In Steven D. Hales (ed.), A Companion to Relativism. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell. pp. 456-474.
Meaning in a Material Medium.Davis Baird - 1994 - PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1994:441 - 451.
Perspectival Variance and Worldly Fragmentation.Martin A. Lipman - 2016 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 94 (1):42-57.
Perspectival objectivity.Peter W. Evans - 2020 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 10 (2):1-21.


Added to PP

40 (#317,245)

6 months
7 (#130,863)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Ana-Maria Crețu
University of Bristol

References found in this work

The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.Thomas S. Kuhn - 1962 - Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. Edited by Ian Hacking.
Patterns of discovery.Norwood Russell Hanson - 1958 - Cambridge [Eng.]: University Press.
Objectivity.Lorraine Daston & Peter Galison - 2007 - Cambridge, Mass.: Zone Books. Edited by Peter Galison.
Image and Logic: A Material Culture of Microphysics.Peter Galison (ed.) - 1997 - University of Chicago Press: Chicago.

View all 57 references / Add more references