This edited collection is the first of its kind to explore the view called perspectivism in philosophy of science. The book brings together an array of essays that reflect on the methodological promises and scientific challenges of perspectivism in a variety of fields such as physics, biology, cognitive neuroscience, and cancer research, just as a few examples. What are the advantages of using a plurality of perspectives in a given scientific field and for interdisciplinary research? Can different perspectives be integrated? What is the relation between perspectivism, pluralism, and pragmatism? These ten new essays by top scholars in the field offer a polyphonic journey towards understanding the view called ‘perspectivism’ and its relevance to science.
"This impressive collection is essential reading for appreciating the inevitable contextualities of scientific knowledge. It explores of how notions of "perspective" can illuminate the epistemic upshot of the sciences and how they are situated in their history, practices, representations, and sometimes competing aims, provocatively advancing debates about realism, pragmatism, explanation, and modeling in the process, all through a wealth of cases from physics, biology, neuroscience, and medical science." - Anjan Chakravartty, University of Miami
"An excellent collection of essays on a topic rapidly establishing itself as an important interpretive programme in philosophy of science. One of the volume’s many merits consists in showing the diversity and versatility of perspectivism while illustrating common features among its different varieties. The reader is thus provided an enormously rich foundation for evaluating the role of perspectivism in understanding science and its practices." - Margaret Morrison, University of Toronto
"Perspectivism is a fruitful metaphor for imagining alternatives to traditional realism in philosophy of science. Massimi and McCoy have gathered ten essays which show how perspectivism is illuminating in areas such as molecular biology and measurement theory, and also explore the relationships between perspectivism and other recent accounts including pragmatism, structural realism, pluralism, and scientific modelling. There is an excellent balance of established and emerging scholars in the field. This volume is a superb, cutting-edge text to use in an advanced graduate seminar." - Miriam Solomon, Temple University
Table of Contents
Michela Massimi and Casey D. McCoy
Chapter 1. Pragmatism, Perspectivism, and the Historicity of Science
Chapter 2. Explanation, interdisciplinarity, and perspectives
Melinda Bonnie Fagan
Chapter 3. What is Perspectivism, and Does it Count as Realism?
Chapter 4. Realism and Explanatory Perspectives
Chapter 5. Universality and the Problem of Inconsistent Models
Chapter 6. Representationalism in Measurement Theory. Structuralism or Perspectivalism?
Johanna E. Wolff
Chapter 7. Safe-and-substantive perspectivism
Chapter 8. Charting the Heraclitean Brain: Perspectivism and Simplification in Models of the Motor Cortex
Chapter 9. Cancer Modeling: the Advantages and Limitations of Multiple Perspectives
Chapter 10. Perspectives, Representation, and Integration
Sandra D. Mitchell