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Whither Perspectival Science?


Matthew Pines

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M.Sc. Philosophy and Public Policy
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Are scientific laws objective truths that reveal the way the world is, or subjective generalisations that merely reveal a way we happen to see it? I treat this question as turning on the issue: are scientific laws non-perspectival or perspectival? It seems we hope for the first yet find ourselves pulled towards the second. Is there a viable compromise? In this paper I address a particular argument that scientific laws must be non-perspectival because only non-perspectival claims are truth-functional. I first discuss the logical structure of the argument and its possible weak points, specifically the possibility that perspectival claims are truth-functional. I then present John Halpin’s Perspectival Best System Account (PBSA) in support of this possibility. It is argued that scientific laws can be satisfactorily understood as perspectival without undermining our sense of their objectivity.

How to Cite: Pines, M., 2010. Whither Perspectival Science?. Rerum Causae, 2(1), pp.9–20.
Published on 01 Jan 2010.
Peer Reviewed


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