Philosophical Studies

, Volume 150, Issue 3, pp 439–447 | Cite as

Keeping things in perspective

  • Catherine Z. ElginEmail author


Scientific realism holds that scientific representations are utterly objective. They describe the way the world is, independent of any point of view. In Scientific Representation, van Fraassen argues otherwise. If science is to afford an understanding of nature, it must be grounded in evidence. Since evidence is perspectival, science cannot vindicate its claims using only utterly objective representations. For science to do its epistemic job, it must involve perspectival representations. I explicate this argument and show its power.


Objectivity Representation Van Fraassen Perspective Empirical science 



I would like to thank James Tappenden, Mary Kate McGowan, Catherine Wearing and Bas van Fraassen for useful comments on an earlier version of this paper.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Harvard UniversityCambridgeUSA

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