The problem with perspectivism

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hue-man
 
Reply Mon 22 Jun, 2009 01:57 pm
Perspectivism is the philosophical view developed by Nietzsche which says that truth is a matter of individual perspective, and that we cannot have knowledge of the thing in itself. It also says that we must adopt one of the perspectives, but no perspective is more correct than its rivals.

The problem with this is that perspectivism is in itself a perspective, and so it is somewhat self-defeating. Secondly, suggesting that we must adopt a particular perspective seems to suggest that at least one perspective is closer to the truth than the others, which contradicts perspectivism's claim that no perspective is more correct than the other.

Perspectivism seems to suggest that there can be no objective reality (another perspective), and that reality is a matter of individual perspective. This sounds like another philosopher putting human perception at the center of the universe. Science tries to discover what's real in spite of our mental perceptions and concepts, and I would say that it is quite successful at doing this (certainly the most successful).

Last but not least, like most of Nietzschean philosophy, perspectivism only deals in the negative, not contributing any practical theory to the field of philosophy.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Mon 22 Jun, 2009 03:38 pm
@hue-man,
hue-man;71162 wrote:
Perspectivism is the philosophical developed by Nietzsche which says that truth is a matter of individual perspective, and that we cannot have knowledge of the thing in itself. It also says that we must adopt one of the perspectives, but no perspective is more correct than its rivals.

The problem with this is that perspectivism is in itself a perspective, and so it is somewhat self-defeating. Secondly, suggesting that we must adopt a particular perspective seems to suggest that at least one perspective is closer to the truth than the others, which contradicts perspectivism's claim that no perspective is more correct than the other.

Perspectivism seems to suggest that there can be no objective reality (another perspective), and that reality is a matter of individual perspective. This sounds like another philosopher putting human perception at the center of the universe. Science tries to discover what's real in spite of our mental perceptions and concepts, and I would say that it is quite successful at doing this (certainly the most successful).

Last but not least, like most of Niezschean philosophy, perspectivism only deals in the negative, not attribtuing any practical theory to the field of philosophy.


In addition to all the good points you have made in this post, it is obvious that knowledge of something cannot be that something itself, for if it were, it would not be knowledge of that something. So to fault knowledge of something for not being that something of which it is knowledge, really makes no sense.
 
jgweed
 
Reply Tue 23 Jun, 2009 08:09 am
@hue-man,
Perspectivalism need not claim that every perspective is equally correct, and my reading of N. does not suggest that he himselft understood them to be of equal value or worth. Danto, in discussing this, takes the position that, for example, a perspective that takes into account both other perspectives as well as includes more "data" is superior to a more narrow or limited one.

Nor does perspectivalism force upon its adherent the position that there is no "objective" reality; it does seem to imply that our knowledge of it, however, is perspectival in nature. One could draw an analogy with the Kantian position that noumena are in themselves unknowable because they must be conditioned through transcendental filters to be knowable, and that we cannot go beyond these filters to determine if anything corresponds to that which is filtered.

Nor do I think perspectivalism (or for that matter N's philosophy taken as a whole) contributes nothing to the field of philosophy. First, it reminds the philosopher that other perspectives are possible and encourages him to look for them rather than assume his positions are absolutely correct. Second, it opens up new methods of analysis, and suggests the study of how different perspectives have grown and interacted. Schultz, for example, has investigated both perspectives and "horizons" in his philosophy with subtlety and penetration.
Regards,
John
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Tue 23 Jun, 2009 08:33 am
@jgweed,
jgweed;71375 wrote:
that we cannot go beyond these filters to determine if anything corresponds to that which is filtered.


John


But science (and in a different way, philosophy) does go beyond these filters, and not ony tells us that something correspond to those filters, but is, already giving us an excellent idea of what that something is. Naturally, if matters are so understood that nothing could "go beyond" those filters, then, clearly, nothing will. But that would be a consequent of a particular perspective (as N. and you might put it, and one that is mistaken) not how it really is.
 
Dearhtead
 
Reply Tue 23 Jun, 2009 08:40 am
@jgweed,
jgweed;71375 wrote:
Perspectivalism need not claim that every perspective is equally correct, and my reading of N. does not suggest that he himselft understood them to be of equal value or worth. Danto, in discussing this, takes the position that, for example, a perspective that takes into account both other perspectives as well as includes more "data" is superior to a more narrow or limited one.

Nor does perspectivalism force upon its adherent the position that there is no "objective" reality; it does seem to imply that our knowledge of it, however, is perspectival in nature. One could draw an analogy with the Kantian position that noumena are in themselves unknowable because they must be conditioned through transcendental filters to be knowable, and that we cannot go beyond these filters to determine if anything corresponds to that which is filtered.

Nor do I think perspectivalism (or for that matter N's philosophy taken as a whole) contributes nothing to the field of philosophy. First, it reminds the philosopher that other perspectives are possible and encourages him to look for them rather than assume his positions are absolutely correct. Second, it opens up new methods of analysis, and suggests the study of how different perspectives have grown and interacted. Schultz, for example, has investigated both perspectives and "horizons" in his philosophy with subtlety and penetration.
Regards,
John


I don't think that takes into account several data is a good manner if we are looking for the truth. The data just confirm it.

I totally disagree with the Kantian idea that the noumena is unintelligible. It is absurd.

The perspectivism seems to be a Modern surgeon of the scekticism. If the philosopher doesn't believe in the existence of a truth, for me this a real problem.
 
richrf
 
Reply Tue 23 Jun, 2009 10:24 am
@hue-man,
hue-man;71162 wrote:
The problem with this is that perspectivism is in itself a perspective, and so it is somewhat self-defeating.


Is your statement about Nietzsche, your perspective ... or are you claiming this to be an objective truth, that is true for everyone?

Rich
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Tue 23 Jun, 2009 11:58 am
@richrf,
richrf;71403 wrote:
Is your statement about Nietzsche, your perspective ... or are you claiming this to be an objective truth, that is true for everyone?

Rich


All claims are from someone's perspective, but they need not be only from someone's perspective. The claim may be from my perspective, but I may think that any rational person should hold what I claim to be true. For instance, that the Sun is many times larger than Earth, or that Quito is the capital of Ecuador, since the evidence for both claims is overwhelming. It may not be, of course, that not everyone believes such claims are true, for not everyone, as Socrates puts it, "follows the argument wherever it leads".
 
richrf
 
Reply Tue 23 Jun, 2009 12:55 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;71418 wrote:
All claims are from someone's perspective


OK.

Quote:
but they need not be only from someone's perspective. The claim may be from my perspective, but I may think that any rational person should hold what I claim to be true.


Yes, you can think anything you want. It is your perspective.


Rich
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Tue 23 Jun, 2009 01:16 pm
@richrf,
richrf;71430 wrote:
OK.



Yes, you can think anything you want. It is your perspective.


Rich


Yes, and I can be right too.
 
richrf
 
Reply Tue 23 Jun, 2009 01:19 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;71436 wrote:
Yes, and I can be right too.


Yes, you can be anything you want to be. However, you are going to have to figure out what you are going to do if someone disagrees.

Rich
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Tue 23 Jun, 2009 01:50 pm
@richrf,
richrf;71438 wrote:
Yes, you can be anything you want to be. However, you are going to have to figure out what you are going to do if someone disagrees.

Rich


That's easy. Find out whether the disagreement is sensible, and can be made sensible. Why should mere disagreement cause a problem? There are Holocaust deniers, there are Flat Earthers, there are deniers that people walked on the Moon, there are people who think that the destruction of the Twin Towers was an inside job. There are even people who think they are Louis the 16th. So what?
 
richrf
 
Reply Tue 23 Jun, 2009 02:16 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;71451 wrote:
That's easy. Find out whether the disagreement is sensible, and can be made sensible. Why should mere disagreement cause a problem? There are Holocaust deniers, there are Flat Earthers, there are deniers that people walked on the Moon, there are people who think that the destruction of the Twin Towers was an inside job. There are even people who think they are Louis the 16th. So what?


Sure. You can discuss, research, observe, ponder it. Do whatever you want. And then you can choose to either maintain your perspective, or change perspective. Perspectives can change. That is the beauty of perspectives.

What we have here is a very brief description of Free Will and Subjectivity - i.e. the ability to observe, change direction, and form a new idea.

Rich
 
hue-man
 
Reply Tue 23 Jun, 2009 02:22 pm
@richrf,
After reading some of the responses from the posters who support perspectivism, I realize that it is more self-defeating than I originally thought it was.
 
richrf
 
Reply Tue 23 Jun, 2009 02:24 pm
@hue-man,
hue-man;71466 wrote:
After reading some of the responses from the posters who support perspectivism, I realize that it is more self-defeating than I originally thought it was.


Appreciate your perspective. Smile

Rich
 
Violent Meme
 
Reply Tue 23 Jun, 2009 02:33 pm
@hue-man,
Perspectivism, as I know the term, implies Equality.

And I have no reason to believe that any two Perspectives are "Equal" or "Identical" because how would that even be possible? (I have no idea)

Once Equality of Perspectives is refuted then so is Perspectivism.

Perspectivism then falls away to Relativity (which I do accept as true).
 
hue-man
 
Reply Tue 23 Jun, 2009 02:36 pm
@richrf,
Continental philosophy fails by turning methodological skepticism into mysticism and cynical relativism. It results in the inability to form a constructive philosophy. Its only purpose seems be rebellion against the logical clarification of thought that is characteristic of analytic philosophy.
 
richrf
 
Reply Tue 23 Jun, 2009 03:03 pm
@Violent Meme,
Violent Meme;71474 wrote:
Perspectivism, as I know the term, implies Equality.

And I have no reason to believe that any two Perspectives are "Equal" or "Identical" because how would that even be possible? (I have no idea)

Once Equality of Perspectives is refuted then so is Perspectivism.

Perspectivism then falls away to Relativity (which I do accept as true).


Equality can be interpreted in many ways. One way would be the mathematical identical. But one can also say that one perspective is as valid as another, and therefore no one should take precedence over another.

Wikipedia has a different take:

"Perspectivism is the philosophical view developed by Friedrich Nietzscheideations take place from particular perspectives. This means that there are many possible conceptual schemes, or perspectives which determine any possible judgment of truth or value that we may make; this implies that no way of seeing the world can be taken as definitively "true", but does that all not necessarily propose that all perspectives are equally valid."

So it all depends upon how one interprets the notion of Perspectivism, which of course is the heart of the idea.

Rich
 
nameless
 
Reply Tue 23 Jun, 2009 03:43 pm
@hue-man,
"The complete Universe is defined/described as the sum-total of all Conscious Perspectives!" - Book of Fudd (4:20)

Every perception is a real feature of the complete Universe. Sans any one perception, the entire universe must be different.
 
richrf
 
Reply Tue 23 Jun, 2009 03:45 pm
@nameless,
nameless;71500 wrote:
"The complete Universe is defined/described as the sum-total of all Conscious Perspectives!" - Book of Fudd (4:20)


Could be. Sounds good to me.

Rich
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Tue 23 Jun, 2009 04:05 pm
@richrf,
richrf;71488 wrote:
Equality can be interpreted in many ways. One way would be the mathematical identical. But one can also say that one perspective is as valid as another, and therefore no one should take precedence over another.

Wikipedia has a different take:

"Perspectivism is the philosophical view developed by Friedrich Nietzscheideations take place from particular perspectives. This means that there are many possible conceptual schemes, or perspectives which determine any possible judgment of truth or value that we may make; this implies that no way of seeing the world can be taken as definitively "true", but does that all not necessarily propose that all perspectives are equally valid."

So it all depends upon how one interprets the notion of Perspectivism, which of course is the heart of the idea.

Rich


Not sure how "valid" and "true" are supposed to be different, if, indeed, they are suppose to be different. But, I agree that the passage is vague enough to mean almost anything it may come into your head it means. What puzzles me is why you think this is something to be admired rather than something to be avoided. If vagueness and vacuity is the "heart of the idea" of perspectivism, that is a further strong reason to ignore it as worthless.
 
 

 
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