Ronald Giere (born 1938) is an American philosopher of science who is an emeritus professor of philosophy at the University of Minnesota. He is a Fellow of The AAAS, a long-time member of the editorial board of the journal Philosophy of Science, and a past president of the Philosophy of Science Association. His current research focuses on agent-based accounts of models and scientific representation, and on connections between naturalism and secularism.
In his book Scientific Perspectivism he develops a version of perspectival realism in which he argues that scientific descriptions are somewhat like colours, in that they capture only selected aspects of reality, and those aspects are not bits of the world seen as they are in themselves, but bits of the world seen from a distinctive human perspective. In addition to the color example, Giere articulates his perspectivism by appeal to maps and to his own earlier and influential work on scientific models. Maps represent the world, but the representations they provide are conventional, affected by interest, and never fully accurate or complete. Similarly, scientific models are idealized structures that represent the world from particular and limited points of view. According to Giere, what goes for colors, maps, and models goes generally: science is perspectival through and through.
In addition to many papers in the philosophy of science, he is the author of:
- Understanding Scientific Reasoning (5th ed 2006);
- Explaining Science: A Cognitive Approach (1988)
- Science Without Laws (1999)
- Scientific Perspectivism(2006), Chicago, University of Chicago Press. ISBN 978-0-226-29212-0
He has also edited several volumes of papers in the philosophy of science, including, most recently, Cognitive Models of Science (1992) and Origins of Logical Empiricism (1996).
Notes and references
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