Research Objectives

The project’s main lines are as follows. According to a natural way of thinking, objective reality is independent from us – independent from our thought and talk. Hence, when we have knowledge of it, it allows for a description whose truth does not depend on our perspectives. Nonetheless, we are familiar with the phenomenon that the truth-value of some of our claims, on the face of it perfectly apt to represent how things objectively are, essentially varies depending on our perspectives.

Thus, the statement "Dinosaurs last roamed the earth 60 million years ago", true when uttered now, would not have been true if it had been uttered, say, 10 million years ago; the claim "Time is running slower for Pollux, because he's travelling at 99% of the speed of light" might be true uttered relative to some reference frame but not others; “Lentils are tasty” and, more controversially, “Gay marriage is acceptable” are also perhaps true only when made relative to particular gustative or moral perspectives; and, to provide a totally commonplace example, the claim “I am hungry” is true when uttered by some agents at some times, but not when uttered by others, or by the same agent at a different time. How can this variation in truth-value be reconciled with our conception of facts as being perspective-independent? Are not those perspectives from which the truth-value of claims like these essentially depends also an aspect of objective reality? Our project aims to contribute to the field of research aiming at its core to answer questions like these. These issues have been studied in depth in contemporary philosophy by researchers working on only some of the crucial cases for understanding the perspectival character of our thought, and their work has provided important results. However, while the complexity and diversity of the phenomena makes understandable the piecemeal approach that so far has been taken, we think that a unified attack is needed, for which the exploiting of synergies and complementarities and the collaborative efforts that a CONSOLIDER project allows are mandatory.