Perspectives builds on ideas that run surprisingly deep. Here we cite two philosophical schools that have bearing on those ideas, Perspectivism and Contextualism. While we certainly did not set out from these theories when taking up our work, it is nonetheless intriguing to take note of these (rather old) bodies of thought.


Perspectives is based on the philosophical notion of Perspectivism. Wikipedia defines Perspectivism as:

Perspectivism (GermanPerspektivismus) is the philosophical view (touched upon as far back as Plato's rendition of Protagoras) that all ideations take place from particular perspectives, and that there are many possible conceptual schemes, or perspectives in which judgment of truth or value can be made. This is often taken to imply that no way of seeing the world can be taken as definitively "true", but does not necessarily entail that all perspectives are equally valid. The term was coined by nineteenth-century philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche.

In Perspectives we are not only interested in the Truth but particularly in the question which information and Actions someone in a certain Role in a certain Context should have to perform appropriate behavior. This notion links Perspectivism with Contextualism.




Contextualism describes a collection of views in philosophy which emphasize the context in which an action, utterance, or expression occurs, and argues that, in some important respect, the action, utterance, or expression can only be understood relative to that context.[1] Contextualist views hold that philosophically controversial concepts, such as "meaning P", "knowing that P", "having a reason to A", and possibly even "being true" or "being right" only have meaning relative to a specified context. Some philosophers[2] hold that context-dependence may lead to relativism;[3] nevertheless, contextualist views are increasingly popular within philosophy.[1](Wikipedia)

Contextualism has a more fundamental interpretation in the Context Principle:

The Context Principle is one of Gottlob Frege's "three fundamental principles" for philosophical analysis, first discussed in his Introduction to The Foundations of Arithmetic (Grundlagen der Arithmetik, 1884). Frege argued that many philosophical errors, especially those related to psychologism in the philosophy of logic and philosophy of mathematics, could be avoided by adhering carefully to the context principle. The view of meaning expressed by the context principle is sometimes called semantic contextualism. This view need not be contrasted with the view that the meanings of words or expressions can (or must) be determined prior to, and independently of, the meanings of the propositions in which they occur, which is often referred to as compositionalism.

The context principle also figures prominently in the work of other Analytic philosophers, such as Bertrand Russell and Ludwig Wittgenstein, who were greatly influenced by Frege's work.