Perspectivism is the philosophical view developed by Friedrich Nietzsche that all ideations 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 "not" necessarily propose that all perspectives are equally valid.


Perspectivism rejects objective metaphysics as impossible, and claims that there are no objective evaluations which transcend cultural formations or subjective designations. This means that there are no objective facts, and that there can be no knowledge of a thing in itself. This separates truth from a particular (or single) vantage point, and means that there are no ethical or epistemological absolutes. [ Mautner, Thomas, "The Penguin Dictionary of Philosophy", page 418 ] This leads to constant reassessment of rules (i.e., those of philosophy, the scientific method, etc.) according to the circumstances of individual perspectives. [Schacht, Richard, "Nietzsche", p 61.] . “Truth” is thus formalized as a whole that is created by integrating different vantage points together.

We always adopt perspectives by default, whether we are aware of it or not, and the individual concepts of existence are defined by the circumstances surrounding that individual. Truth is made by and for individuals and peoples. [ Scott-Kakures, Dion, "History of Philosophy", page 346 ] This view differs from many types of relativism which consider the truth of a particular proposition as something that altogether cannot be evaluated with respect to an "absolute truth", without taking into consideration culture and context.

This view is outlined in an aphorism from Nietzsche's posthumously-assembled collection "Will to Power" .


Richard Schacht, in his interpretation of Nietzsche's thought, argues that this can be expanded into a revised form of “objectivity” in relation to “subjectivity” as an aggregate of singular viewpoints that illuminate, for example, a particular idea in seemingly self-contradictory ways but upon closer inspection would reveal a difference of contextuality and of rule by which such an idea (e.g., that is fundamentally perspectival) can be validated. Therefore, it can be said each perspective is subsumed into and, taking account of its individuated context, adds to the overall objective measure of a proposition under examination. Nevertheless, perspectivism does not implicate any method of inquiry nor a structural theory of knowledge in general. [Schacht, Richard, "Nietzsche".]

Developments of this view

José Ortega y Gasset has conceived of a potential sum of all perspectives of all lives which could produce an "absolute truth".


See also

* Conceptual framework
* Contextualism
* Philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche
* Fallibilism

External links

* [ La Voluntad de ilusión en Nietzsche; bases del perspectivismo| in Konvergencias] sp icon

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  • PERSPECTIVISM —    the PHILOSOPHIC position that every standpoint is TRUE when seen from its own perspective …   Concise dictionary of Religion

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  • perspectivism — per·spec·tiv·ism …   English syllables

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