Perspectival Facts: Fragmentalism and Rival Approaches

June 21, 2021 - June 23, 2021

This event is online


  • Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research


University of Eastern Piedmont
Leiden University
Nottingham University (PhD)
University of Geneva
Université de Montréal
Polonsky Academy, Van Leer Jerusalem Institute


Leiden University

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This workshop focuses on our understanding of perspectival facts. A perspectival fact is roughly a fact that obtains but doesn’t obtain relative to all existing standpoints. For example, a temporal fact obtains but doesn’t obtain at all moments in time. Metaphysicians have recently explored new approaches to our understanding of such facts. One view that has been of interest is fragmentalism, first introduced by Kit Fine. According to this view, reality has a fragmented structure and is constituted by the (possibly incompatible) facts that seem to obtain from different standpoints. This workshop is dedicated to recent work on fragmentalism, criticisms, and new rival approaches to perspectival facts.

Location: online, through Zoom.

Date: 21-23th of June (timeslots: 15:00-16:45 CET and 17:15 - 19:00 CET).



Titles and abstracts are still to be announced. 

Please be aware that indicated times are in Central European Time!


Monday 21st of June:

15:00 - 16:45 CET: Samuele Iaquinto, Roberto Loss (on joint work with Claudio Calosi): 'Fragmentalism: Putting all the Pieces Together'

Abstract: We provide a rigorous, thorough chart of different varieties of fragmentalism and its boundaries (a coherent reality and a contradictory reality) in terms of two primitive notions, incompatibility, and (an irreducibly plural notion of) obtainment. We argue that there are two main different variants of fragmentalism, one which takes conjunctive obtainment to be equivalent to distributive obtainment (adjunctive fragmentalism), and one which takes conjunctive obtainment to be equivalent to collective obtainment (non-adjunctive fragmentalism).  

17:15 - 19:00 CET: Giovanni Merlo: 'Fragmentalism we can believe in'

Abstract: One prominent argument for the existence of perspectival facts appeals to rational explanation: it is claimed that a commitment to perspectival facts is implicit in many of the attitudes that we need to ascribe to a rational agent if we want to make sense of his or her intentional behaviour. Fragmentalist forms of perspectival realism acknowledge the existence of perspectival facts but claim that the ‘perspectives’ relative to which these facts are said to obtain – be they times, worlds, or subjective points of view – are all equally real. In this talk, I will distinguish two versions of Fragmentalism, differing from one another in how they interpret the phrase ‘equally real’. I will argue that what is currently the most popular version of this view – unstructured Fragmentalism, as I will call it – undermines the argument from rational explanation. Advocates of unstructured Fragmentalism are, therefore, under pressure to explain why we should posit perspectival facts in the first place – and it is unclear whether and how they can handle this pressure.


Tuesday 22nd of June:

15:00 - 16:45 CET: Jonathan Simon: 'Nesting and Combining Fragments'

Abstract: I develop a technique allowing for a nested structure of fragments. This technique allows us to combine different applications of fragmentalism such as time, quantum branching, and subjectivity into a single framework, and it underwrites a fragmentalist theory of alethic modality.

17:15 - 19:00 CET: Martin Lipman: ‘Fragmentalism reconfigured’

Abstract: In this talk I want to take up, yet again, the challenge of making sense of an intrinsically perspectival world and sketch an approach that bears strong resemblance to forms of fragmentalism, yet differs from it in key respects. Fragmentalism is motivated by the thought that what obtains at different standpoints must be equally real, even though such matters may be incompatible. I argue that the central motivation relies on a notion of standpoint adoption that hasn’t been done justice to in current frameworks. I will then sketch an approach to perspectival facts that uses the notion of standpoint adoption (and its logic) in elucidating the central conceptual terms of the framework. Though generally applicable, I will focus on the (usual) case of time.


Wednesday 23rd of June:

15:00 - 16:45 CET: Olla Solomyak: 'The Perspectives Framework: An Approach to Realism about the Perspectival'

Abstract: TBA. 


Anyone is welcome to attend but please email the organizer ([email protected]) to obtain a link to the zoom meeting. The workshop is organized as part of the NWO funded project A Fragmented World: A New Philosophical Approach to Perspectival Facts.

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June 23, 2021, 9:00am CET

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