RE: [asa] Objective vs. Subjective

From: George Cooper <>
Date: Mon Jan 05 2009 - 17:02:19 EST

Nice topic, Nucacids, and a timely one at that. Jon??? J


Could we not simplify define "objective" as being that which can be measured
by all parties who should obtain the same result given an appropriate range
of accuracy?


Measurement is the foundation to science. If it can't be measured, it ain't
science. [Sorry, multiuniverse theorists and IDers. J]


Where parties can not agree on their respective observations the we are in
the subjective realm since opinions and bias become key factors to the
claims. Love, hate, etc. are subjective elements. Even if most might agree
to relative strengths of these, what units of measure are assigned to them?







From: [] On
Behalf Of Nucacids
Sent: Monday, January 05, 2009 1:48 PM
Subject: [asa] Objective vs. Subjective


Hi all,


We have all been shaped by a culture that assigns high value to "objective
knowledge" and low value to "subjective knowledge." So it would help if we
made an effort to define both the objective and the subjective.


Let's begin with the dictionary, as the dictionary conveys the manner in
which words are commonly understood and thus best reflects what people are
trying to communicate. The dictionary defines 'objective' as follows:


"not influenced by personal feelings, interpretations, or prejudice; based
on facts; unbiased: an objective opinion.


intent upon or dealing with things external to the mind rather than with
thoughts or feelings, as a person or a book.


being the object of perception or thought; belonging to the object of
thought rather than to the thinking subject


of or pertaining to something that can be known, or to something that is an
object or a part of an object; existing independent of thought or an
observer as part of reality."


We could coalesce these definitions and define objective knowledge to mean
knowledge about things external to our minds that does not depend on
feelings, interpretations, or prejudice. In other words, it is unbiased
knowledge about the world around us.


Now, let us use the dictionary to define 'subjective':


"existing in the mind; belonging to the thinking subject rather than to the
object of thought


pertaining to or characteristic of an individual; personal; individual: a
subjective evaluation."


So we can define subjective knowledge as that which exists in the mind,
intertwined with someone's biases, and pertains to the one who holds the


Are there any problems with these definitions?


- Mike Gene

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Received on Mon Jan 5 17:02:31 2009

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