RE: [asa] Objective vs. Subjective (and the Green Rules)

From: George Cooper <>
Date: Tue Jan 06 2009 - 14:07:47 EST


"Could we not simply define "objective" as being that which can be


Don said, "That's close, but I prefer "public" versus "private."
Information that's public is info that people can obtain in principle if
they have the resources and the motivation. Information that's private is
info that in principle cannot be checked out by anyone but has come to an
individual via personal experience. Science works partly because it
restricts itself to public info; but that does not mean private info is
necessarily any less valid: It just may not be valid to anyone other than
the one who received it.


The distinction between private and public is helpful in understanding the
important differences between objectivity and subjectivity. But subjective
opinions (and paintings) are usually made public and open for debate as to
their merit, except in monologues, so the "public" term is easily lost in
its general definition.



I would like to present something I have had a little help with I call the
"Green rules" - they seem too basic so I chose to add a little color to


Relationship rules for Objective and Subjective claims.


1) The objective elements of any subjective claim are open to scientific


2) Any subjective claim, scientific or otherwise, is also affected by the
manner in which the subjective claim uses the objective claim for


3) Science has influence upon subjective claims in proportion to the
weight science can bear upon the objective elements within them. This weight
is a product of the strength that science has in the respective area of
knowledge, and the amount of exposure within the subjective claim that the
objective elements have to this "pressure" from science.


4) Subjective claims have no direct influence on science. [Subjectivity
can indirectly greatly influence science via the scientist and supporting
parties, but the foundational measurements remain objective.]



I would appreciate comment, as I feel these are a bit too green (a worse
pun, sorry).


These can be applied to almost any religious or philosophical claim.
Consider the Geocentric claim that was supposedly seen as biblical. What
changed the opinion of the Church? It wasn't Galileo during his house
arrest for advocating the Heliocentric model. It was the fact that the
religious claim that the Earth was the center of the universe, and related
claims (eg. perfect celestial orbs) included objective elements within the
claim that allowed scientific scrutiny, when technology improved, to
influence the credibility of the Geocentric claim. The Church elected to
reject the initial scrutiny that Galileo thrust upon them, but eventually
they were too impacted by objective evidence to hold onto their
Aristotlean/Ptolemy/Aquinas view, or the adopted Tychonic model by the
Jesuit scholars.










To unsubscribe, send a message to with
"unsubscribe asa" (no quotes) as the body of the message.
Received on Tue Jan 6 14:08:16 2009

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Tue Jan 06 2009 - 14:08:16 EST