Recommended Read – Subjectivity and Objectivity

What does it mean to look at something “objectively”? Is such a thing possible or are all our beliefs inescapably “subjective”?¬†I recommend reading this brief post by Jonothan Bernier on Subjectivity and Objectivity where he outlines the relationship between these two concepts within Bernard Lonergan’s critical realism.

The final two paragraphs are beautifully articulated. Here’s a taste…

Opting against one’s preferences vis-√†-vis the matter of truth is the hallmark of objectivity, and since people demonstrably do this there is demonstrably objectivity in this world. That is not to say of course that when someone judges that the truth is congruent with her or his preference that she or he is not operating objectively; it is simply to state where objectivity is more clearly evident. The objective subject is one who knows how to discover truth and sets out to do so.


2 thoughts on “Recommended Read – Subjectivity and Objectivity

  1. (Second try, got an error message before.)

    I have not read the piece, just what you extracted, but surely the mere fact that an argument causes you to revise your opinion is no evidence of “objectivity” you could still be driven by emotions to your conclusion, just different emotions…


  2. Not sure whats wrong with the link. The post can be found at:

    I take your point. Changing one’s perspective is certainly not proof of objectivity. But I do think in many situations it suggests that in such an instance one has placed higher value on believing what is true than retaining prior convictions and/or what these convictions entailed for oneself.

    I say “certain situations” because we sometimes/often change our minds on matters because we feel that it benefits us, not because we have made a self-critically honest inquiry into a matter, or to use Bernard Lonergan’s terms, by being attentive, intelligent, reasonable, and responsible.


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