Objective VS Subjective

I can’t seem to find simple, generally agreed upon definitions of objectivity and subjectivity.

My biggest problem is with a proposition of the type: “I’m more attracted to tall women”. From what I’ve been reading this is a subjective statement because it relates to an opinion that is dependent on a subject but isn’t it objectively true that I’m more attracted to taller women than to shorter women? I mean, a proposition like “Tall women are more attractive” is surely subjective, it depends on the subject and what he/she finds attractive, but a statement that says that subject X feels something for Y is objective, it’s a fact, there’s a truth value in that proposition. The same goes with “Chocolate is delicious” as opposed to “I love chocolate”

Am I wrong? And what is your definition for these two words.

How do I know that you’re more attracted to taller women than shorter women? Maybe you’re lying. Also, how do you know? You may think you’re more attracted to taller women than shorter women but in a well-designed test you may demonstrate otherwise. Do you really know yourself that well? Also, people change based on circumstances. Perhaps you prefer taller women at only this single instant of your life. But how can we demonstrate the truth of that claim? What “well-designed test” works to show how you really felt that instant of your life? And how would we know you preferred a woman because she’s taller? Maybe it was because she’s proportionately thinner, giving the illusion of tallness.

I think true “capital O” objectivity means “God’s eye view”, even though many people who claim to believe in Objectivity claim to not know what “God’s eye view” has to do with it.

Yeah, taken far enough, it gets pretty confused:

Subjective truths are objective facts about the world, and vice versa. In any absolute sense, the dichotomy does not hold - the subject becomes an object as soon as we talk about it, and as soon as we think it, the objective fact becomes subjective. Yet, the subject / object distinction can be useful in context, to distinguish perceiver from thing perceived, and the subjective / objective distintion to distinguish statements of overt opinion or feeling from statements about empirically verifiable observations. However, it all depends on the purpose of a particular statement. There are no statements that aren’t based in our perceptions of the world, so in that sense, everything is subjective - yet, neither are there any true statements of opinion that aren’t objective facts about reality. Ultimately, all you have to do is put “i think …” or “i feel that …” in front of any ostensibly objective statement in order to make it subjective, or vice versa. For instance, if you truly love chocolate, then to say “I love chocolate” is to utter an objective fact about the world we all live in, but it is an objective fact about a subjective perception. “Chocolate is delicious” is more likely to be considered a purely subjective statement, but semantically, we either have to presume that the statement is meant to apply universally, in which case it becomes falsifiable and therefore subjective, in which case it becomes mere shorthand for “I THINK chocolate is delicious”, in which case, if true, it becomes an objective fact; Or we can just jump the gun and presume that all statements of the form “Chocolate is delicious” are shorthand for some subject’s opinion about chocolate, in which case it still then becomes an objective truth about a subjective fact. So again, it’s all about context, intent, and consensus about various subjects’ perceptions.

lies about the unverifiable also, as anon points out, present an interesting grey area

If it’s in-the-way, it’s ob-jective. If it’s under-way, it’s sub-jective. There, nice and clear now! :smiley:

you know oughtie, anything that simplifies is, as a rule, bad philosophy :smiley:

And as luck would have it, I’m a bad philosopher!! :shifty:

Tall woman in the middle of the road = Objective

Tall woman in the middle of the bed = Subjective

Something is subjective if it is experienced by only one mind; something is objective if it can be experienced (even if not experienced accurately/as it is) by more than one mind. One mind can only experienced and be affected by objective expressions/results of another mind’s subjective experiences.

that would make the statement “Chocolate is delicious” objective, wouldn’t it? since considerably more than one mind has had that experience …

There’s a book called, “subjective, objective, intersubjective” which I think deals with this nicely. Check it out if you’re interested.

It would say that someone stating (or a written recording that) “Chocolate is delicious” is objective, since it could be read/heard by more than one mind.

But the experience one has due to eating the chocolate, how the mind registers the taste and texture, is subjective. I can watch them eat it and see they enjoy it from the way their external body (objective information) moves, and I can even relate it to my own memories of having eaten chocolate, and vaguely taste chocolate myself, but in that case I am immediately reacting to an objective stimulus that other minds could also view; I can’t experience another’s subjective experience.

It doesn’t really matter how many minds experience chocolate as delicious - the statement is still subjective to those minds as it is basically just an opinion. All opinions and beliefs are subjective. Saying for instance that dark chocolate is brown would be an objective statement. At the same time, all chocolate is not brown there is milky white chocolate. Any statement that cannot be disputed as fact is objective.

This is true - only your own albeit if both people love chocolate they may in a sense experience another’s sense of that subjective experience, though the taste buds may be different so really one cannot actually experience another’s subjective experience, not totally. I hate olives, many people love olives. I can say that olives are disgusting but that is only an opinion and is subjective. Someone else may say olives are delicious and that would still be a subjective statement for them. Olives are a fruit (or are they a vegetable) would be stating a fact - and that is an objective statement. I might be looking at the same sunrise as someone else, but at the same time, we will both have different “subjective” experiences of it, because of the brain. The objective fact that would remain is that there is a sunrise. We might “subjectively” even say that the sunrise is beautiful, (and for me that would be objective, but just for me) but at the same time, it is just that there is a sunrise that can be objective.

My differentiation of the two was based on etymology. Subjective means the experience is that of the subject (the mind), while objective points at an object (seemingly separate from the mind).

My definition had nothing to do with common connotations of belief versus fact, irrational or logical (it is these connotations which over complicates the words’ meanings until they cannot be productively used).
One’s meaning behind the statement is based on one’s subjective experience (the statement is made to express one’s subjective experience), but the statement itself (the sounds of the spoken words, the lines that make up the letters) is objective information that other minds can immediately react to.

One can’t experience the other’s subjective experience at all; they can merely agree that a certain word (their own definitions/understandings/uses of that word) accurately expresses both of their subjective impressions.

That more than one person thinks that chocolate is delicious, is an objective statement. That Joe thinks that chocolate is delicious is a objective statement. But that chocolate is delicious is a subjective statement. Experiences are, of course, subjective, in at least one sense, because each individual has his own experience, and cannot have anyone else’s experience. Also, no individual can feel the experience of another person. But, in another sense, if an a job interviewer asks me whether I have had any experience with using a Word, he is asking me an objective, not a subjective question. He is not asking me about my feelings, but about whether I am familiar with a computer program. It is important, I think, carefully to distinguish what it is we are calling “subjective” or “objective”. Otherwise we get confused.

The concepts are a product of some individual ‘thoughts’; like unicorns and guardian angels and Jesus. ‘Real’ to the particular perceivers, however, and therefore/therehow exist.
Yet the concepts of ‘subjective’ and ‘objective’, when thoroughly examined, fade as mist in the wind; become meaningless and absurd. There is no ‘subject’ and there is no ‘object’.
It is ego that ‘imagines’ such ‘distinctions’.
All is One.
Perceiver and perceived are One.
The Universe is One…

(Seems to be another ‘inaccurate’ (naive) feature of western ‘philosophy’ (another in a long list!))

Would that mean that a report of a baseball game in a newspaper cannot be objective, so you cannot find out which team won the game?

Splitting the human experience of reality into subjective and objective oppositions has cost Western philosophy any claim to universality.

but the problem is those distinctions don’t hold up under analytic scrutiny - the statement “chocolate is delicious” is either an assertion that chocolate is universally delicious or it is an assertion about how the speaker feels about chocolate as an individual - in the first case it becomes falsifiable, because we can find someone, somewhere who doesn’t thnk chocolate is delicious and would challenge the universality of the assertion, but it STILL might remain an objectively true fact about the speaker’s feelings towards chocolate - in the second case it starts and ends as objectively true fact about the speaker’s feelings towards chocolate.

but those feelings are subjective, are they not? well, that depends, they are objective facts about the world we live in, arent they?

I think the confusion comes when we insist that all experience is subjective, because no statement is ever made that isn’t in some way based on experience, so we have to arbitrarily seperate statements from the experience in order to arrive at any meaning we can call objective - but the arbitrariness of that process leads to what i think is an inerradicable ambiguity about when a statement is objective vs. when it is subjective . . . we end up assigning intent to statements on behalf of the speaker in order to determine the subjectivity or objectivity of what they say . . .

The reason trying to serperate subjective and objective hasn’t really worked is because

A) Most humans are idiots and don’t realize that their experiences of things aren’t how those things (and the things that make up and encompass those things) are outside their minds; most humans think the body perfectly sees exactly how the “external” world is, rather than (the fact that) different parts (of the body) pick up only some information, filtering and interpretting (altering that), and doing that again and again and again through however many parts until a very very small part of the information is “maintained” (it is altered a great, great deal at that point) and interpretted by the brain according to memories/the potential of current (habitual) neuron networks. This leads to:

B) Humans think the “external” world, since others can also point ot things and say “Yes I see that (some agreed upon word to represent it)”, is “real” (as they see it), so they think all ideas/opinions/subjective experiences based off those things are “logical”/“rational”. You see this with atheists all the time; they think because they make an opinion (even a totally retarded claim) based off things studied by the scientific method, suddenly their interpretation is “scientific”, and automatically valid.

That’s why I thought my definition was most valid/useful/productive. It doesn’t carry connotations of accurate or inaccurate/belief or fact. Subjective is the subject (the experience of/that is the mind at that moment), while objective implies an “external” object (that other subjective minds can react to). Everything humans experience is subjective, calling something “objective” is just inevitable, though, because the human mind seeks to relieve suffering, and to do so certain “objective” needs have to be secured (like food and shelter).

Human language will always be illusory, because the mind has to assume a close identification/association witht he body, as not doing so causes the mind to suffer. However, hopefully the human majority will soon realize that the mind (that only exists for a moment) is not some thing that exists through spacetime (IE one mind is not the same mind as that that arose from a different body that that mind may associate as being the same as that current mind). The mind is not the body, and neither of these exists for loner than a moment of time, except for in one’s illusory reality.

We can’t help experiencing these illusions, but actually believing they are as things are (outside the subjective experience), and calling them “facts” just because others share these delusions, keeps us in a circle of idiocy.

Of course you can call it that, according to the superficial common ignorant and obsolete (mis)understandings of the meanings of ‘objective’ and ‘subjective’, and the ego-illusion from which the concepts spring.
The public is being educated, but, it is a ‘lengthy’ process.
It appears that part of the ‘vetting’ procedure for new concepts is that;

“Each progressive spirit is opposed by a thousand mediocre minds appointed to guard the past.”
-Maurice Maeterlinck

I would replace, in this case, “progressive spirit” with “new understanding”.

The ‘new world’ requires a new (updated) language to describe it.

“…the concepts of ‘subjective’ and ‘objective’, when thoroughly examined, fade into One…”

what’s idiotic about it? - it seems to work pretty well - and what would be the alternative?