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Objectivity

The state of being objective is to correctly represent reality. The term “reality” however can lack clarity. Science is a methodological attempt to resolve truths from ambiguity.

Empirical evidence based upon observations and experimentation in the physical world is conducive to the verification of scientific judgments. Adherence to the rules of deduction and the process of inductive reasoning implements the validity and soundness of scientific arguments and conclusions.

Scales of justice

Logical content determines the validity of an argument. It relies upon a scientific method to justify the soundness, or real content of its arguments and conclusions. Scientific conclusions tend to have a determinable capacity for objectivity, unlike moral judgments and aesthetic judgments.

Philosophically there are too many unknowns to give distinct content to the notion of objectivity. The state of being objective has troubled meaning where in an isolated relationship the subject and object may be indistinguishable except to an external observer.

Some philosophers have argued that a neutral point of view, (that is one that is to represent all sides of the story without conjecture) has no content and is thus meaningless because it provides no new information or knowledge.

There is a certain reliance of objectivity on subjectivity. Care should be taken in reducing an attempt at describing objective reality to a dichotomous relationship between object and subject or insisting a difference in and between subjectivity and objectivity.

Objectivity is achieved through the use of scientific method. Peer review is essential to objectivity in all academic fields. Taking an objective approach to an issue means having due regard for known relevant facts and rules, attempting to attain as much information as possible, and discounting appeals to personal feelings in the reasoning process. If relevant evidence is omitted, an objective approach to an issue may be compromised.

Notions of objectivism state that there is a reality or realm of objects existing independent of the mind (metaphysical objectivism). Objectivism attempts to define the ontological status of the objects of reality, and as a position (true or false) assign truth value to the objects themselves of that reality.

Objectivity is a philosophical term encountered when we ask ourselves what is real and how do we know what we infer about the real is true. Inherent to the term objectivity is that there is a body of knowledge referred to which is representative of a single reality.

In the communication of ideas, famously the 14th century philosopher, William of Ockham who stated the principle that in accounting for the facts nothing should be assumed as necessary unless it is established through evidentiary experience or reasoning or is required by articles of faith.

Plato’s definition of objectivity takes mathematics as a model; similar assertions are made in his Metaphysics, including his definition of metaphysics, where knowledge of the existence (ontological status) of objects and ideas is resistant to change.

Only the propositions or references to objective constituents by means of our propositional acts and mutual intelligibility are true or false. Consistent belief systems and identity over time require that there be propositions independent of acts verifying propositions. Independent propositions are required in order to account for the incompatibility between different propositional acts: i.e. possibly; a third posit is required to reconcile a point of knowledge.

Plato rely’s upon syllogism to demonstrate his position. A syllogism is a logical argument in three propositions, two premises and a conclusion that follows necessarily from them. A proposition is an objective constituent which clearly references the object or entity being named by it. The value of a proposition is to be either true or false.

syllogisms

Consistent belief systems and identity over time require an objective and timeless notion of truth. The existence (ontological status) of a possible objective reality, and references towards the objective should not be confused with nor reduced to dichotomous relations between object and subject, or subjectivity and objectivity without considerable qualifications.

Proposition has its application in the axioms and formulas of the sciences, mathematics and the rules and processes of logic. If there is no objective constituent common to and independent of different judgments, both science and communication would not be possible.

In considering descriptions of reality one must always be prepared for the possibility that more than one description (perception; tautology) may hold simultaneously true or false in the proposition of a syllogism. His opposition between objective knowledge and opinions (doxa) became the basis for later philosophies attempting to resolve the problem of reality, knowledge and human existence.

In Plato’s distinction between what we know and how we know it and their status as principles of pure being (ontology; metaphysics), he stated that it is difficult to distinguish between knowledge; opinion (doxa) and subjective knowledge (true belief).

Personal opinions belong to the changing sphere of the sensible, as opposed to a fixed and eternal incorporeal realm which is mutually intelligible. Plato’s conception is a paradigm of the modern scientism which considers only scientific knowledge to be legitimate and distances common everyday knowledge as subject to change and illusion.

Various commentators think this statement as too simplistically dualistic and present other ways of achieving feasible objectivity, for example by intersubjective verifiability. Individuals may think the same thought at different times and with different attitudes. Objectivity presupposes some definition of truth, but the objects themselves are not true or false.

The importance of perceptive stance in evaluating and understanding objective reality is integral in the philosophy of science. Realism holds that perception is key in directly observing objective reality, while instrumentalism holds that perception is not necessarily useful in directly observing objective reality but has a place in interpreting and predicting reality.

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