Objectivity: A Very Short Introduction
- Is objectivity possible? - Can there be objectivity in matters of morals, or tastes? - What would a truly objective account of the world be like? - Is everything subjective, or relative? - Are moral judgments objective or culturally relative? Objectivity is both an essential and elusive philosophical concept. An account is generally considered to be objective if it attempts to capture the nature of the object studied without judgement of a conscious entity or subject. Objectivity stands in contrast to subjectivity: an objective account is impartial, one which could ideally be accepted by any subject, because it does not draw on any assumptions, prejudices, or values of particular subjects. Stephen Gaukroger shows that it is far from clear that we can resolve moral or aesthetic disputes in this way and it has often been argued that such an approach is not always appropriate for disciplines that deal with human, rather than natural, phenomena. Moreover, even in those cases where we seek to be objective, it may be difficult to judge what a truly objective account would look like, and whether it is achievable. This Very Short Introduction demonstrates that there are a number of common misunderstandings about what objectivity is, and explores the theoretical and practical problems of objectivity by assessing the basic questions raised by it. As well as considering the core philosophical issues, Gaukroger also deals with the way in which particular understandings of objectivity impinge on social research, science, and art. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
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the varieties of objectivity
2 Is objectivity a form of honesty?
3 Doesnt science show there is no objectivity?
4 Isnt all perception and understanding relative?
5 What about our conceptual structuring of the world?
6 Is it possible to represent things objectively?
7 Objectivity in numbers?
8 Can the study of human behaviour be objective?
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17th century A. C. Grayling accurate representation Aenesidemus aesthetic judgements anthropology argued argument assessment behaviour beliefs Chapter Christian claim conception conceptual structuring contrast Copenhagen Interpretation crucial culture Daston Daston and Galison decision theory Earth ethics evidence example experience fact freedom from prejudice functionalist Galileo history of science human sciences identify intellectual honesty interpretation Inuit languages issue judgements of taste justification Kant’s kind Kuhn language logical positivists look Malise Ruthven matter measured Michael modern moral diversity moral judgements move natural sciences Nick Middleton notion of objectivity objectivity in science observation one’s paradigm particular perception philosophers physical Plato’s Popper prejudice or bias problem procedure quantification quantum mechanics questions of objectivity rain dance relative reliable religion Roger Scruton role Scientific Revolutions scientific theories secure objectivity sense someone statistics Structure of Scientific things truth understanding of objectivity universalizability velocity whereas Whorf Wikipedia