Encyclopedia  |   World Factbook  |   World Flags  |   Reference Tables  |   List of Lists     
   Academic Disciplines  |   Historical Timeline  |   Themed Timelines  |   Biographies  |   How-Tos     
Sponsor by The Tattoo Collection
Objectivity
Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index

Objectivity

 

The word objectivity admits at least two related meanings in philosophy.

Table of contents
1 Metaphysical objectivity
2 Epistemic objectivity
3 Objectivism
4 Psychometric objectivity
5 See also
6 Further reading

Metaphysical objectivity

To say that an entity exists objectively means that its existence and nature do not depend on anyone's awareness of it. The table at which I am sitting exists "objectively" because it would still exist and it would still be what it is even if no one were aware of it. See also metaphysical objectivism.

Epistemic objectivity

Objectivity, as an epistemic virtue, is the recognition that objects and events are independent of one's perceptions of them, or one's personal feelings, opinions and beliefs. It is thus opposed to subjectivity.

Such objectivity is generally regarded as essential to science, to philosophy, and to justice (See scientific method.) When a lawyer assessing the fitness of a potential juror asks "Can you be objective in judging the facts of this case?", it is this sense of the word objectivity that is being used.

Objectivism

Metaphysical objectivism holds that the universe exists objectively.

That should not be confused with Ayn Rand's systematic philosophy called Objectivism, which distinguishes among three views that it characterizes as intrinsic, subjective, and objective.

Psychometric objectivity

In psychometrics a measure is objective to the extent to which different users estimate the same value when they use it. The extent of agreement and the likelihood that it is non-random can be estimated mathematically.

See also

objective truth

Further reading