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Theory of knowledge - Subjectivity versus Objectivity

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Varun Mohapatra Theory of Knowledge Mrs. Menon THEORY OF KNOWLEDGE Subjectivity versus Objectivity Humanity has come a long way since the time of prehistory. But throughout our "evolution", we have adapted and we have placed importance on various values and characteristics. For example, the most coveted possession even today was money. Earlier, money was not of such great importance. Honor, chivalry and bravery were all a part of what real value was. But we are in a new age, and values can change. Values are one feature of humanity and another is our reason. We have been blessed with the great gift of reason, but is our reason, reason enough? Is there more than just scientific method or logical analysis? Subjectivity and objectivity have come a long way since the time of Neanderthals and even to modern man itself. As mentioned before, humanity has changed and humanity is very susceptible to change. But nothing is without problems. So what is the problematic nature of the distinction between subjectivity and objectivity? Objectivity has no specific definition, but if we look at many aspects that incorporate it, we can deduce its meaning. ...read more.


Subjectivity is more towards the individual itself. It incorporates aesthetic, cultural, etc... tendencies. Basically, subjectivity can be said to be thinking qualitatively. Taking the example of the scientist studying the bird, the main question the scientist comes across is "Should I kill it?" The scientist, in order to know the anatomy, has to dissect the bird. He has to study the physio-chemical dimension in order to know. But in the laboratory, the scientist's feelings cannot be isolated and thrown away. The scientist's "gut feeling" is great enough that can take him away from his objective, he is able to do so. That is subjective thinking; based on the quality not the quantity. Objectivity, as mentioned before, has to do with quantitative thinking. Science uses this quantitative thinking in relation to all its questions. One must consider and notice that all scientific questions have to do with empirical and quantitative analysis. For example, if a man passes a woman whom he loves, science would describe that feeling as a rush of blood to the cheeks, an increase in output of hormones, etc... ...read more.


Faith today is the only thing that is different in religion from the past. Religion emphasizes the question of what is most true. Basically, in order to know God, you cannot study holy scriptures and manuscripts. The real way to know God is to experience what and who God is. It does not involve endless of hours of studying, but of devotion. Through true devotion to God, one can truly know Him. We know the problematic nature of subjectivity and objectivity. Subjectivity is the basis for objectivity so it is only natural that objectivity is not everything. In the modern world, people see science as the only form of knowledge because it can explain our universe, our world and us. But the limitation of science is that it can only explain these things at the physio-chemical level. What about the mind? Can science explain love in more than terms of biology? We know that it cannot and that is one of the main limitations of objectivity. To truly know, we must be objective and at the same time experience and embrace the knowing process. Experience in itself will teach us things that are dormant. Mohapatra 1 ...read more.

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