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Passions in Poetry

How do you define objective?

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Brad
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0 posted 07-03-2001 11:44 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

This is less important than subjectivity to me but if people want to give me thoughts on this one, I'd also be interested.

Here's the dictionary definition:

obˇ¤jecˇ¤tive (b-jktv)
adj.
Of or having to do with a material object.
Having actual existence or reality.

Uninfluenced by emotions or personal prejudices: an objective critic. See Synonyms at fair1.
Based on observable phenomena; presented factually: an objective appraisal.
Medicine. Indicating a symptom or condition perceived as a sign of disease by someone other than the person affected.  
Thanks again,
Brad

[This message has been edited by Brad (edited 07-04-2001).]

KwiatMan
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since 05-19-2001
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1 posted 07-04-2001 04:38 AM       View Profile for KwiatMan   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for KwiatMan

Brad.. When I think of objectivity, I come up
with the pat answer that, epistemologically,
I will acquire knowledge of reality through
reason and logic. Metaphysically speaking,
reality exists as an absolute. But that is
Ayn Rand preachings for an ideal world with
an ideal philosophy.

Thanks to my mother, I have my own personal
philosophy of objectivity that I've
fine-tuned since the mid-twenties. It has
all of the warts and kinks that one
would expect, but it's mine. In a nutshell,
to answer your question, when I think of
objectivity, I think of my moral code of
ethics, my survivability, my freedom, my
happiness, my family, my future and how
it all co-exists within a world I never made.
Jan...

    
Severn
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2 posted 07-04-2001 09:29 PM       View Profile for Severn   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Severn

an impossibility...heh

K
Brad
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3 posted 07-05-2001 12:03 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

It's interesting that an objective philosophy is one that you can call mine.
Again, I don't want to debate what the word means so much as simply try to understand what it means to you.

Kamla,
Indeed, I agree it is impossible -- heh. Are you trying to sound like the singer by the way?  

Brad
KwiatMan
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4 posted 07-05-2001 05:48 PM       View Profile for KwiatMan   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for KwiatMan

I've lost my taste for swaying grapes
And must escape this fray.
I'll break this curse, and Satan's wrath
To post my final say.

I planned this route with greatest care
while tantalized by Yogi's fork.
The string is cut, I'll take the dare
or soon be labeled Dork.  
Local Rebel
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5 posted 07-05-2001 06:46 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

I dissent.

Objective reality is possible.  In theory.  However, that's my opionion.  

The tree that falls in the forrest still makes a helluva thud whether or not someone is there to hear it.  All the acoustic vibrations exist.  
Brad
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6 posted 07-05-2001 09:13 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

It seems I've already opened my big mouth too far. Okay, for some people, objective reality is accessible, for others it is not.

But what about

Shakespeare is the greatest writer on the planet because he reaches the depths of the human soul.

or

Shakespeare is the greatest writers on the planet because he used more words than anyone else.

Brad
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7 posted 07-05-2001 10:21 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

both are still subjective Brad because even in the latter, even though the numbers are empirical, the criterion used to select the greatest writer was subjective
Brad
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8 posted 07-05-2001 10:57 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Okay. I agree.

How about Shakespeare used more words than any other writer?

Brad
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9 posted 07-06-2001 01:32 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

that could be considered an objective statement.. or even;

"Brad has said twice that Shakespeare is the greatest writer ever."

is completely objective even though it is about Brad's subjective opinion.. it is a mere statement of fact containing nothing about or from the writer
Severn
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10 posted 07-07-2001 10:12 PM       View Profile for Severn   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Severn

........Brad.....hush....I'm trying to avoid all reference to a certain singer right now...lollol - what have you created??? Subjectively - I'm inclined to say I ain't feeling good right now heh heh...

K
Stephanos
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11 posted 07-11-2001 12:12 AM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

I think objectivity (or one aspect of it)  might involve what I like to call "natural law" embodied in the laws of science and logic and mathematics.  Things that won't bend, or if they do seem to, won't break.

A simple example might be, "the word cat has three letters".  This I assert to be an objective statement and it's truth unchangeable  (or at least never proven to be changeable) regardless of discussions about all the contingencies involved in the statement, for the variables are stated and crystallized in the sentence.  For example someone might say "This is not objective, because a person may hear the word cat in Spanish "gato" which has 4 letters, thus rendering the statement depedent upon a subjective experience".  But the statement was obviously talking about the english word cat, holding the interpreter to the statement of the sentence which declared the word in question to be English.  

I've seen all kind of attempts to make objectively true statements not objectively true, and all in vain.  I believe objectivity does exist  (and in more realms and complexities than the ones I mentioned).


Very intriguing discussion.

Stephen.
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12 posted 07-11-2001 12:39 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

Intersting Stephen.. however.. consider this;

The keys are on the table.

It's entirely true, I'm looking at them, but, it wasn't always so and is quite changeable... there.. I just put them in my pocket.

Still objective however
jbouder
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13 posted 07-11-2001 05:26 PM       View Profile for jbouder   Email jbouder   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for jbouder

Wouldn't the answer to your question depend on whether the "answerer" believes objectivity must be reached either deductively or inductively?

If you are trying to prove a truth to be objective by forming a premise then seeking evidence to support the premise (a priori), it seems to me that the premise can almost always be called into question.

On the other hand, if the "answerer" believes objectivity can be established inductively (a posteriori), the main question in my mind would be the consistency of the accounts of those who observed the particular phenomenon in question.

Interesting post.  Wish I had more time.

Jim

[This message has been edited by jbouder (edited 07-11-2001).]

Brad
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14 posted 07-20-2001 01:34 AM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Can an objective statement be false?

For example, "I wrote "Can an objective statement be false?" three times.

Is that an objective statement?

Brad
Stephanos
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15 posted 07-20-2001 10:10 AM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

I don't see how a false statement could be "objective", simply because someone could produce "objective" evidence to prove the statement wrong.  I might produce the piece of paper, or the thread in which you wrote "Can an objective..." to demonstrate that you only wrote it once.  Of course, you could argue that you wrote it elsewhere, but for this to be credible you would have to produce some evidence to back it up, or a convincing reason why you are unable to provide that evidence.  So in the end your statement proves to be subjective because it's "truth" applies only to you.   The event you are describing is a fantasy of your own because in reality it did not happen.  And nothing is more subjective that a fantasy.

Local Rebel
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16 posted 07-20-2001 12:19 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

If you added the words 'I believe' to your statement Brad (assuming you did believe it) then your statement would be objective, since, you believe it.
jbouder
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17 posted 07-20-2001 04:19 PM       View Profile for jbouder   Email jbouder   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for jbouder

We may be getting into semantics here, but I think your statement is a claim to something (or three somethings) existing in reality.  The claim in and of itself is not objective.

I disagree that with Local Rebel that "I believe" added to the statement would make it objective.  On the contrary, the addition of "I believe" would make the claim personal and, therefore, subjective.  Belief is unverifiable ... actual written statements often are.

A claim that something exists in reality is not the same thing as something having objective existence.  If the truth of the claim can be tested, then I believe it is possible to determine whether the claim is true or not.  

Your example is interesting in another sense.  It can be true now, but if you happen to write the same statement again, technically, the statement that may have once been true would no longer be true (i.e., you would have written the statement four times).

Wouldn't you agree that it is not the statement in and of itself that establishes its objectivity, but rather its resistence to scrutiny?

Jim
Brad
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18 posted 07-21-2001 05:58 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

What's wrong with getting into semantics?

It would seem that objectivity is intimately connected to verifiability. An 'I believe' statement therefore is not objective because it can't be verified. Interestingly, LR realizes this point even if he doesn't realize it -- he has to assume that I do believe I've made that statement three times.

I've made the statement three times.

I believe I've made the statement three times.

LR believes I believe I've made the statement three times.

I believe LR believes I believe I've made the statement three times.

LR believes I believe LR believes . . .

Going down that path leads to an infinite regress because there is no way to verify belief.

Okay, so objectivity has to be verifiable. What are the conditions for verifiability?

Brad
Local Rebel
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19 posted 07-22-2001 12:33 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

making a statement of one's belief is objective

asserting it is 'correct' or 'the truth' without establishing empirical evidence would be subjective... for example a Christian who said;

"I believe Jesus Christ was the son of God"

is a totally objective statement because it does not speak to the condition of Jesus Christ but merely states the parameters of the speakers belief

if the same person said;

"Jesus Christ was the son of God" it then becomes subjective.
Brad
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20 posted 07-22-2001 02:17 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

And if it's a lie?
Jamie
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21 posted 07-22-2001 02:46 PM       View Profile for Jamie   Email Jamie   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Jamie's Home Page   View IP for Jamie

If there can be no absolute truths, it then follows there can be no verifiabilty, thus no objectivity. Are you willing to allow any margin for probablility?

There is society where none intrudes, by the deep sea, and music in its roar.
byron

Stephanos
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22 posted 07-22-2001 04:43 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Is "There are no absolute truths" an objective statement?  It seems very subjective to me... and self contradictory may I add.  It places the speaker in the pretense of at least some absolute knowledge... He has to at least know one thing absolutely (that there is no absolute truth) in order to say that seriously.  A person who states this robs every other claim of validity except of course his own.  And to top it off, if his assertion turns out to be absolutely true, he just destroyed it.

Have we been here before?  
Brad
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23 posted 07-22-2001 09:53 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Yeah, we've done this before.

But I was wondering if we're not confusing/conflating what is true with objectivity and what is false with subjectivity.

Do we make a distinction between objectivity/subjectivity and true/false dichotomies?

Jaime,
I'm comfortable with probability. I think that's what we do given human limitations.

Stephen,
'There are no absolute truths' is absolutely true is a contradiction. But if you follow it, 'absolutely true' simply drops out. It no longer means anything. We might say that the statement by definition is probably true.

Maybe.  

Brad  
Jamie
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24 posted 07-22-2001 10:59 PM       View Profile for Jamie   Email Jamie   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Jamie's Home Page   View IP for Jamie

Probability being acceptable - statements made which you would accept as being truthful would now be considered objective in my opinion.  

There is society where none intrudes, by the deep sea, and music in its roar.
byron

 
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