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"Objective subjectivity"

kp98
Posts: 729
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11/7/2015 12:08:19 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
If I say "Raw sprouts are a tasty snack" then I am expressing a 'subjective fact'. Someone else may well claim 'Sprouts are disgusting', also expressing a subjective fact. It seems odd to me that there can be two quite contrary facts - a) sprouts a tasty and b) sprouts are disgusting.

Some would argue that is the nature of 'subjective facts' that there can be any number of them, all different and potentially all contradictory. But I would argue that the real problem it that subjective facts aren't 'facts' at all.

There is a 'proper' fact behind 'raw sprouts are a tasty snack'. That fact is 'kp 99 thinks raw sprouts are a tasty snack'. If someone else finds sprouts disgusting then there is another fact: 'kp99's dog thinks sprouts are disgusting'. Note there is now no contradiction.

The obvious place this matters is in the perennially popular morality debate. If we call 'slavery is acceptable' a fact and 'slavery is unacceptable' also a fact then it looks like a symmetrical contradiction, which most people are happy to resolve by declaring neither of them is a fact at all - that slavery is neither good nor bad.

But if we re-cast those subjective opinions or judgements (ie stop calling them facts) as 'proper' facts we get 'The Romans accepted slavery' and 'Modern westerners find slavery unacceptable' and remove all trace of contradiction.

Of course we also lose much of the basis for relativism, but I see that as good thing - it means we have engage with moral problems rather than gloss over them.

So I say there are no subjective facts - what we call a subjective fact is no sort of fact at all.
ShabShoral
Posts: 3,228
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11/9/2015 5:12:36 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 11/7/2015 12:08:19 AM, kp98 wrote:
If I say "Raw sprouts are a tasty snack" then I am expressing a 'subjective fact'. Someone else may well claim 'Sprouts are disgusting', also expressing a subjective fact. It seems odd to me that there can be two quite contrary facts - a) sprouts a tasty and b) sprouts are disgusting.

Some would argue that is the nature of 'subjective facts' that there can be any number of them, all different and potentially all contradictory. But I would argue that the real problem it that subjective facts aren't 'facts' at all.

There is a 'proper' fact behind 'raw sprouts are a tasty snack'. That fact is 'kp 99 thinks raw sprouts are a tasty snack'. If someone else finds sprouts disgusting then there is another fact: 'kp99's dog thinks sprouts are disgusting'. Note there is now no contradiction.

The obvious place this matters is in the perennially popular morality debate. If we call 'slavery is acceptable' a fact and 'slavery is unacceptable' also a fact then it looks like a symmetrical contradiction, which most people are happy to resolve by declaring neither of them is a fact at all - that slavery is neither good nor bad.

But if we re-cast those subjective opinions or judgements (ie stop calling them facts) as 'proper' facts we get 'The Romans accepted slavery' and 'Modern westerners find slavery unacceptable' and remove all trace of contradiction.

Of course we also lose much of the basis for relativism, but I see that as good thing - it means we have engage with moral problems rather than gloss over them.

So I say there are no subjective facts - what we call a subjective fact is no sort of fact at all.

You might be interested in this: https://objectivismforintellectuals.wordpress.com...

What you're describing is actually a principle part of Objectivism. I certainly agree with you.
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kp98
Posts: 729
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11/9/2015 6:05:41 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
I'd quite to argue with a catastrophic spider!

What you're describing is actually a principle part of Objectivism. I certainly agree with you.

Thanks for the link. I think its important to distinguish between subjectivism and relativism when disussing morality but we don't always get it right here on DDO.
Garbanza
Posts: 1,997
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11/9/2015 4:19:38 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 11/7/2015 12:08:19 AM, kp98 wrote:
If I say "Raw sprouts are a tasty snack" then I am expressing a 'subjective fact'. Someone else may well claim 'Sprouts are disgusting', also expressing a subjective fact. It seems odd to me that there can be two quite contrary facts - a) sprouts a tasty and b) sprouts are disgusting.

Some would argue that is the nature of 'subjective facts' that there can be any number of them, all different and potentially all contradictory. But I would argue that the real problem it that subjective facts aren't 'facts' at all.

There is a 'proper' fact behind 'raw sprouts are a tasty snack'. That fact is 'kp 99 thinks raw sprouts are a tasty snack'. If someone else finds sprouts disgusting then there is another fact: 'kp99's dog thinks sprouts are disgusting'. Note there is now no contradiction.

The obvious place this matters is in the perennially popular morality debate. If we call 'slavery is acceptable' a fact and 'slavery is unacceptable' also a fact then it looks like a symmetrical contradiction, which most people are happy to resolve by declaring neither of them is a fact at all - that slavery is neither good nor bad.

But if we re-cast those subjective opinions or judgements (ie stop calling them facts) as 'proper' facts we get 'The Romans accepted slavery' and 'Modern westerners find slavery unacceptable' and remove all trace of contradiction.

Of course we also lose much of the basis for relativism, but I see that as good thing - it means we have engage with moral problems rather than gloss over them.

So I say there are no subjective facts - what we call a subjective fact is no sort of fact at all.

So are you saying that there are no facts at all, or that there are still objective facts? Because the same framework could be applied to objective facts. For example, instead of saying "sprouts exist" it would be more accurate to say, "I perceive that sprouts exist, and from my interpretation of the communication I perceived from kp98, he also has experienced sprouts."
kp98
Posts: 729
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11/9/2015 7:43:36 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
For example, instead of saying "sprouts exist" it would be more accurate to say, "I perceive that sprouts exist, and from my interpretation of the communication I perceived from kp98, he also has experienced sprouts."

As I interpret things, if I say 'sprouts exist' it is already absolutely accurate - or absolutely inaccurate depending on whether sprouts do, in fact, exist or not. If I say 'I perceive sprouts' then I am not saying anything definite about sprouts - I am saying something about me - specifically about my perception.

I believe in the reality of the external world. I believe in the 'real' world either 'sprouts exist' is true or 'sprouts don't exist' is true, but not both. I beleive my senses and brain provide me with a perception of the world that is imperfect but not maliciously deceptive and that I can use my reason to improve my understanding of the true nature of reality further than my unaided senses allow.
I will allow anyone interested in such things to work out what sort of -ist that makes me!

But my reason for posting was to question the tendency to pretend that different moral systems have equal weight so one cannot say that somethings are just plain wrong. An example:

http://www.bbc.co.uk...