Sunday 7 January 2024

Objective reality (the Truth) can only be subjectively known - so Why the cultural assumption of an objectively true reality?

We are stuck with a false analytic division between the supposed realm of the subjective and personal ("just your opinion" "just your perception"); regarded as as distinct from objective, universal Reality (aka. Truth). 

This analytic division between subjective and objective is a deep, culturally-inculcated and -reinforced assumption that has become an almost-irresistible habit of thought.

But it is incoherent nonsense. Subjective and Objective are indivisible. 

All that is known or knowable, entails consciousness - which is subjective/ personal: the consciousness of a Living Being. 

There can be no objective/ universal that is not also subjective/ personal. Objective reality must be subjectively known. Subjectivity is the only objective knowledge.  

This means that there is no-such-thing as an objective, universal realm of reality - existing separate from consciousness and from knowledge of it. We think, talk and write routinely, as if there was such a realm - but all such thinking/ talking/ writing is (of course) itself done-by conscious, living Beings! 

We discourse often on the assumption that objectivity entails eliminating subjectivity, eliminating the individual person, eliminating human bias or error... But that is nonsense - hence impossible. 

So what is going-on with all this relentless chat about eliminating the human/ subjectivity; and claims to be discoursing with objective universal validity from from an imaginary realm of universal validity?

Well, once the question is put in that form - it answers itself. 

Such pseudo Truth-referencing discourse reduces to a covert war over whose subjectivity can be enforced as universal objectivity. 


But another answer is PSYOPS. 

When a society, a civilization, operates on the basis of incoherent falsehood; this creates a deranged sense of perma-confusion that prevents people from thinking towards a solid conclusion

And when people cannot think towards solid conclusion - they give-up on thinking; and instead function passively, in a hand-to-mouth fashion, operating merely on the basis of short-term expediency. 

Which is where we are. 

NOTE - I am aware that the above is a negative critique of the prevalent metaphysics; and I do not here describe the alternative metaphysics of a living creation inhabited by Beings in relationships from-which I am making this critique - that is available in scores of posts on this blog over the past decade. 


William Wildblood said...

Would you agree that subjective and objective are, must be, the same thing unless the subjective is distorted by some mental or emotional spin that the mind puts on it? But that is the case with almost everybody until they align their mind with God.

Francis Berger said...

You have outlined this in many ways, but this is excellent.

It strikes me that a divisible universal objective reality existing regardless of subjective consciousness and serving only to impose its "reality" on the "perceiving" subject, a reality with which the subject has no role other than to conform, is a totalitarian conceptualization that fits very neatly with assumptions like the Absolute, which essentially serves to free God of man and Creation.

As for the cultural side of the assumption, I suspect risk aversion and safety play significant roles. An indivisible subjective/objective exposes the "truths" of this world as -- at best -- partial truths and shines a light on the fact that the knowing subject is a source of truth that cooperates and communicates with the truth.

Bruce Charlton said...


"subjective and objective are, must be, the same thing"

Yes, in the sense that subjective and objective attributes of "the same thing" that cannot be separated. Of course, this invites us to describe what that "same thing" is - i.e. a different way of describing things. This has been difficult/ impossible to do satisfactorily, because people (in effect) split things into subj and obj - and then try to glue them back together!

On the other hand, to get rid of subj and obj by stating "everything is ultimately one" introduces other paradoxes and incoherences - eg. if everything is one, then why and how does the delusion arise that there are many things? And, how can we even think about anything (and what would be the point) if everything is one?

That is why I believe we need a different metaphysics that does have real divisions - but not subj and obj; and that is what the metaphysics based on primal Beings (primal selves) is intended to provide.


"a divisible universal objective reality existing regardless of subjective consciousness ... is a totalitarian conceptualization"

I agree, and that is probably a reason why it has remained an active element of our culture since Plato. However, in the past it was softened and ameliorated by "Original Participation" - by the immersive and unconscious group-mindedness of Men - which included rulers and ruled alike. Since the 20th century totalitarianism has been "us and them" and an arbitrary and selfish coercive imposition pseudo-objectivity by means of force and propaganda in varying combinations.

" that the knowing subject is a source of truth that cooperates and communicates with the truth"

And this is deeply subversive of totalitarian legitimacy, hence authority. I see the major decision methods of modernity - voting, bureaucracy, committees, protocols and algorithms, and now "AI"- as all motivated by the lying (and incompetent) pretense of an objective reality, independent of consciousness "with which the subject has no role other than to conform".