Encyclopedia > Objectivity

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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.

Objectivity as an epistemic virtue is a person's recognition that things exist independently of anyone's awareness of them; they are not just in our heads and therefore just what we make them. Such objectivity is generally regarded as essential to science, to philosophy, and to justice. (See scientific method.)

"Objectivity" should not be confused with Objectivism.

Further Reading

  • Popper, Karl. R. Objective Knowlege: An Evolutionary Approach, Oxford University Press, 1972, trade paperback, 395 pages, ISBN 0198750242, hardcover is out of print and rather expensive.

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