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Subjective vs Objective

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Ayn says:

Reality exists as an objective absolute—facts are facts, independent of man’s feelings, wishes, hopes or fears.

Everybody experiences reality slightly differently thanks to our biological differences. So our view of reality is subjective, nobody can perceive it objectively. How can we be sure there is an objective reality?

Thanks!

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Ayn says:

Everybody experiences reality slightly differently thanks to our biological differences. So our view of reality is subjective, nobody can perceive it objectively. How can we be sure there is an objective reality?

Thanks!

Do you want an objective answer? The statement "there is no objective reality" is self-defeating.

The short answer is that existence exists, and logically must exist apart from how we perceive and interpret it. Existence is independent of consciousness. For further explanation, I recommend reading Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand by Dr. Leonard Peikoff.

Edited by Rudmer
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So our view of reality is subjective, nobody can perceive it objectively. How can we be sure there is an objective reality?
I think you're accepting that reality exists, but you're asking how we can learn about that reality...correct? The best way is to take three or four things you are pretty certain about: e.g. "if I cut my heart out, I will die", or "the earth is round" or "Obama is the president of the U.S.'... and think how you would answer someone who denied these things.
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How can we be sure there is an objective reality?
Are you proposing that I do not exist, and am just a figment of your imagination. And furthermore, you don't exist, you're a figment of your imagination? Suppose first that nothing at all exists. Then nothing exists which is having this subjective experience (and the subjective experience itself doesn't exist). This is self-evidently false.

Now, do you still deny that anything exists? If so, there's no helping you.

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Ayn says:

Everybody experiences reality slightly differently thanks to our biological differences. So our view of reality is subjective, nobody can perceive it objectively. How can we be sure there is an objective reality?

Thanks!

If reality cannot be perceived objectively, then how do you know ther eare biological differences in perception? Perception fo what? By whom?

It's all rubbish, because there are no relevant differences in how most people perceive reality. There are exceptions. People with daltonism view colors differently, the blind don't view colors at all, etc, but take 100 random strangers and their perceptions will be pretty much the same, with minor differences.

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It's all rubbish, because there are no relevant differences in how most people perceive reality. There are exceptions. People with daltonism view colors differently, the blind don't view colors at all, etc, but take 100 random strangers and their perceptions will be pretty much the same, with minor differences.

I think this is the wrong way to approach the question. The issue isn't whether you and I perceive reality the same way, it's whether you and I perceive reality *period*. And the answer to that question is unequivocally yes. To take an extreme example, I perceive reality very differently from a bat. I use visual receptors that respond to light waves; the bat uses echolocation. But both of us perceive reality. Both ways of perceiving are valid. Is that subjective? Of course not -- both of us are perceiving reality, which is what it is independent of us.

Don't fall into the trap of assuming that merely because a phenomenon depends in some way on consciousness it is subjective. Perception is a blending of existence and consciousness -- an awareness of existence, in a form determined by the nature of the perceiving consciousness.

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Ayn says:

Everybody experiences reality slightly differently thanks to our biological differences. So our view of reality is subjective, nobody can perceive it objectively. How can we be sure there is an objective reality?

Thanks!

Without getting into an argument about the merit of your deduction , that from biological differences it follows that nobody is able to perceive reality objectively (I don't want to get into it because it seems to rest mostly on wordplay, and it would take forever to figure out what you mean by the terms "to experience reality", "biological differences" and "subjective" vs. "objective"), I can say the following, addressing just the premise and conclusion of your argument, not the merit of the deduction:

Premise A (there are guaranteed facts about reality, such as people, biology, people experiencing the same thing, but differently) ==> Conclusion B (no one can perceive reality objectively)

So how did you perceive all those objective facts you are basing your argument on, in your premise?

That's a contradiction: first you make an absolute statement about reality (that there are biological differences between people), then you deduce that reality might not be real, based on that statement.

The logical answer is simple: if we couldn't perceive reality objectively, your statement about biological differences would not be a given at all, so your whole reasoning would be based on false assumptions. In order to even try and prove that reality doesn't exist, you first had to assume that it does exist: people exist, biological differences exist between them, these people are experiencing something real, but do it differently etc. How could it possibly follow, from all that, that all that isn't necessarily objective reality?

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Ayn says:

Everybody experiences reality slightly differently thanks to our biological differences. So our view of reality is subjective, nobody can perceive it objectively. How can we be sure there is an objective reality?

Thanks!

What makes our knowledge objective is not the sense perception - it is the conceptual interpretation of the sense data. A blind man can feel an apple, another man sees the apple, they both conclude that there is an apple, objectively, by using different sense altogether.

The key to Objectivity is in using the right method (logic) in arriving at conclusions, not in the raw data - which by itself is meaningless. You cannot say that a newborn which only experiences raw sense data is objective or subjective - he is none of the above since he is not yet capable of drawing conclusions, of conceptual thinking.

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What makes our knowledge objective is not the sense perception - it is the conceptual interpretation of the sense data.

Actually, perception is automatically objective because we have no control over it and it is the result of a causal chain of events. We don't need a method of perception due to this fact, if that is what you are getting at. In other words, there is no logic or illogic behind perception, we look and we see; that's all there is to it.

Now, if the original poster really thought that reality didn't exist or that he couldn't be aware of it, then why ask such a question in the first place to people who are supposed to be able to be aware of your question? If "subjective" meant what you implied, then you might ask "How do we know reality exists?" and we would see it as a flower or a giraffe, and not as a question at all. The term "subjective" does not mean the difference between, say, angles of viewing or subtle differences between how we see colors, but rather going by what is inside consciousness instead of going by a relationship between existence and consciousness. In other words, if that position was true, then there would be no sense in me answering your question, as I could never be sure that you would see it as words and not something else entirely.

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What makes our knowledge objective is not the sense perception - it is the conceptual interpretation of the sense data.
That is a mistaken understanding of knowledge: it implies that objectivity is the result of pure reasoning -- rationalism. Knowledge is objective when the metaphysically given, the product of the senses, is retained and evaluated by the rational faculty. Your claim implies that one cannot have objective knowledge of a single instance, that knowledge only happens when two or more units are integrated into a single concept. That would mean that concepts are not based on objective knowledge.
The key to Objectivity is in using the right method (logic) in arriving at conclusions, not in the raw data - which by itself is meaningless.
That's more true than you are letting on" the idea of "raw data" is an anti-concept. That's why you find Rand speaking of perceptual data but not "sense data".
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