Objective vs Subjective

2012-10-16-subjective-objective

This is a topic that is close to my heart and a pain in my ass. The argument of what is subjective and what is objective.

This goes back to my post on Positivism vs Phenomenology and the different approaches to research. From a positivist perspective, if something cannot be quantified and measured it has no meaning.

This goes to what a fact actually is, it is something that can be said to be mind independent. 2 + 2 = 4 is a mathematical fact when the terms are defined without decimals.

That my height is 6 feet is something that can be verified by using a ruler or other form of measurement set up to the use the imperial system of measurement. Whether I’m tall enough, too short or too tall is a subjective judgement. Subjective statements can contain facts, but the nature of something subjective is that it is not mind independent. It represents the perspective of the person communicating to you.

In research, new facts are found through structured study of a topic, new theories are often developed through a mix of study and creative thinking, which is called theoretical research. You can also find new facts through observation, in what is called empirical research.

For instance, if I state that 4.2% of S&P 500 companies have female CEO[1], that is an objective statement.

If I were to state that 50% of CEOs of the S&P 500 companies need to be women, that is a subjective statement.

[1] http://www.catalyst.org/knowledge/women-ceos-sp-500

 

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4 comments on “Objective vs Subjective

  1. […] be objective because everything is interpreted by the subjective. So to Kant my argument in this post is not sound because when I describe the objective what I’m really talking about is a […]

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  2. […] are two main value theories in economics, subjective and objective. Despite my general dislike of the subjective in many cases, this is one where I think the […]

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  3. […] high volume of pathos and ethos used in their communications. It also signals a departure from the objective to the subjective wherein the narrative of what is taking place is the major part of what is being communicated, […]

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  4. […] mind-independent reality in which we live. An early post of mine on this blog was concerning the objective vs. the subjective trying to outline what the distinction is between facts and our interpretation of facts. Or in […]

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