Value of Objective vs. Value of Subjective

From: Lee Corbin (
Date: Mon Mar 10 2008 - 00:21:52 MDT

John Clark writes

> Objectivity is of trivial importance, subjectivity is the most
> important thing in the universe; at least in my subjective
> opinion.

I grant that your subjective experience (or "subjectivity" if
you insist on a noun) is the most important thing in the world
to you. Actually, for me, mine is not. I can imagine sacrificing
the quality of my subjective experience for a number of things.

Objectivity---the process of trying to be objective---is important
for many, many reasons. It's our road to the truth. It's what
everyone from scientists to consciencious journalists should
strive for. To try to say and understand what is objectively true
about the world is what saves us from subjectivity and

Also, it's vital because we can *discuss* whatever is objective
You and I may discuss a distant nebula, and refer to it as a
thing outside our skins, refer to it without any mention of our
subjective impressions.

Subjective experiences, as you know, have the grave defect that
we really cannot accurately communicate them to each other,
e.g., "Is my red the same as your red?" It is this feature that lies
at the heart of all the hopeless quagmire of talk of qualia.

It also vastly adds to the difficultiess in discussing consciousness
and trying to get a handle on it.

To think of "the big C" as an objective phenomenon characteristic
of some objects/entities---and not characteristic (or only very
marginally characteristic) of others---makes possible scientific
progress towards understanding. But discussions of the subjective
nature of consciousness lead utterly nowhere.


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