Subjectivity & Objectivity

Since we can only view the world around us with our eyes and our senses I believe that true objectivity does not exist, cannot exist. Subjectivity is the only tool that is at our disposal, and we have only this to help us as we strive to communicate an understanding to those around us.

It is my belief that objectivity can only be described as subjectivity by agreement. We come to an agreement about what we see around us in the physical world. We agree that red is red, and wood is wood but in reality we can only guess at what another person’s view of the world is as we cannot, no matter how hard we try, truly see their world through their eyes.

An anecdote that has been handed down over the centuries that when Captain Cook first arrived in Australia, the Aborigines, at first, were unable to see the ships the crew arrived on. Since these natives had no experience of ships, they that were unable to perceive them moored in the estuary – they literally were unable to see them. This is because their brains had not developed the synaptic pathways associated with ships. The Aborigines simply had no understanding of ships. This is similar to seeing an optical illusion and not being able to interpret the picture. It takes a while for the brain to digest the conflicting information and make some sense of what it is being presented with.

Do you remember when looking at a patterned curtain and being able to see faces within the shapes. This is because the human brain is constructed, on a very basic level, to see faces. The baby is able to see the mother’s face out of all the other myriad of information being bombarded at the brain.