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Monday, 29 June 2015

Objectivity

The way I've come to think about this is that conscious experience is constantly bifurcating, one half migrating towards a subjective pole and the other half migrating towards an objective pole. Some aspects are even represented at both poles, allowing William James to claim that their subjective and objective aspects are "the same experience given twice over" (in his essay Does Consciousness Exist?). I would also follow a Wittgensteinian line and say we should be suspicious about our inclination to reify notions as a result of the way we use language, and I'm thinking particularly of the ideas of 'objectivity', 'subjectivity', and 'knowledge' here. Regarding this bifurcation and migration process (here I'm giving a nod in the direction of Whitehead) -- is it "desirable"? It is some of the products of this process that behave in terms of desires and aversions, so from this wider perspective the question seems misplaced -- that kind of thinking pertains to things that are embedded within this World of Pure Experience (James again).

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