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1.2b. Subjectivity and Objectivity (Subjectivity and Objectivity on PhilPapers)

See also:
Biro, John I. (2006). A point of view on points of view. Philosophical Psychology 19 (1):3-12.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: A number of writers have deployed the notion of a point of view as a key to the allegedly theory-resistant subjective aspect of experience. I examine that notion more closely than is usually done and find that it cannot support the anti-objectivist's case. Experience may indeed have an irreducibly subjective aspect, but the notion of a point of view cannot be used to show that it does
Biro, John I. (1993). Consciousness and objectivity. In Martin Davies & Glyn W. Humphreys (eds.), Consciousness: Psychological and Philosophical Essays. Blackwell.   (Cited by 11 | Google | More links)
Biro, John I. (1991). Consciousness and subjectivity. Philosophical Issues 1:113-133.   (Cited by 12 | Annotation | Google | More links)
Chrisley, Ronald L. (2001). A view from anywhere: Prospects for an objective understanding of consciousness. In Paavo Pylkkanen & Tere Vaden (eds.), Dimensions of Conscious Experience. John Benjamins.   (Cited by 2 | Google | More links)
Christofidou, Andrea (1999). Subjectivity and the first person: Some reflections. Philosophical Inquiry 21 (3-4):1-27.   (Google)
Decker, Kevin S. (2008). The evolution of the psychical element: George Herbert Mead at the university of chicago: Lecture notes by H. Heath Bawden 1899–1900: Introduction. Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society 44 (3):pp. 469-479.   (Google)
Abstract: George Herbert Mead's early lectures at the University of Chicago are more important to understanding the genesis of his views in social psychology than some commentators, such as Hans Joas, have emphasized. Mead's lecture series "The Evolution of the Psychical Element," preserved through the notes of student H. Heath Bawden, demonstrate his devotion to Hegelianism as a method of thinking and how this influenced his non-reductionistic approach to functional psychology. In addition, Mead's breadth of historical knowledge as well as his commitments in the natural and social sciences are on display here, culminating in the Darwinian observation that human animals only achieve the degree of control they have over their environment by the achievement of social organization
Dennett, Daniel C. (1988). Review of Fodor, psychosemantics. [Journal (Paginated)] 85:384-389.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: In Word and Object, Quine acknowledged the "practical indispensability" in daily life of the intentional idioms of belief and desire but disparaged such talk as an "essentially dramatic idiom" rather than something from which real science could be made in any straightforward way.Endnote 1 Many who agree on little else have agreed with Quine about this, and have gone on to suggest one or another indirect way for science to accommodate folk psychology: Sellars, Davidson, Putnam, Rorty, Stich, the Churchlands, Schiffer and myself, to name a few. This fainthearted consensus is all wrong, according to Fodor, whose new book is a vigorous--even frantic--defense of what he calls Intentional Realism: beliefs and desires are real, causally involved, determinately contentful states. "We have no reason to doubt," Fodor says, "that it is possible to have a scientific psychology that vindicates commonsense belief/desire explanation." (p.16)
Eilan, Naomi M. (1997). Objectivity and the perspective of consciousness. European Journal of Philosophy 5 (3):235-250.   (Cited by 3 | Google | More links)
Foss, Jeffrey E. (1993). Subjectivity, objectivity, and Nagel on consciousness. Dialogue 32 (4):725-36.   (Cited by 3 | Annotation | Google)
Francescotti, Robert M. (1993). Subjective experience and points of view. Journal of Philosophical Research 18:25-36.   (Annotation | Google)
Gunderson, Keith (1970). Asymmetries and mind-body perplexities. Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science 4:273-309.   (Cited by 34 | Annotation | Google)
Haksar, V. (1981). Nagel on subjective and objective. Inquiry 24 (March):105-21.   (Cited by 1 | Annotation | Google)
Harre, Rom (1999). Nagel's challenge and the mind-body problem. Philosophy 74 (288):247-270.   (Google | More links)
Harmon, Justin L. (2009). What Is It Like to Be Mysterious, Alienated, and Wildly Rich through Less Than Savory Means? Phenomenal Consciousness and Aesthetic Experience. Consciousness, Literature, and the Arts 10 (2).   (Google)
Hiley, David R. (1978). Materialism and the inner life. Southern Journal of Philosophy 16:61-70.   (Annotation | Google)
Johnston, Mark (2007). Objective mind and the objectivity of our minds. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 75 (2):233–268.   (Google | More links)
Jones, Philip C. (1949). Subjectivity in philosophy. Philosophy of Science 16 (January):49-57.   (Google | More links)
Kekes, John (1977). Physicalism and subjectivity. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 37 (June):533-6.   (Cited by 3 | Annotation | Google | More links)
Lycan, William G. (1987). Subjectivity. In Consciousness. MIT Press.   (Annotation | Google)
Lycan, William G. (1990). What is the "subjectivity" of the mental? Philosophical Perspectives 11 (2):229-238.   (Cited by 34 | Annotation | Google | More links)
Malcolm, Norman (1988). Subjectivity. Philosophy 63 (April):147-60.   (Cited by 5 | Annotation | Google)
Mandik, Pete (2000). Chapter 1: Subjective and Objective Judgments. Dissertation, Washington University   (Google)
Abstract: Many philosophical issues concern questions of objectivity and subjectivity. Of these questions, there are two kinds. The first considers whether something is objective or subjective; the second what it _means_ for something to be objective or subjective
Mandik, Pete (2001). Mental representation and the subjectivity of consciousness. Philosophical Psychology 14 (2):179-202.   (Cited by 11 | Google | More links)
Abstract: Many have urged that the biggest obstacles to a physicalistic understanding of consciousness are the problems raised in connection with the subjectivity of consciousness. These problems are most acutely expressed in consideration of the knowledge argument against physicalism. I develop a novel account of the subjectivity of consciousness by explicating the ways in which mental representations may be perspectival. Crucial features of my account involve analogies between the representations involved in sensory experience and the ways in which pictorial representations exhibit perspectives or points of view. I argue that the resultant account of subjectivity provides a basis for the strongest response physicalists can give to the knowledge argument
Mandik, Pete (2008). The Neural Accomplishment of Objectivity. In Pierre Poirier & Luc Faucher (eds.), Des Neurones a La Philosophie: Neurophilosophie Et Philosophie Des Neurosciences. Éditions Syllepse.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: Philosophical tradition contains two major lines of thought concerning the relative difficulty of the notions of objectivity and subjectivity. One tradition, which we might characterize as
Mandik, Pete (2009). The neurophilosophy of subjectivity. In John Bickle (ed.), Oxford Handbook of Philosophy and Neuroscience. Oxford University Press.   (Google)
Abstract: The so-called subjectivity of conscious experience is central to much recent work in the philosophy of mind. Subjectivity is the alleged property of consciousness whereby one can know what it is like to have certain conscious states only if one has undergone such states oneself. I review neurophilosophical work on consciousness and concepts pertinent to this claim and argue that subjectivity eliminativism is at least as well supported, if not more supported, than subjectivity reductionism
McClamrock, Ron (1992). Irreducibility and subjectivity. Philosophical Studies 67 (2):177-92.   (Cited by 4 | Annotation | Google | More links)
Abstract: ...the problem of...how cognition...is possible at all...can never be answered on the basis of a prior knowledge of the transcendent [i.e. the external, spatio-temporal, empirical]...no matter whence the knowledge or the judgments are borrowed, not even if they are taken from the exact sciences.... It will not do to draw conclusions from existences of which one knows but which one cannot "see". "Seeing" does not lend itself to demonstration or deduction. [Husserl 1964a, pp. 2-3]
Metzinger, Thomas (1994). Subjectivity and mental representation. In Analyomen. Hawthorne: De Gruyter.   (Cited by 1 | Google)
Metzinger, Thomas (2004). The subjectivity of subjective experience: A representationalist analysis of the first-person perspective. Networks.   (Cited by 39 | Google | More links)
Abstract: Before one can even begin to model consciousness and what exactly it means that it is a subjective phenomenon one needs a theory about what a first-person perspective really is. This theory has to be conceptually convincing, empirically plausible and, most of all, open to new developments. The chosen conceptual framework must be able to accommodate scientific progress. Its ba- sic assumptions have to be plastic as it were, so that new details and empirical data can continuously be fed into the theoretical model as it grows and becomes more refined. This paper makes an attempt at sketching the outlines of such a theory, offering a representationalist analysis of the phenomenal first-person perspective. Three phenomenal target properties are centrally relevant:
Mounce, H. O. (1992). On Nagel and consciousness. Philosophical Investigations 15 (2):178-84.   (Google)
Muscari, Paul G. (1992). Subjective experience. Philosophical Inquiry 14 (3-4).   (Google)
Muscari, Paul G. (1985). The subjective character of experience. Journal of Mind and Behavior 6:577-97.   (Google)
Muscari, Paul G. (1987). The status of humans in Nagel's phenomenology. Philosophical Forum 19:23-33.   (Annotation | Google)
Nagel, Thomas (1994). Consciousness and objective reality. In Richard Warner & Tadeusz Szubka (eds.), The Mind-Body Problem: A Guide to the Current Debate. Blackwell.   (Cited by 9 | Google)
Nagel, Thomas (1979). Subjective and objective. In Mortal Questions. Cambridge University Press.   (Cited by 20 | Annotation | Google)
Nagel, Thomas (1986). The View From Nowhere. Oxford University Press.   (Cited by 1108 | Annotation | Google | More links)
Abstract: Human beings have the unique ability to view the world in a detached way: We can think about the world in terms that transcend our own experience or interest, and consider the world from a vantage point that is, in Nagel's words, "nowhere in particular". At the same time, each of us is a particular person in a particular place, each with his own "personal" view of the world, a view that we can recognize as just one aspect of the whole. How do we reconcile these two standpoints--intellectually, morally, and practically? To what extent are they irreconcilable and to what extent can they be integrated? Thomas Nagel's ambitious and lively book tackles this fundamental issue, arguing that our divided nature is the root of a whole range of philosophical problems, touching, as it does, every aspect of human life. He deals with its manifestations in such fields of philosophy as: the mind-body problem, personal identity, knowledge and skepticism, thought and reality, free will, ethics, the relation between moral and other values, the meaning of life, and death. Excessive objectification has been a malady of recent analytic philosophy, claims Nagel, it has led to implausible forms of reductionism in the philosophy of mind and elsewhere. The solution is not to inhibit the objectifying impulse, but to insist that it learn to live alongside the internal perspectives that cannot be either discarded or objectified. Reconciliation between the two standpoints, in the end, is not always possible
Pasztor, Ana (1998). Subjective experience divided and conquered. Communication and Cognition 31 (1):73-102.   (Cited by 8 | Google | More links)
Peacocke, Christopher (2009). Objectivity. Mind 118 (471).   (Google)
Abstract: Some of our most important mental states and events have a minimal objectivity, in this intuitive sense: a thinker’s being in the state, or enjoying the event, does not in general make the content of the state or event correct. In general, making a judgement is one thing, the correctness of what is judged is another. Having a perceptual experience as of something’s being the case does not in general make it the case. Valuing things that have a certain property does not in general make possession of that property something of value. What explains this minimal objectivity? How is it possible?
Prinz, Wolfgang (2003). Emerging selves: Representational foundations of subjectivity. Consciousness and Cognition 12 (4):515-528.   (Cited by 3 | Google | More links)
Abstract: A hypothetical evolutionary scenario is offered meant to account for the emergence of mental selves. According to the scenario, mental selves are constructed to solve a source-attribution problem. They emerge when internally generated mental contents (e.g., thoughts and goals) are treated like messages arising from external personal sources. As a result, mental contents becomes attributed to the self as an internal personal source. According to this view, subjectivity is construed outward-in, that is, one's own mental self is derived from, and is secondary to, the mental selves perceived in others. The social construction of subjectivity and selfhood relies on, and is maintained in, various discourses on subjectivity
Ratcliffe, Matthew (2002). Husserl and Nagel on subjectivity and the limits of physical objectivity. Continental Philosophy Review 35 (4):353-377.   (Cited by 2 | Google | More links)
Abstract: Thomas Nagel argues that the subjective character of mind inevitably eludes philosophical efforts to incorporate the mental into a single, complete, physically objective view of the world. Nagel sees contemporary philosophy as caught on the horns of a dilemma
Rorty, Richard (1993). Holism, intrinsicality, and the ambition of transcendence. In B. Dahlbom (ed.), Dennett and His Critics. Blackwell.   (Cited by 12 | Annotation | Google)
Rosen, Steven M. (2004). Dimensions of Apeiron: A Topological Phenomenology of Space, Time, and Individuation. Editions Rodopi, Value Inquiry Book Series.   (Google)
Abstract: This book explores the evolution of space and time from the apeiron—the spaceless, timeless chaos of primordial nature. Steven M. Rosen examines Western culture’s past efforts to deny the apeiron, and the present possibility that lifting the repression of apeiron might serve to advance the process of human individuation. In proposing a radical rethinking of science’s underlying notions of space and time, Rosen employs phenomenological philosophy (primarily Merleau-Ponty and Heidegger), supplemented by an original application of the qualitative field of mathematics known as topology.
Rosen, Robert (1993). Drawing the boundary between subject and object: Comments on the mind-brain problem. Theoretical Medicine 14 (2):89-100.   (Cited by 10 | Google | More links)
Abstract: Physics says that it cannot deal with the mind-brain problem, because it does not deal in subjectivities, and mind is subjective. However, biologists (among others) still claim to seek a material basis for subjective mental processes, which would thereby render them objective. Something is clearly wrong here. I claim that what is wrong is the adoption of too narrow a view of what constitutes objectivity, especially in identifying it with what a machine can do. I approach the problem in the light of two cognate circumstances: (a) the measurement problem in quantum physics, and (b) the objectivity of standard mathematics, even though most of it is beyond the reach of machines. I argue that the only resolution to such problems is in the recognition that closed loops of causation are objective; i.e. legitimate objects of scientific scrutiny. These are explicitly forbidden in any machine or mechanism. A material system which contains such loops is called complex. Such complex systems thus must possess nonsimulable models; i.e. models which contain impredicativities or self-references which cannot be removed, or faithfully mapped into a single coherent syntactic time-frame. I consider a few of the consequences of the above, in the context of thus redrawing the boundary between subject and object
Rosen, Steven M. (2000). Focusing on the Flesh: Merleau-Ponty, Gendlin, and Lived Subjectivity. Lifwynn Correspondence 5 (1):1-14.   (Google)
Rosen, Steven M. (1986). On Whiteheadian Dualism: A Reply to Professor Griffin. Journal of Religion and Psychical Research 9 (1):11-17.   (Google)
Abstract: In this article, the author defends his claim that a subtle form of metaphysical dualism can be found in Alfred North Whitehead's central notion of the "actual occasion." Rosen contends that phenomenological philosophers such as Martin Heidegger go further than Whitehead in challenging traditional dualism.
Rosen, Steven M. (2008). Quantum Gravity and Phenomenological Philosophy. Foundations of Physics 38 (6):556-582.   (Google)
Abstract: The central thesis of this paper is that contemporary theoretical physics is grounded in philosophical presuppositions that make it difficult to effectively address the problems of subject-object interaction and discontinuity inherent to quantum gravity. The core objectivist assumption implicit in relativity theory and quantum mechanics is uncovered and we see that, in string theory, this assumption leads into contradiction. To address this challenge, a new philosophical foundation is proposed based on the phenomenology of Maurice Merleau-Ponty and Martin Heidegger. Then, through the application of qualitative topology and hypernumbers, phenomenological ideas about space, time, and dimension are brought into focus so as to provide specific solutions to the problems of force-field generation and unification. The phenomenological string theory that results speaks to the inconclusiveness of conventional string theory and resolves its core contradiction.
Rosen, Steven M. (1994). Science, Paradox, and the Moebius Principle: The Evolution of a "Transcultural" Approach to Wholeness. State University of New York Press; Series in Science, Technology, and Society.   (Google)
Abstract: This book confronts basic anomalies in the foundations of contemporary knowledge. Rosen deals with paradoxes that call into question conventional ways of thinking about space and time, and the nature of human experience. In the course of bringing together theoretical science and phenomenological thought, the author offers a process theory in which space, time, and consciousness undergo continuous internal transformation and organic growth. The work is “transcultural” in the sense of bridging the “two cultures” of science and the humanities.
Rosen, Steven M. (2006). Topologies of the Flesh: A Multidimensional Exploration of the Lifeworld. Ohio University Press, Series in Continental Thought.   (Google)
Abstract: The concept of “flesh” in philosophical terms derives from the writings of Maurice Merleau-Ponty. This was the word he used to name the concrete realm of sentient bodies and life processes that has been eclipsed by the abstractions of science, technology, and modern culture. Topology, to conventional understanding, is the branch of mathematics that concerns itself with the properties of geometric figures that stay the same when the figures are stretched or deformed. "Topologies of the Flesh" is a blend of continental thought and mathematical imagination that proposes a new area of philosophical inquiry: topological phenomenology. Through the application of qualitative mathematics, the work extends the approaches of Merleau-Ponty and Heidegger so as to offer a detailed exploration of previously uncharted dimensions of human experience and the natural world.
Rosen, Steven M. (2008). The Self-Evolving Cosmos: A Phenomenological Approach to Nature's Unity-in-Diversity. World Scientific Publishing, Series on Knots and Everything.   (Google)
Abstract: This book offers an original way of thinking about two of the most significant problems confronting modern theoretical physics: the unification of the forces of nature and the evolution of the universe. In bringing out the inadequacies of the prevailing approach to these questions, the author demonstrates the need for more than just a new theory. The meanings of space and time themselves must be radically rethought, which requires a whole new philosophical foundation. To this end, the book turns to the phenomenological writings of Martin Heidegger and Maurice Merleau-Ponty. Their insights into space and time bring the natural world to life in a manner well-suited to the dynamic phenomena of contemporary physics.
Rosen, Steven M. (1997). Wholeness as the Body of Paradox. The Journal of Mind and Behavior 18 (4):391-423.   (Google)
Abstract: This essay is written at the crossroads of intuitive holism, as typified in Eastern thought, and the discursive reflectiveness more characteristic of the West. The point of departure is the age-old human need to overcome fragmentation and realize wholeness. Three basic tasks are set forth: to provide some new insight into the underlying obstacle to wholeness, to show what would be necessary for surmounting this blockage, and to take a concrete step in that direction. At the outset, the question of paradox is addressed, examined in relation to Zen meditation, the problem of language, and the thinking of Heidegger. Wholeness is to be realized through paradox, and it is shown that a complete realization requires that paradox be embodied. Drawing from the fields of visual geometry and qualitative mathematics, three concrete models of paradox are offered: the Necker cube, the Moebius surface, and the Klein bottle. In attempting to model wholeness, an important limitation is recognized: a model is a symbolic representation that maintains the division between the reality represented and the act of symbolizing that reality. It is demonstrated that while the first two models are subject to this limitation, the Klein bottle, possessing higher dimensionality, can express wholeness more completely, provided that it is approached in a radically nonclassical way. The final question of this essay concerns its own capability as an essay. It is asked whether the present text is restricted to affording a mere abstract reflection on wholeness, or whether wholeness can tangibly be delivered.
Baker, Lynne Rudder (1998). The first-person perspective: A test for naturalism. American Philosophical Quarterly 35 (4):327-348.   (Cited by 24 | Google)
Abstract: Self-consciousness, many philosophers agree, is essential to being a person. There is not so much agreement, however, about how to understand what self- consciousness is. Philosophers in the field of cognitive science tend to write off self- consciousness as unproblematic. According to such philosophers, the real difficulty for the cognitive scientist is phenomenal consciousness--the fact that we (and other organisms) have states that feel a certain way. If we had a grip on phenomenal consciousness, they think, self-consciousness could be easily handled by functionalist models. For example, recently Ned Block commented,
Spencer, Cara (ms). Indexical Knowledge and Phenomenal Knowledge.   (Google)
Abstract: A familiar story about phenomenal knowledge likens it to indexical knowledge, i.e. knowledge about oneself typically expressed with sentences containing indexicals or demonstratives. The popularity of this sort of story owes in part to its promise of resolving some longstanding puzzles about phenomenal knowledge. One such puzzle arises from the compelling arguments that we can have full objective knowledge of the world while lacking some phenomenal knowledge. I argue that the widespread optimism about the indexical account on this score is unwarranted.
Sprigge, Timothy L. S. (1982). The importance of subjectivity: An inaugural lecture. Inquiry 25 (June):143-63.   (Cited by 4 | Annotation | Google)
Sturgeon, Scott (1994). The epistemic basis of subjectivity. Journal of Philosophy 91 (5):221-35.   (Cited by 37 | Annotation | Google | More links)
Sundström, Pär (2002). Nagel's case against physicalism. Sats 3 (2):91-108.   (Google | More links)
Sundstrom, Par (1999). Psychological Phenomena and First-Person Perspectives: Critical Discussions of Some Arguments in Philosophy of Mind. Acta University Umensis.   (Google)
Sytsma, Justin, Experiments on the folk theory of consciousness.   (Google)
Abstract: It is not uncommon to find assumptions being made about folk psychology in the discussions of phenomenal consciousness in philosophy of mind. In this article I consider one example, focusing on what Dan Dennett says about the “folk theory of consciousness.” I show that he holds that the folk believe that the sensory qualities that we are acquainted with in ordinary perception are phenomenal qualities. Nonetheless, the shape of the folk theory is an empirical matter and in the absence of empirical investigation there is ample room for doubt. Fortunately, experimental evidence on the topic is now being produced by experimental philosophers and psychologists. This article contributes to this growing literature, presenting the results of six new studies on the folk view of colors and pains. I argue that the results indicate against Dennett’s theory of the folk theory of consciousness
Taliaferro, Charles (1988). Nagel's vista or taking subjectivity seriously. Southern Journal of Philosophy 26:393-401.   (Annotation | Google)
Taliaferro, Charles (1997). The perils of subjectivity. Inquiry 40 (4):475-480.   (Google | More links)
van Gulick, Robert (1985). Physicalism and the subjectivity of the mental. Philosophical Topics 13 (3):51-70.   (Cited by 12 | Annotation | Google)
Xu, Xiangdong (2004). Consciousness, subjectivity and physicalism. Philosophical Inquiry 26 (1-2):21-39.   (Google)