#YPQ 14 — Is Objectivity Possible?


Fandango’s Provocative Question this week involves “qualia”, described by him below:

This week’s provocative question asks about how we perceive the world in which we live. There is a philosophical and psychological concept called qualia, which states that our surroundings can only be observed through the filter of our senses and the ruminations of our minds.

Examples of qualia are the pain of a headache, the taste of wine, or the perceived redness of an evening sky. In other words, everything you know, everything you’ve touched, seen, and smelled, has been filtered through any number of physiological and cognitive processes. And that brings me to this week’s question:

“Do you believe that anyone can really

experience anything objectively?

Why or why not?”

There is no view without a viewer. It is why the experience is called subjective and not objective. I believe people – and other living things – can have shared experiences, where you might drink wine while watching the evening sky together, but what each of you tastes and each of you sees will be filtered through your senses and cognitive processes.

I think there are certain philosophies like Buddhism or Zen, where the goal is to detach from your senses and your cognitive processes and to regard your experiences as if you were a camera, an inanimate object, taking pictures. I think there is a way to detach emotions from what one is observing or experiencing, at least for periods of time, but I do not believe that is the natural state to be desired as a human being.

If someone got a libotomy that destroyed the limbic/feeling regions of the brain, they might observe objectively but they would also be drooling zombies.

What do you think?

8 Comments Add yours

  1. Sadje says:

    Perfectly said. Love the last line! Drooling like zombies 😹😂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Fandango says:

    Very interesting response. Drooling zombies, huh?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      If the wind is whistling between your ears, there is nothing to stop the drool, baby!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. hanspostcard says:

    Box scores in baseball are about as close to true objectivity that I have ever found.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      What are box scores? What about a human being?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. hanspostcard says:

        Box scores in baseball- it used to be just in the newspaper but now of course you can read them on the internet- gives you an account of the ballgame- how each player did- how many times they came to bat- how many hits- runs- Rbi’s- Home runs they hit etc.. as time has moved on the box scores have become more advanced- telling you how many pitches a pitcher threw in a game how many of them were strikes etc.. even if you didn’t see the game by studying the box score you get a good idea of what happened… for a human being- i am not sure about 100% objectivity- that is hard to accomplish.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. pvcann says:

    That last sentence is worrying,, might explain a percentage of the world’s population 🙂 I do agree with your synopsis, we can detach, and should for health – body, mind and soul, but not permanently.

    Liked by 1 person

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