Monday, March 17, 2008
About the subjectivity of the world
In my last contribution to this blog I suggested that the world is different for different people, and that the world is subjective in this sense. Actually, it would be strange if this weren’t so. For isn’t it so that everybody has a different place in this world, and that from each point of view the world looks different? Physically, there can be no two persons on exactly the same place. Psychologically, each person has different experiences; even identical twins have. Therefore, each person is existentially different, and no two persons can have exactly the same view on the world. But is there a view point that we should prefer? Maybe there is, but also our selection criteria will be fundamentally subjective. In the same way as I reasoned that there are no objective view points, we can also reason that it is impossible to find objective criteria. Therefore I have to conclude: There simply is no absolutely best point of view. There are only better and worse points of view for looking at the world. So, from a human point of view the world is subjective. That is so whether we think of the physical world (Popper’s World 1), the world of the ideas we have about the world around us (or what Popper called World 2), or the world of ideas as such, independent of the persons who think them (Popper’s World 3). However, this does not imply that we cannot give at least to the physical world another, non-subjective, i.e. objective, sense. But this non-subjective or rather objective sense has nothing human. It is related to the fact (supposing that it is a fact) that there is a world independent of our existence. I do not want to suggest that this world wouldn’t be there if we weren’t there. It would be stupid to suggest that the world as such is dependent on our presence and that there would not have been a world during the times that there were no human beings to interpret it.