Online Encyclopedia

OBJECTIVISM

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V19, Page 949 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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OBJECTIVISM, in philosophy, a term used, in contradistinction to SUBJECTIVISM, for any theory of knowledge which to a greater or less extent attributes reality (as the source and necessary pre-requisite of knowledge) to the external world. The distinction is based upon the philosophical antithesis of the terms Object and Subject, and their respective adjectival forms " objective " and " subjective." In common use these terms are opposed as synonymous respectively with " real " and " imaginary," " practical " and " theoretical," " physical " and " psychic." A man " sees " an apparition; was there any physical manifestation, or was it merely a creation of his mind ? If the latter the phenomenon is described as purely subjective. Subjectivism in its extreme form denies that mind can know more than its own states. Objects, i.e. things-in-themselves, may or may not exist: the mind knows only its own sensations, perceptions, ideal constructions and so forth. In a modified form " subjectivism " is that theory which attaches special importance to the part played by the mind in the accumulation of experience. See PSYCHOLOGY; RELATIVITY OF KNOWLEDGE.
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