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Objectivity

History Of The Term, Contemporary Debates

Objectivity is the idea that the truth can be known independently of viewpoint, perspective, or bias. For example, "Gustav Mahler completed nine symphonies," is an objectively true statement, independent of the person who utters it. "Gustav Mahler was the greatest composer in history" is not an objective truth—some people would agree, others would disagree, depending on their subjective aesthetic values. Objectivity has often been presented as diametrically opposed to subjectivity, the idea that people's beliefs and value judgments reflect their individual situation and interests; historicism, the consideration of people's opinions as reflections of the historical era in which they live; and relativism, which considers all points of view to be equally correct and inevitable.

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