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 Objectivity is a value, which is supposed to be absolute.  In reality,  objectivity comes in degrees. Our understanding of scientific objectivity is central to understanding the very nature of science & the role it plays in society.

The objectivity of science can broadly be broken down into  product objectivity & process objectivity.  The worldly manifestation of science in its products— theories, laws, experimental results & observation generally constitute a accurate representation of the of the world outside.

 Process objectivity is  multi-faceted; contains explications in terms of measurement procedures, individual reasoning processes,  and also the social and institutional dimension of science. Limits in objectivity of scientific research needs to understood, more specifically  when results are generalized.  Complete objectivity of the process in large number of areas remains a audacious goal to be achieved.

 Objectivity should not be confused with the scientists consensus.  More often than not it is found that scientists may agree at one point in time, it is later found that the consensus so achieved, presumably objective, represented a subjective point of view.  These are the follies we have encountered all throughout the development of science.

Mechanical objectivity as discussed gave way to  trained judgement  in the twentieth century. Scientists realised that to understand scientifically; identifying & grouping ought to be done in accordance with a  particular type of professional training,  to interpret images or data. Simple mechanical depiction might not serve the purpose.  Objectivity, consequently became a combination of trained judgment & mechanical objectivity.

The world unfolds in this variant of objectivity.  The direction of growth of technology has a subjective bias.


 Sanjay Sahay

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