“Like all other ideals, humanity will never be able to fully achieve objectivity.”
Director Emerita Lorraine Daston elaborates on objectivity, reason, and science and their roles in everyday life in this interview for the Catholic News Agency, published in Islamische Zeitung.
“The words ‘objective’ and ‘subjective’ have a long history going back to fourteenth century scholastic philosophy. The idea behind it was the separation from an objective outer world and a subjective inner world, and the desire to eliminate all subjective influences in science,” reveals Daston. “From the middle of the nineteenth century, objectivity became perhaps the most important virtue of science.” As for objectivity and its influence in everyday lives today, Daston argues that “our political discourse is currently suffering from so many conspiracy theories because everyone is suspected of expressing only their subjective opinion.” As a result, we have lost confidence in the attempts of others at being objective.