Objective and Subjective – Concept, differences, knowledge

We explain what the difference is between the objective and the subjective. In addition, how objective and subjective knowledge is constructed.

objective and subjective art
The subjective varies depending on who perceives it.

What is the difference between the objective and the subjective?

The objective and the subjective are differentiated by the way something can be perceivedObjective things are perceived in the same way regardless of the subject who perceives them, while subjective things vary according to who perceives them.

This difference can be easily captured if we think that objectivity focuses on the object itself, while subjectivity focuses on the subject who perceives it.

The latter is easily verifiable through the origin of these words themselves, since objective comes from the Latin obiectus, “Put ahead”, while subjective comes from the Latin subiectivus, “Which depends on something else.” Thus, they are adjectives with which we can qualify a perspective, that is, the way in which we approach an issue. Because nothing can be objective and subjective at the same time.

As an example, let’s imagine there is a stone on the ground, and three different people looking at it and touching it. Any of them can ask the others if there really is a stone there on the ground, and the answer will be yes, since they can all perceive it at the same time. Its existence is, therefore, an objective reality, which does not vary according to the observer.

Now suppose that one of the three people tells the others that it is a very beautiful stone. Instantly, the second person contradicts him and says no, that the stone is horrible. The third, when consulted, shrugs her shoulders and says that it seems to her an average stone, neither beautiful nor horrible.

Who of the three is right in this case? Anyone, since it is a subjective perception of the stone, which has more to do with the sensitivity of its observers, than with the actual existence of the stone.

In this sense, we can establish some differences between the objective and the subjective:

The objectiveSubjective
It depends on the object itself.It depends on the subject who perceives.
It can be measured through instruments and established criteria.It is impossible to measure, so it requires argumentation.
It is independent of the emotional posture and opinions of the individual.It reflects to some extent the personal position and opinions of the individual.

Objective and subjective knowledge

objective and subjective science
Scientific knowledge is objective because it is verifiable.

These terms -objective and subjective- can also be applied to knowledge, in order to identify two very different ways of knowing. On the one hand, there is objective knowledge, which is that obtained through rigorous examination, verification and demonstration formal, procedures that are specified in the so-called scientific method.

This means that the knowledge obtained through science is verifiable, replicable, demonstrable and verifiable knowledge, which can be tested anywhere in the world and obtain the same results. That is why scientific knowledge is objective because it does not depend on who has carried out the experiments or who has published their findings.

Instead, subjective knowledge is that which is sustained by arguments and points of view found, which is a matter of debate and cannot be proven in any way. For this reason it consists of variable knowledge, which depends on the processes of the conscious experience of individuals, their expectations, thoughts and emotions.

For example, a marketing study around a shampoo brand will surely record mixed opinions depending on each test consumer, and from these subjective results you will be able to establish trends or approval percentages of the product.

The study should be repeated in each different country in which the shampoo is marketed, since what is successful in a national market may fail outright in the market of the neighboring country.

On the other hand, if that same brand of shampoo contains a highly polluting substance that makes it an environmental risk, it will also be so regardless of which country the shampoo is sold in, or what its consumers think or feel about it.