Objective Thinking


The expression “objective thinking” (or alternatively, neo-objectivism) designates a mode of reasoning which is based on and modeled by the notions of objective reality (reality is exterior to our minds) and reason (knowledge must be based on objective evidence – on methods which seek outward, not inward).

What is the essence of objective thinking ?

1. the end of old, false dichotomies :
* the synergy of logic and creativity to find true solutions.
* the synergy of self-interest and enlightement to find true values.
* the synergy of freedom and security to find true political systems.
* the synergy of form and content to find true beauty.

2. The most important, and destructive, dichotomy is between theory and practice. Objective thinking holds that if the theory is true, pragmatic value will necessarily follow. If practice brooks failure, then the theory is flawed. A theory cannot be true and half-true at the same time.

3. Knowledge vs certainty : while certainty is impossible, we must hold confidence on our claims proportionally to the evidence. Evidence beyond rational doubt, as well as predictive power, entails knowledge. “The grand principle of the heavens balances on the razor’s edge of truth”. This balance is reflected in the two following opposites :

* doubt : one must doubt in all circumstances, even that one must doubt. If one is mired in dogma and certainty, progress becomes impossible and truth-value becomes purely aleatory. Cults and doctrines, despite their constant claims to the contrary, are not objective. Doubt, by eliminating false propositions, is the prerequisite to find knowledge.

* extremism : following one’s conclusions to its fullest extent – the complement to doubt. The “cult of compromise”, wishy-washy thinking, does not belong with reason. Something cannot be true and half-true at the same time – if one finds that reason is completely valid, we must not refrain from applying it in all circumstances. If we then find that it does not apply as well as we thought, then the theory must be revised.

In short : “I could be wrong – but as long as I use reason, and unless you prove otherwise, or I find that I am wrong, I must start from the premise that I am right”.

The battle cry of the subjectivist is “forget what you see and think… listen to your feelings !”. The only objective response is “feelings are irrelevant to reality”. As lackluster as this is, it’s the simple truth.

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