So I was thinking about this and I realized one thing. If we say “Objectivity does not exist”, we would have to use “objectivity” to prove it. Since we’re claiming that objectivity does not exist, if we are lead to the conclusion that the statement is true, then we couldn’t have used objectivity to reach the conclusion. Hence we cannot use “objectivity” to prove or disprove this statement. My question is, how do you go about proving or disproving this statement?

  • Hi, welcome to Philosophy SE. Your question is not very clear. What is "objectivity" exactly, how is it "used", and why do we need it to use it to "prove" something? Proofs normally require premises and inference rules, not ''objectivity". This is phrased so nebulously that it is hard to say what you have in mind.
    – Conifold
    Mar 27, 2020 at 5:24
  • Now that I answered I feel like the question itself bites itself in the tail - if you believe objectivity does not exist, and that that implies logic cannot be applied, then why do you want to logically prove that?
    – kutschkem
    Mar 27, 2020 at 7:51
  • Welcome to SE Philosophy! Thanks for your contribution. Please take a quick moment to take the tour or find help. You can perform searches here or seek additional clarification at the meta site. Don't forget, when someone has answered your question, you can click on the checkmark to reward the contributor.
    – J D
    Mar 28, 2020 at 11:14
  • It depends on your metaphysical presumptions. For instance, would a solipsist even need to disprove objectivity? Another challenge is 'what is your definition of proof? Your question is so broad, that it opens up ontological and epistemological questions.To get an answer on this site, you'll have to narrow your focus.
    – J D
    Mar 28, 2020 at 11:19
  • Be sure to read WP articles on objectivity, subjectivity, and intersubjectivity.
    – J D
    Mar 28, 2020 at 11:21

2 Answers 2


My question is, how do you go about proving or disproving this statement?

Assuming the statement makes any sense at all, and that the proof regarding its provability is correct, then you showed that the statement is not provable. Since supposedly the proof system you use does not allow for inference of false statements ( = is sound), and assuming provability leads to a contradiction.

Maybe you don't know it, but not everything that is true (or false) is also provable.


This is a question which has a lot potential ways it can be answered.

To say that X or y exists is often to be taken as a brute fact of the ability of something to be conceived. If I can conceive of objectivity or pegasus or santa, then in some very minimal sense they have primitive "existence." There is a view connected to this called possibilism which says that whatever is possible, roughly, has at least possible existence.

There is then a related concept as in "actual existence."

Now this does not mean objectivity refers; It may or may not have truth conditions because objectivity is something like a concept of which probably facts obtain in virtue of it being the case.

Think about objectivity as something like a concept or idea that I can think of. There is a sense in which we can think about the notion that it may be the correct interpretation of the world, but it does make it true or the case.

For example subjectivity does not exist, to prove that you need to say that in some sense it does exist, therefore you are reasoning in a circle. But subjectivity and objectivity can't both exist? Oh no, contradiction. Oh actually they both exist already.

To get out of this you need some accepted prior conditions which ground them. (These are sometimes called external norms which ground circular reasoning arguments btw, also this is only tangentially relevant).

That is, anything that can be conceived is ipso facto "real" or "exists", but does not make it refer, true, or be the correct understanding of how things are.

There is famous set of lines from W.V.O. Quine's paper "On What there is" which I've quoted below.:

A curious thing about the ontological problem is its simplicity. It can be put in three Anglo-Saxon monosyllables: „What is there?‟ It can be answered, moreover, in a word—„Everything‟—and everyone will accept this answer as true. However, this is merely to say that there is what there is. There remains room for disagreement over cases; and so the issue has stayed alive down the centuries.


When I to formulate our difference of opinion, on the other hand, I seem to be in a predicament. I cannot admit that there are some things which McX countenances and I do not, for in admitting that there are such things I should be contradicting my own rejection of them.

This is the old Platonic riddle of nonbeing. Nonbeing must in some sense be, otherwise what is it that there is not? This tangled doctrine might be nicknamed Plato’s beard; historically it has proved tough, frequently dulling the edge of Occam‟s razor

On what there is

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .