What are the reasons for which an idea can be subjective? The most common reason that is brought up often is that: it is subject of personal opinion, but an idea can be subjective for other reasons other than it being a personal opinion, or expression a personal opinion. I am wondering if there might be a dozen or more reasons for why an idea might be subjective. I know there's at least one more.

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    Values and perspective are two reasons to consider. The former relates to emotions and desires; the latter to perception and context. For example, "education matters" relates to values while "water is heavy" relates to perspective. Both are subjective, but there are probably various ways to classify and sub-divide subjectivity.
    – Michael
    Mar 12, 2022 at 1:12
  • You don't understand the concept fully. The idea of a truth value statement SUBJECTIVE indicates that the truth value cannot be universal or 100 percent true in the same domain & used in the same context. In other words the statement can be true today & false tomorrow, etc. An OBJECTIVE TRUTH statement can only be true forever. It has no false instances in the domain used in the same context. For example, all women are human beings is OBJECTIVE on Earth. There are zero false instances. All women have blue eyes is SUBJECTIVE because it has true cases & false cases plus other details too.
    – Logikal
    Mar 12, 2022 at 13:22

1 Answer 1


In contemporary philosophy, the problem is considered to come from the opposite sense: what are the conditions for an idea to be considered objective?

In an informal way, even if the size of the chair can be measured, and such observation can be considered objective, the fact is that each observer has in his own mind a particular experience of what is a chair, what is a size, what is a measure, why is it necessary to measure the chair and when is something considered objective, how is space defined, etc. The facts of reality in each one's head can never be compared with what exist in other's minds. That is literally impossible.

In other words, any idea is subjective at its foundations. The word "chair" in the mind of each one of us evokes hundreds of memories, sensations, relations, intuitions, etc. Each one is alone with that feeling, with that notion in his head, and each one can't verify nothing outside of his mind, except believing that the others really feel and trust that all such subjective impression of the external world in the same way, which is quite naive. Nothing prevents for the world to be really, for example, a simulation, a Matrix (like in the movie).

More formally, such ideas are the base of empiricism, which sustains that all knowledge exists only as a result of experience. If that is so, everything an individual knows is radically subjective. And what is considered objectivity is just shared subjectivity (so, a measurement is the subjective experience of a fact which normally can be agreed with others, so to be considered objective).

George Berkeley is possibly the philosopher that takes this notion to the extreme: nothing else would exist out of your mind, for Berkeley; again, in informal terms, (sorry for this trivial simplification, but this will allow an easy grasp of the notion), everything outside of you is exactly like the Matrix, except that the holder of existence on the other side is God. All your ideas are therefore subjective, and what you consider existence, all people and things, all is nothing but God's mind. In such case, what you consider objective is just an illusion: when you subjectively measure something, (objectively) everybody just agrees.

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