1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Objectivism

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OBJECTIVISM, in philosophy, a term used, in contradistinction to Subjectivism, for any theory of knowledge which to a greater or less extent attributes reality (as the source and necessary pre-requisite of knowledge) to the external world. The distinction is based upon the philosophical antithesis of the terms Object and Subject, and their respective adjectival forms "objective" and "subjective." In common use these terms are opposed as synonymous respectively with "real" and "imaginary," "practical" and "theoretical," "physical" and "psychic." A man "sees" an apparition; was there any physical manifestation, or was it merely a creation of his mind ? If the latter the phenomenon is described as purely subjective. Subjectivism in its extreme form denies that mind can know more than its own states. Objects, i.e. things-in-themselves, may or may not exist: the mind knows only its own sensations, perceptions, ideal constructions and so forth. In a modified form "subjectivism" is that theory which attaches special importance to the part played by the mind in the accumulation of experience. See Psychology; Relativity of Knowledge.