Research Workshop: “Creating objectivity out of subjectivity?”

Jon Charry (UCSB)

Friday, October 13th, 2023 (12:10-2:00 PM) Baker (180) Room 0112


Physicists and philosophers have routinely expressed admiration and fascination for objective descriptions of reality. These are usually required to be observer/context/description independent and, in the cases where the phenomena arises, objective theories or descriptions in this sense are the clear favorites over allegedly non-objective alternative theories or descriptions. In this paper we examine canonical cases of objectivity in our theories or descriptions of the world and come to the conclusion that this fascination and admiration is confused: objective theories or descriptions are not objective because they are observer/context/description independent; they are objective (if we’d like them to be) rather because they systematize a modal profile of observers/contexts or descriptions. In this sense, objective theories or descriptions are objective because they are “super subjective”.

Jon Charry is a graduate student in the Philosophy Department at UCSB working with Thomas Barrett. His areas of specialization are philosophy of physics and logic. He is mostly interested in philosophical issues arising from the interpretation of physical theories, in particular having to do with contemporary mathematics. When not doing philosophy, he's probably hiking with his dog.

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