Posted by: Write My Essay on: July 23, 2017
In Lorraine Daston and Peter Galison’s “Objectivity,” they argue that in the pursuit of objectivity is synonymous with developing a scientific self that can balance the relationship with knowing and being the “knower.” In this essay, I will debunk many of the theories that are offered in the text. The objectivity that the authors discuss is set in the 19th Century sciences and it attempts to reveal how the concept is different from the alternative, which is trained judgement. The authors argue that a person can put themselves in a scientific community as its member and see things objectively, but it is not possible to completely remove oneself from a situation and be placed in a position that is objective.
Truth-to-nature, as the authors describe as being the process of identifying the underlying type of plant, rather than the specimen. The next image used in the text portrays mechanical objectivity, which is portrayed with the use of a snowflake. The flake is asymmetrical throughout and it is an attempt to capture nature with the least amount of human intervention as possible. The third object is intended to represent trained judgement, and that is the image of a magnetic field from the sun. This field is mixing with equipment that makes data smooth. By using these images, the author is trying to convey a bigger story than the one that is actually seen. But due to the experiences that all of us have, it is impossible to reach full objectivity on any of these subjects.
The x-ray vision that is depicted in the text requires someone to have judgment and training in order to read it correctly. While the authors don’t argue the fact that mechanical objectivity is gone, they don’t argue that the truth-to-nature is gone either. The scientific work has not caused the truth-to-nature from disappearing, but I would argue that there has been some subjectivity forming from the elimination of truth to nature. When someone puts themselves into a situation of study, it is impossible to be completely objective. And a certain amount of subjectivity is necessary in order to fully understand the subject that is being studied. In fact, there is some indication given in “Objectivity,” when the authors admit that there is a relationship between the observer and the observed. But they say that trained judgment has taken the place of objectivity. Objectivity could be present at one point, but when a person becomes involved with their subject, they then become subjective, and this ruins the ability for them to become objective. The trained judgment that the authors talk about is not possible in the purest sense of the phrase. This is because judgement can’t be held symbiotically with objectivity, even if that judgment is trained. People can try to become objective about things to which they have an opinion or another type of relationship, but it is impossible to fully remove oneself from the object. Even if the person believes they have removed all emotional ties, there is still some connection subconsciously.
Scientific practice can’t be fully objective in any way if the scientist is to understand the subject of observation. There are ways to become less involved with the subject, but subjectivity is always going to get in the way when someone is dealing with a scientific study. However, this does not infer that subjectivity is fully a bad thing. Scientists needs to both put themselves with the subject and away from it, to come to a happy medium where they are able to fully accommodate the proper discourse of the application of science.