What is the point of objectivism


has essentially two meanings: (1) the conception related to universalism that the validity of the contents of consciousness, thoughts, sentences, theories etc. cannot be traced back to factual thought processes. A strict distinction must be made between the genesis (emergence) of thoughts and their validity. In contrast to this are subjectivism, psychologism, relativism and contextualism. Bolzano, Frege and Meinong, but above all Husserl's criticism of psychology in the Logical investigations (1900/01) helped the logic of validity O. to achieve a breakthrough. Since the hermeneutic and pragmatic-linguistic turn in philosophy, which was initiated by Heidegger's demonstration of the historicity of reason and Wittgenstein's language game pragmatics, a skeptical-relativistic conception of reason has prevailed again. This tendency in contemporary philosophy are inter alia. Putnam, Habermas and Apel opposed. They point out that in the pragmatic dimension of language, in its use in real speech situations, idealizing prerequisites, especially the regulative idea of ​​the ideal argumentative consensus guaranteeing objective truth, are built. Relativistic conceptions that deny the possibility of objective truth are therefore pragmatically self-contradicting.

(2) the notion that characterizes modern science that objective truth can only be accessed by switching off subjective influences (emotions, interests, perspectives). The O. is particularly characteristic of the philosophy of consciousness, in which, disregarding its social dimension, experiential knowledge is understood only solipsistically, as a relation between a lonely subject (solus ipse) and a tangible, intrinsically meaningless object. Descartes' ontological O., who interprets the subject-object relation of knowledge as the relationship between two beings (res cogitans and res extensa), finds its counterpart in the naturalistic empiricism of Hume, which declares subjective will actions to be objects of causal experience . Kant's transcendental subjectivism prepares the methodological O. (positivism, behaviorism, logical empiricism, critical rationalism) by generalizing the scientific object concept and the causalistic concept of experience. Against the unified scientific orientation of philosophy and science, Husserl asserted in his late philosophy that scientific concepts get their meaning from the descriptive, pre-theoretical lifeworld and that their objectifications or idealizations must therefore not be absolutized. This criticism has taken on a relativistic-skeptical form in the hermeneutic (Heidegger, Gadamer) and language game-pragmatic philosophy (Wittgenstein, Ryle), and a universalistic form in the universal and transcendental-pragmatic philosophy (Habermas, Apel). The aspect of the communicative and social dimension of the experience is brought to the fore.


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  • D. Böhler: Reconstructive Pragmatics. Frankfurt 1985
  • J. Habermas: Knowledge and Interest. Frankfurt 1968
  • E. Husserl: The crisis of the European sciences and the transcendental phenomenology. Hua VI. The Hague 1954
  • K. R. Popper: Objective Knowledge. Hamburg 1973
  • H. Skjervheim: Modern Objectivism and the Science of Man. In: D. Böhler et al. (Ed.): The pragmatic turn. Frankfurt 1986. pp. 9-35.