Two kinds of objectivity

Consider these two definitions of the adjective, objective.

1. based on facts, or making a decision that is based on facts rather than on your feelings or beliefs OPP subjective 2. formal existing outside the mind as something real, not only as an idea

Firstly, Definition #2 does not have subjective as its opposite. To consider what is the opposite of Definition #2 we need to look at the opposites within the definition itself. So the question is what exists inside the mind. And that is given in the definition at the end — idea. The next question then are ideas “real” in any sense of the word. By one definition, real is not imaginary, something that [ … ] actually exists and is not just imagined.

So what does Definition #1 mean when it is defined as based on facts, or making a decision based on facts. We must remember that a fact is not the thing itself as Wittgenstein pointed out. Thus, even the definition is suggesting that fact is an idea. We have noted ideas are not real, again, not things.

The first definition is about perception and therefore about knowledge (of facts) or epistemology. the second definition is about what is existent or ontology. So when we talk about being objective and objectivity we must always qualify whether we are talking about epistemological objectivity or ontological objectivity.