AskDefine | Define subjectivity

Dictionary Definition

subjectivity n : judgment based on individual personal impressions and feelings and opinions rather than external facts [syn: subjectiveness]

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. The state of being subjective.


stating of being subjective
  • Finnish: subjektiivisuus

Extensive Definition

Subjectivity refers to a subject's perspective, particularly feelings, beliefs, and desires. It is often used casually to refer to unjustified personal opinions, in contrast to knowledge and justified belief. In philosophy, the term is often contrasted with objectivity.


Subjectivity may refer to the specific discerning interpretations of any aspect of experiences. They are unique to the person experiencing them, the qualia that are only available to that person's consciousness. Though the causes of experience are thought to be objective and available to everyone, (such as the wavelength of a specific beam of light), experiences themselves are only available to the subject (the quality of the colour itself).

Social sciences

In social sciences, subjectivity (the property of being a subject) is an effect of relations of power. Similar social configurations create similar perceptions, experiences and interpretations of the world. For example, female subjectivity would refer to the perceptions, experiences and interpretations that a subject marked as female would generally have of the world.



  • Block, Ned; Flanagan, Owen J.; & Gzeldere, Gven (Eds.) The Nature of Consciousness: Philosophical Debates. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
  • Bowie, Andrew (1990). Aesthetics and Subjectivity : From Kant to Nietzsche. Manchester: Manchester University Press.
  • Dallmayr, Winfried Reinhard (1981). Twilight of Subjectivity: Contributions to a Post-Individualist Theory Politics. Amherst, MA: University of Massachusetts Press.
  • Ellis, C. & Flaherty, M. (1992). Investigating Subjectivity. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.
  • Farrell, Frank B. Farrell (1994). Subjectivity, Realism, and Postmodernism: The Recovery of the World in Recent Philosophy. Cambridge - New York: Cambridge University Press.
subjectivity in German: Subjektivität
subjectivity in Spanish: Subjetividad
subjectivity in French: Subjectivité
subjectivity in Portuguese: Subjetividade
subjectivity in Finnish: Subjektiivisuus
subjectivity in Swedish: Subjektivitet
Privacy Policy, About Us, Terms and Conditions, Contact Us
Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2
Material from Wikipedia, Wiktionary, Dict
Valid HTML 4.01 Strict, Valid CSS Level 2.1