Objectivity is a key concept in scientific and philosophical reasoning. In general, objectivity refers to the idea that the results of scientific inquiry do not or should not depend on the idiosyncratic features of any given individual or group of individuals, such as opinions, values, biases, interpretations, or feelings. Objectivity is often associated with being “bias free,” “value neutral,” or “fair.” Many controversies have surrounded and continue to surround the concept of objectivity, particularly as it is understood in the social sciences. This entry reviews foundational concepts related to objectivity and briefly describes some associated challenges.

Objectivity and Subjectivity

Objectivity is often regarded as an ideal for scientific inquiry, expressing the idea that the knowledge gained as a result of inquiry should depend on the object of ...

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