Defending Objectivity: Essays in Honour of Andrew Collier by Margaret Archer, William Outhwaite

By Margaret Archer, William Outhwaite

Andrew Collier is the boldest defender of objectivity - in technological know-how, wisdom, suggestion, motion, politics, morality and faith. during this tribute and acknowledgement of the impact his paintings has had on a large readership, his colleagues express that they have got been inspired via his considering and supply difficult responses. This wide-ranging booklet covers key components with which defenders of objectivity usually need to interact. Sections are dedicated to the next: * objectivity of worth * objectivity and daily wisdom * objectivity in political financial system * objectivity and reflexivity * objectivity postmodernism and feminism * objectivity and nature the varied contributions diversity from social and political idea to philosophy, reflecting the valuable issues of Collier's paintings.

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The quotation at the start of this essay asserts exactly this point and continues as follows: It may be said that the ‘means’ that a man [sic] uses are far more important than the ‘ends’ which he pursues, for they express more fully his spirit. If a man strives for freedom by means of tyranny, for love by means of hatred, for brotherhood by means of dissension, for truth by means of falsity, his lofty aim is not likely to make the judgement of him more lenient. I actually believe that a man who worked for the cause of tyranny, hatred, falsity and dissension by means of freedom, love, truthfulness and brotherhood would be the better man of the two.

He smiled miserably, and for some reason I thought of that flashy blonde wife of his who was said to betray him with his junior officers. ’ ‘Let us weigh the gain and the loss,’ he quoted, ‘in wagering that God is, let us estimate these two chances. ’ I quoted Pascal back at him – it was the only passage I remembered. ‘Both he who chooses heads and he who chooses tails are equally at fault. They are both in the wrong. ’ ‘Yes, but you must wager. It is not optional. ’ He went sadly on. ‘You don’t follow your own principles, Fowler.

Outside their studies, the views of postmodernists would be regarded not as a philosophical position but as symptoms of psychosis. And yet, postmodernism has had, and continues to have, a lamentable influence on the way humanities and social science subjects are studied and taught at our universities. When, as I often do, I attend interdisciplinary conferences on biography, I am routinely told that biography is a form of fiction, that selves are created by the words used to describe them, that any claims by biographers to objectivity are illusory, and so on.

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