Hardcover, 244 pagesBorrowed from the library
Read December 2012
by Thomas Nagel
Nagel defines objectivity by saying, “A view or form of thought is more objective than another if it relies less on the specifics of the individual’s makeup and position in the world, or on the character of the particular type of creature he is. The wider the range of subjective types to which a form of understanding is accessible—the less it depends on specific subjective capacities—the more objective it is” (5). The View from Nowhere, however, contains little discussion of any aspect of an “individual’s makeup and position”; the text does not mention sex, or gender, or class. The end result of this, though, is that Nagel’s monograph is not very useful to my own project, for it is not a discussion of how objectivity has been understood, but of how one particular person thinks it ought to be defined and practiced. Nagel’s discussion does not seem particularly illuminating, except as a very general rationale for objectivity.