Subjectivity, Objectivity and Conjectivity

  • Title: Contemplations, Subjectivity, Objectivity and Conjectivity.
  • Author: Arvindus.
  • Publisher: Arvindus.
  • Copyright: Arvindus, 2015, all rights reserved.
  • Index: 201507281.
  • Edition: html, first edition.


The English word 'subjectivity' is generally considered to be the "condition of viewing things exclusively through the medium of one's own mind or individuality" or "the condition of being dominated by or absorbed in one's personal feelings, thoughts, concerns, etc".1 These meanings can be boiled down to the primal meaning of "consciousness of one's perceived states".2 This latter is an interesting definition because it discerns between states, perception and consciousness. The word 'subjectivity' is itself derived from the noun 'subject' which can be traced back to the Latin 'sūbicere' (or 'sūbiciō'),3 which can mean 'to throw from below' or 'to place below'.4 It consists of 'sub', signifying a position below,5 and 'iaceō', signifying either a lying or a throwing.6 Connecting these meanings to the contemporary English primal meaning it can be said that in subjectivity states are placed below one's perception in one's consciousness and that one's consciousness is thrown from below by one's perception upwards to states. (In the latter case the term 'projection' also applies etymosophically). In this does perception play a key role. It relates consciousness to states and states to consciousness. This relation however is not transparent but is tainted by the color of the perception. Now perception here can be considered to consist of three constituents, namely sense perception, feeling perception and thought perception.7 Thus shall the color of perception be dependent on the synthesis of the colors of the aforementioned three.

Let us give here a metaphorical example. Suppose metaphorically that a blue consciousness perceives a yellow state through an overall red perception (the aggregate color of the colors of sense, feeling and thought perceptions). The yellow state will then be placed below in one's consciousness as a red-yellow or orange state of consciousness and the blue consciousness will be thrown upwards and projected on the state as a red-blue or purple consciousness of the state. The subjectivity, being the synthesis of the state of consciousness and the consciousness of the state, then shall be of a red-yellow-red-blue or orange-purple nature while the state itself is only yellow.

The above division is (uncolored) depicted in figure 1. In the first row is shown that perception is the relation between consciousness and state. The second row shows perception as constituted of thought, feeling and sense perception, whereby the thought perception relates to consciousness and sense perception to a state. Row three then shows the state of consciousness as the relation between consciousness and thought perception and the consciousness of the state as the relation between the state and sense perception.

Consciousness Perception State
Consciousness Thought Perception Feeling Perception Sense Perception State
Consciousness State of Consciousness Thought Perception Feeling Perception Sense Perception Consciousness of State State

Figure 1.

Through the above figure new definitions of subjectivity can be formed. In line with row one can subjectivity for instance be redefined as 'the relation between a consciousness and a state through a perception'. And in line with row three it can redefined as 'a state of consciousness plus a consciousness of a state'. Other and more elaborate definitions are possible also however the adding of a number of extra definitions would not add to the clarity on subjectivity as given in figure 1. Further clarity on subjectivity may be gained through a contemplation on the first person perspective to which subjectivity is related.8


Where subjectivity was mentioned to be related to the first person perspective there is objectivity related to the third person perspective.9 The English word 'objectivity' has the same etymological structure as 'subjectivity'. Being rooted in the Latin 'obicere'10 or 'obiciō', referring to a throwing or laying before or against,11 it consists of 'ob', signifying an opposition,12 and 'iaceō' again. Through the English 'objective' (being the root adjective for the noun 'objectivity') is objectivity opposed to subjectivity.13 This basically means that as in subjectivity a state is related to consciousness this is opposed in objectivity, for there a state is considered as being independent from consciousness. Thus can objectivity etymosophically be understood as the antithesis of the thesis of subjectivity. Subjectivity says; 'relation', and objectivity answers; 'no relation'. Objectivity is the negation of subjectivity. Where in subjectivity a state is related to a consciousness there does objectivity let the state stand on itself, independently from anything else.


In English the word 'conjectivity' has never been in use and must thus be considered as a neologism. It is formed on base on the following contemplative and etymosophical considerations. In the previous paragraph objectivity was set as the antithesis of the thesis of subjectivity. Philosophers taking notice of this pair of thesis and antithesis may immediately think of Hegel's famous dialectic philosophy where these concepts occur.14 This dialectic philosophy however does not consist of only a thesis and an antithesis but also of a synthesis in which the two aforementioned are taken together into a new stance. Now such a dialectic thought can also be applied to subjectivity and objectivity. The thesis of subjectivity and the antithesis of objectivity can be taken together in the synthesis of conjectivity. As already brought to the fore does the Latin 'iaceō', from which the English '-ject' stems, refer basically to a throwing. Now with the Latin 'con' denoting a togetherness15 can 'conjection' be understood as a throwing together. It can be said then that in conjectivity what is thrown in subjectivity and what is thrown in objectivity is now thrown together. This corresponds with the thought of a synthesis being the resolve of a conflict between a thesis and an antithesis.16 In subjectivity truth is located in a persons perception, in objectivity truth is located independently from any perception, but in conjectivity independent truth is perceived by a person. This person then is not a human anymore but must be a buddha or a metanthropos.17, 18 For he is the conceiver of truth and reality as it is. This view is acknowledged in the former use of the word 'conject'. For to conject used to be considered as a divine forecasting.19 


What happens basically in the above sketched dialectic triple process is that in subjectivity access is gained to a state. Without subjectivity a state would stay without any recognition. In objectivity this state is divorced from the recognizing consciousness, letting it stand independently on itself. Now what stands independently on itself is real, so in objectivity reality is given to a state. However without a recognizing consciousness the reality of the state would remain unnoticed and unknown and thus are in conjectivity the independent truth and the perceived truth thrown together. Thus can conjectivity in line with the prime English meaning of subjectivity ("consciousness of one's perceived states") also be understood as 'consciousness of real states'. Conjectivity then can be related to the zeroth person perspective.20 It is the perspective of the metanthropos who is the seer of reality. May we then all transcend subjectivity and objectivity and become such seers in conjectivity.