Tethering to Truth in a Shared World

“I, a stranger and afraid, in a world I never made.” – A.E. Housman

Objectivity is rooted in our desire for the intercommunicability of all tangible and perceptual experiences in a shared reality. We design coordinates and measurements to align the apparatus of our body (or the mechanisms of our measuring devices) towards a common point of investigative focus. We have not yet developed a method, technique, device, or systematized taxonomy for approximating our inward focus on various faculties and functions of the mind. Further, there is a lot of doubt regarding whether such a method is plausible or even worthwhile. However, we cannot treat the objective and subjective as polar extremes, as separate and discrete realms existing dichotomously on a spectrum of existential extremes. After all, the organism is situated in the world; Cognition occurs through the matrix of interactions between the body, the environment, and other bodies in the environment. So, a question can be posed here: why do we shift our focus so heavily beyond immediate experience and into the world to find what is there as though it exists transcendentally and independently from our first-person awareness? What motivates this steadfast belief in the absoluteness of an external, independently existing, stable and concrete world? And why does this belief take precedence over the immediacy of first-personal and introspective experiential involvement and exploration?

I would perhaps argue that our primary means of access to the world is through how it exists or appears or is presented to and for someone. This “for someone” is not to be discarded or thrown to the poets to analyze; It is a crucial aspect of how human knowledge of the world comes to be through the a priori constitution of being an person in the world. However, we also have access second-personally to how someone else is presented a world which is simultaneously presented to ourselves as we cohabit a situation unfolding. The question hence is: how can we convey and share the experience of a world as such, as it is presented? We can both watch a scene outwardly and still have an unknown factor of the experiential variables from me to you. The experience of the other can validate, contradict, challenge, or substantiate this idea of having a tether to truth in the world. We rely on objective techniques to allow for this bridge, but objectivity does not include the role of the active participation from the observer and how this frames, situates, and creates the experience of the object of investigative focus.

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