Perceived objectivity

You’ve probably seen pictures of that dress – is it black and blue, or gold and white, and what does this say about our perceptual experiences?  But enough about that.

meThere’s another discussion I’ve been having with friends recently, about researcher bias, the need to be transparent about one’s subjective bias when conducting educational research, and not to be arrogant and assume objectivity of one’s own position.

I’ve written elsewhere about perspectivism, the blind men and the elephant, and today a Facebook discussion reminded me of this:

The ideal, as we think of it, is unshakable. You can never get outside it; you must always turn back. There is no outside; outside you cannot breathe.—Where does this idea come from? It is like a pair of glasses on our nose through which we see whatever we look at. It never occurs to us to take them off. Wittgenstein, PI, Section 103

Sometimes we might see the world through rose tinted spectacles, and that will mean we see things one way; other times we might forget to remove our sunglasses before going inside, and then things will look darker than they really are.

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4 Responses to Perceived objectivity

  1. I really need to pull PI back off the bookshelf again.

    Come to think of it, i’m not sure i even own a copy anymore. Need to rectify.

  2. scottx5 says:

    PI is public investigator? Let’s hire the guy. What flipped me this week was being labeled as one of the “dominant” group. Never made it past “annoying poser” before. Seriously though this got me thinking about who I assume I am–and some unasked for comments from my wife to make it all personal. Nothing wrong with that.

    • NomadWarMachine says:

      I don’t think Wittgenstein would be a very good PI. I have a cartoon somewhere – will dig it out and post it.

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