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Subjectivism is the doctrine that "our own mental activity is the only unquestionable fact of our experience",[1] instead of shared or communal, and that there is no external or objective truth.

The success of this position is historically attributed to Descartes and his methodic doubt, although he used it as an epistemological tool to prove the opposite (an objective world of facts independent of one's own knowledge, ergo the "Father of Modern Philosophy" inasmuch as his views underlie a scientific worldview).[1] Subjectivism accords primacy to subjective experience as fundamental of all measure and law.[2] In extreme forms like Solipsism, it may hold that the nature and existence of every object depends solely on someone's subjective awareness of it. One may consider the qualified empiricism of George Berkeley in this context, given his reliance on God as the prime mover of human perception.

Metaphysical subjectivism

Subjectivism is a label used to denote the philosophical tenet that "our own mental activity is the only unquestionable fact of our experience."[1] The success of this position is historically attributed to Descartes and his methodic doubt.[1] Subjectivism has historically been condemned by Christian theologians, which oppose to it the objective authority of the church, the Christian dogma, and the revealed truth of the Bible.[1][3] Christian theologians, and Karl Barth in particular, have also condemned anthropocentrism as a form of subjectivism.[1][4]

Metaphysical subjectivism is the theory that reality is what we perceive to be real, and that there is no underlying true reality that exists independently of perception. One can also hold that it is consciousness rather than perception that is reality (subjective idealism). This is in contrast to metaphysical objectivism and philosophical realism, which assert that there is an underlying 'objective' reality which is perceived in different ways.

This viewpoint should not be confused with the stance that "all is illusion" or that "there is no such thing as reality." Metaphysical subjectivists hold that reality is real enough. They conceive, however, that the nature of reality as related to a given consciousness is dependent on that consciousness. This has its philosophical basis in the writings of Descartes (see cogito ergo sum), and forms a cornerstone of Søren Kierkegaard's philosophy.

Modern versions

Recently, more modest versions of metaphysical subjectivism have been explored. For e

Metaphysical subjectivism is the theory that reality is what we perceive to be real, and that there is no underlying true reality that exists independently of perception. One can also hold that it is consciousness rather than perception that is reality (subjective idealism). This is in contrast to metaphysical objectivism and philosophical realism, which assert that there is an underlying 'objective' reality which is perceived in different ways.

This viewpoint should not be confused with the stance that "all is illusion" or that "there is no such thing as reality." Metaphysical subjectivists hold that reality is real enough. They conceive, however, that the nature of reality as related to a given consciousness is dependent on that consciousness. This has its philosophical basis in the writings of Descartes (see cogito ergo sum), and forms a cornerstone of Søren Kierkegaard's philosophy.

Recently, more modest versions of metaphysical subjectivism have been explored. For example, I might hold that it is a fact that chocolate is tasty, even though I recognize that it is not tasty to everyone. This would imply that there are facts that are subjective. (Analogously, one might hold that it is a fact that it is winter in the Northern Hemisphere, even though this is not always the case, implying that some facts are temporary.) Giovanni Merlo has developed a specific version of metaphysical subjectivism, under which subjective facts always concern mental properties.[5] With Giulia Pravato, he has argued that his version of subjectivism provides a natural way to be both a realist and a relativist about, for example, the proposition that chocolate is tasty -- it is part of reality (a subjective fact) that chocolate is tasty, but that doesn't mean it's necessarily true from another's point of view.[6] Caspar Hare's theory of egocentric presentism is another, closely related example.

Subjectivism and panpsychism