What does “objective” mean?

The blog “The Cranky Linguist” has a longer article giving Ron Kephart’s take on the word “objective” as applied to anthopology, a very interesting read.  According to your own understanding and experience, which definition do you think is the best one?

1.  From the Postmodern Dictionary (http://www.postmodernpsychology.com/
Postmodernism_Dictionary.html): Being objective means to have no bias or distortions; to see things [as] they actually are. It assumes the individual is able to bracket their subjective perspective, biases, and prejudices.

2. From Cultural Anthropology: A Perspective on the Human Condition (Oxford 2012): Objective knowledge: Knowledge about reality that is absolute and true.

3.  From Science, Reason, and Anthropology: The Principles of Rational Inquiry (1997): [A proposition] is objective in the scientific sense of the term if it is both publicly verifiable and testable.

See here for Ron’s conclusion. What is yours?

Exercise: A discussion of these three definitions would be exercise enough, but you might have your students look up other words with amorphous definitions, like family, or truth or, for that matter, beauty, and see what they come up with.

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