- 1. a. Consciousness of one's perceived states.
- b. A conscious being.
- 2. a. The quality or condition of viewing things exclusively through the medium of one's own mind or individuality; the condition of being dominated by or absorbed in one's personal feelings, thoughts, concerns, etc.; hence, individuality, personality.
- b. That quality of literary or graphic art which depends on the expression of the personality or individuality of the artist; the individuality of an artist as expressed in his work.
- 3. The quality or condition of resting upon subjective facts or mental representation; the character of existing in the mind only.
Subjectivity refers to a person's perspective or opinion, particular feelings, beliefs, and desires. It is often used casually to refer to unsubstantiated personal opinions, in contrast to knowledge and fact-based beliefs. In philosophy, the term is often contrasted with objectivity.
Subjectivity may refer to the specific discerning interpretations of any aspect of experiences. They are unique to the person experiencing them, the qualia that are only available to that person's consciousness. Though the causes of experience are thought to be objective and available to everyone, (such as the wavelength of a specific beam of light), experiences themselves are only available to the subject (the quality of the colour itself).
In social sciences, subjectivity (the property of being a subject) is an effect of relations of power. Similar social configurations create similar perceptions, experiences and interpretations of the world. For example, female subjectivity would refer to the perceptions, experiences and interpretations that a subject marked as female would generally have of the world.
The exquisite and transcendent experience of loving and being loved is not just a psychic illusion because it is so purely subjective. The one truly divine and objective reality that is associated with mortal beings, the Thought Adjuster, functions to human observation apparently as an exclusively subjective phenomenon. Man's contact with the highest objective reality, God, is only through the purely subjective experience of knowing him, of worshiping him, of realizing sonship with him.
- Solomon, Robert C. "Subjectivity," in Honderich, Ted. Oxford Companion to Philosophy, Oxford University Press, 2005.
- Block, Ned; Flanagan, Owen J.; & Gzeldere, Gven (Eds.) The Nature of Consciousness: Philosophical Debates. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
- Bowie, Andrew (1990). Aesthetics and Subjectivity : From Kant to Nietzsche. Manchester: Manchester University Press.
- Dallmayr, Winfried Reinhard (1981). Twilight of Subjectivity: Contributions to a Post-Individualist Theory Politics. Amherst, MA: University of Massachusetts Press.
- Ellis, C. & Flaherty, M. (1992). Investigating Subjectivity. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.
- Farrell, Frank B. Farrell (1994). Subjectivity, Realism, and Postmodernism: The Recovery of the World in Recent Philosophy. Cambridge - New York: Cambridge University Press.