Objectivity is supernatural

Natural: any action or process arising from interaction, that is, A interacts with B if A cannot act on B without B also acting on A. By extension, any entity that acts in this way is natural.

I set this out as a contemporary  definition of the natural. It proceeds from Newton’s Third Law, which is still integral to physical science, and it explains why the first principle of contemporary physical science is the system, i.e. an assembly of interactive entities. said as a challenge, to deny that, for contemporary science, nature is as we’ve defined it requires denying Newton’s Third Law or the necessity of open and closed systems for an analysis of natural things.

Objective: A description of knowledge in which the subject possesses an other or object without the subject affecting it, that is, without the subject modifying it as an object or other.

On this account, what is usually called sensation is not objective, since it is seen as involving an interaction between a subject and object in such a way that the object is changed: touch changes the temperature of what it senses, and in general every sense both is acted upon by  the exterior world and acts upon it. The sound wave pushes on the eardrum and vice-versa, etc. The actuality of a sense organ – that is, its very sensation – is made up not only by how it is acted on but by how it acts back.

But while sensation is not objective on this account, it always suggests and approaches objectivity. Our awareness of temperature is usually seen as less objective than our awareness of shape; our awareness of scent is less objective than color is less objective than motion. The early attempt to divide these sensations neatly into primary and secondary sensations is not ultimately feasible as it assumed the pure objectivity of Euclidean space and the non-relativity of motion (a note on number in a moment). What we call a triangle, for example, is a result of seeing space as isotropic, which is conditioned by the speed at which our sense organs move around. Still, there is suggestion and approach to pure objectivity so far as we seek what would be necessarily detected by all possible sense organs (observers).

But it seems like concepts like being, other, subject, something, self, law, perfection etc. are objective in a way that sense information is not. These appear to be the limit concepts of sense awareness. Taste, color, shape, motion, etc. all are interactive and so non-objective, but it’s hard to see how existence or other or law is the same sort of thing.

Still to the extent that knowledge is conditioned by sensation, i.e. by a nervous system, it cannot be objective. But there is some sort of mode in which our knowledge transcends this, even if only as a limit case.

Still, the point still stands that knowledge is supernatural in the measure that it is objective, and that it would also describe the entity having such knowledge. Likewise, complete objectivity is had by that which is most perfectly supernatural, if there is more than one such being.




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