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Nymphs and Satyr, by William Bouguereau (Detail)
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  • Nature through our eyes

    by Brian K. Yoder

    Jeffery LeMieux wrote:
    I don't think the hypothesis that the sun will rise tomorrow is qualitative. A qualitative statement might be that the "sun is good" or that the "sun is not good." I think we can make arguments about that which might depend on the situation and some assumptions about our lives being good in themselves, etc. But I agree that statements of quality do not seem to be susceptible to the same kinds of measurements as quantities.

    Just because an answer is dependent on the particulars of the situation does not make it non-objective. To pick a simple example, the answer to the question "How far away is Cleveland?" is dependent on the particular circumstances (like where you are when you answer) but isn't even a very complex evaluation or answer.

    The idea I am arguing against is the notion that any question that has a complex answer or that is addressing an abstract issue is necessarily divorced from reality and is nothing more than arbitrary, irrational, non-objective opinion that can neither be compared to the facts to see if it holds up nor evaluated as being better or worse than any other such opinion. That kind of thinking is the road to the worst kind of nihilism, and not just about mundane matters. It means that there can be no truth or meaning in art either.

    --Brian