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+2 votes
It was from a Bob Black book that I first learned about the basic concept of "objective vs subjective". I have since noticed that some anarchists seem to be a bit critical of this perspective, but I would like to learn more as to why and what that critique would be. Anyone know of any helpful material written on this?
One reason I'm critical of this conceptual dichotomy is that basic perception can neither be one nor the other but can only be a relation of both. In the terms of 'logical fallacies' it's a false dichotomy if there ever has been one. For a heavy-hitter I'd explore the works of Merleau-Ponty ( who probably did more than anyone to disentangle this dogma of Western thought while still using a Western language.

If I do choose to use these concepts, I attempt to do so in a way that illustrates a more *tropical* relationship than as a opposition/dichotomy, the latter of which I find completely ridiculous, if not an actually dangerous piece of ideology for an anarchist to cling.

Edit: typo, change in wording
emile on anarchist news is all about critiquing this (among many other dualisms). if you can wade through his language, i hear there are interesting nuggets to glean. if one gleans nuggets, that is.

i'm sure there are other people talking about this, but none come to mind. it's more of a topic in feminist and indigenous writings (or maybe that's just where i've read it) but unfortunately i'm not remembering any specific names for you there either.
You're asking about one of the central questions in western philosophy - so instead of recommending some dude who wrote a zine mentioning it, I'm going to say:

That 'dichotomy' exists in Hegel, but more in the way that AmorFati was describing. An objective thing is not any more real or complete than something subjective, because for perception to happen at all there has to be a subject to do it. (for Hegel)

I'd recommend reading Hegel's Phenomenology (the idea of 'recommending' this book seems really funny to me) beforehand, but AmorFati's suggestion of reading Merleau-Ponty is also highly relevant.

Loads of other people have written things that deal w/ this, of course, but you'd do better to start with the heavy hitters honestly: Kant + Hegel.

Actually, Plato, Aristotle and Descartes you kinda have to read too.

This article is not a bad overview:

i wish i could dive deeper into this topic, on one hand it interests me conceptually. but almost any time i read the words of (particularly historical) philosophers, i start to doze off.

i think i agree with amorfati on this: "basic perception can neither be one nor the other but can only be a relation of both"

but i also sometimes question the very concept of "objectivity", where as "subjectivity" seems like the world i experience. some rock on the other side of the world surely exists even without my perceiving it, but what relevance does it have to my life? the butterfly effect may eventually have it impact me, and at that point it becomes part of my subjective reality.

hmmm.... maybe that is my way of seeing the false dichotomy.

not that you have to do this if you don't feel like it, but: keep in mind that the difficulty in reading philosophy has to do with the fact that the best philosophers are initiating you into a different style of thinking and doing research, which requires them to use language in unexpected and unconventional ways. it's harder to read, but also more rewarding in that you can continue learning from it the second time or the hundredth time.
i appreciate that, and others over the years have made similar points to me. it just hasn't helped, so far. :-)
maybe i'm stuck in a rut, but i'd say the surrealist movement has anarchic tendencies and definitely more than critical of this miserable dichotomy.

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