Subjectivism

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Subjectivism

 

a world view that ignores the objective approach to reality and denies the existence of objective laws of nature and society. Subjectivism is one of the main epistemological sources of idealism. In essence, it grants primacy to the role played by the subject in various spheres of activity and in the cognitive process above all. The concomitant abstraction of thought, which does not correspond to the nature of objects, leads ultimately to a divorce from reality, subjective blindness, agnosticism, and relativism (see V. I. Lenin, Poln. sobr. soch., 5th ed., vol. 29, p. 322).

Subjectivism has been expounded by such philosophers as G. Berkeley, D. Hume, and J. G. Fichte; the philosophy of I. Kant is also marked by subjectivist concepts. In the bourgeois philosophy of the 19th and 20th centuries, subjectivism has been a basic principle of such idealist schools of thought as neo-Kan-tianism, empiriocriticism, philosophy of life, pragmatism, neopositivism, and existentialism.

According to Marxist philosophy, which rejects subjectivism, the subject’s active role in practical life and in the cognitive process presupposes the existence of a dialectical relationship between subject and object as well as the existence of an objective reality that has its own laws and is independent of consciousness. Various distortions of Marxism-Leninism have their foundations in subjectivism. Right-wing revisionism, proceeding from a subjectivist understanding of practice, eclectically attempts to combine the principles of Marxist philosophy with subjectivist philosophical conceptions, such as existentialism and pragmatism. The left-wing revision of Marxism-Leninism is an attempt to replace its creative theory with a system of subjectively interpreted dogmas that serve as a justification for voluntarism.

In the political sphere, subjectivism is reflected in policy decisions based on arbitrary, unscientific principles, a contemptuous attitude toward the laws of society, and a belief in the omnipotence of administrative decisions. Genuinely scientific policymaking combines a strictly objective approach to reality with recognition of activism and initiative displayed by the masses, by social classes, and by individuals. This approach is a guarantee against subjectivism in any form.