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Subjectivism vs Objectivism

The book by C.S. Lewis titled the Abolition of Man provides information on the education in schools and the orientation which should be adopted by the educators when teaching children. The specific subjects that are to be taught to children that are highlighted in the book include English, natural laws as well as ethical and moral values. In the book, Lewis, promotes the use of science, but is against the use of science to debunk the natural laws, and the traditional values that have formed the society as it is.

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The author is against the omission of the natural laws and values when considering science and results of scientific research as according to him, science cannot exist without man and man cannot live without an establishment of set values handed down by generations. Therefore he is aggressively against the mutual exclusiveness of the two subjects.

The book makes use of objectivism when it relates to the doing away of morals and ethics as well as the traditional values in the sections ‘Men Without Chests’. Here the author openly criticizes the use of modern attempts to do away or depict the natural laws in the negative light.

The objectivism used here is depicted in the form of a waterfall. The author mentions that “It is the doctrine of objective value, the belief that certain attitudes are really true, and others really false, to the kind of thing the universe is and the kind of things we are.” (Lewis) He goes on to mention that it is not possible to think of natural values and morals in a subjective manner as they are very realistic and objective. “Because our approvals and disapprovals are thus recognitions of objective value or responses to an objective order, therefore emotional states can be in harmony with reason (when we feel liking for what ought to be approved) or out of harmony with reason (when we perceive that liking is due but cannot feel it).” (Lewis)

Lewis uses subjectivism in chapter one of Abolition of Men titled ‘Men Without Chests’ by stating that the ordinate affections that are taught to children through education are subjective and not objective. Therefore because of there subjective nature, it is possible for these elements to be taught differently and be composed of different laws, morals, traditions and values based on the local culture and religion. Moreover he mentions that these subjective values can be universal with a small degree of difference, they still need to be taught to the children as they cannot simply learn or adopt them like the natural law.

In the book, Lewis uses objectivism as a positive influence and that the natural laws, ethics and morals are objective elements which are adopted by children form the way others behave in an environment and further develop through experience as the children grow up to become adults. The subjectivism however is mainly employed by Lewis in relation to the scientific laws and theories which tend to debunk the natural laws of the world. Subjectivism is portrayed by the author as being dependent on other factor in the book while the concept of objectivism is depicted as the independent elements which are not changeable by the subjective elements.


Lewis, C.S., ‘The Abolition of Man – Men Without Chests’. Web.

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StudyCorgi. 2021. "Subjectivism vs Objectivism." September 23, 2021.


StudyCorgi. (2021) 'Subjectivism vs Objectivism'. 23 September.

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