Ton Zijlstra wrote:
That George Bush is the US President, or Beatrix of Orange-Nassau is the Queen of the Netherlands is a social fact not an objective one. It is something we merely generally agree upon to be true (even those opposing monarchy, or those thinking Bush never beat Al Gore). We all behave like it is true. If we would stop that, it would indeed seize to be true.
Money systems, number and measures systems, religious belief systems etc. are social facts too. They're designed. They can be changed by groups simply stopping to accept them. Social facts are the emperor's new clothes. Social facts are the product of multi-subjectivity. We pretend that social facts are objective facts.
I would argue otherwise. That George W. Bush is the US President is a social agreement (between George W. Bush and people of USA) via a mechanism called election. USA people has agreed to give George W. Bush, until the next election, the power to execute some rights on behalf of the people.
Measurement units are also social agreements, negotiated agreements among international standards bodies in order to smooth the transactions of trade.
These social agreements can change, in fact they do change. However, these social agreements ARE not facts.
The statement "Jeanny is my wife" is a fact, a social fact. We married, in front of our parents, relatives, friends and so on. Of course, on the other hand, it is also a social agreement. If someday in the future, we get devoiced. The fact that she was my wife for these years remain as a fact and is true. The agreement part has changed!
With this, objectivity is NOT multi-subjectivity.
The statement "the earth is round" is a fact until proven wrong by scientific evidence. It is NOT negotiated among people inhibiting on Earth. Fact can be proven wrong and get revised. However, facts do not require social agreement to establish its validity. It is NOT multi-subjectivity.