1. The idea that the conscious self and the sensory state is the only source of knowledge.
  2. A theory or doctrine that emphasizes the subjective elements of experience.
  3. The theory that individual conscience is the only valid standard of moral judgement.

An elderly man was walking through the French countryside, admiring the beautiful spring day, when over a hedgerow he spotted a young couple making love in a field. Getting over his initial shock he said to himself, "Ah, young love... ze spring time, ze air, ze flowers... C'est magnifique!", and continued to watch, remembering the good old days that he'd once enjoyed.

Suddenly he gasped and said, "Mais... Sacre bleu! Ze woman she is dead!" before heading off as fast as he could to the town to tell Jean, the police chief.

He arrived at the Police Station, out of breath, and shouted, "Jean...Jean...zere is zis man, zis woman ... naked in farmer Gaston's field making love." The police chief smiled and said, "Come, come, Henri you are not so old, remember ze young love, ze spring time, ze air, ze flowers? Ah, L'amour! Zis is OK."

"Mais non! You do not understand, ze woman, she is dead!" Upon hearing this, Jean, leapt up from his seat, rushed out of the station, jumped on his push-bike, pedaled down to the field, confirmed Henri's story, and pedaled all the way back to call the doctors.

He picked up the telephone and screamed, "Pierre, Pierre! This is Jean, I was in Gaston's field, zere is a young couple naked having sex!" To which Pierre replied, "Jean, I am a man of science. You must remember...it's spring, ze air, ze flowers, Ah, L'amour! Zis is very natural." Jean, still out of breath, grasped in reply, "Non, you do not understand, ze woman, she is dead!" Hearing this, Pierre exclaimed, "Mon Dieu!" grabbed his black medicine bag, stuffed in his thermometer, stethoscope, and other tools, jumped in his car, and drove like a madman down to Gaston's field.

After carefully examining the participants, he drove calmly back to Henri and Jean, who were waiting at the station.

When he got there, went inside, smiled patiently, and said, "Ah, mes amis, do not worry. Ze woman, she is not dead, she is British!"

"There is nothing more frightening than ignorance in action." (Goethe).

Sub*jec"tiv*ism (?), n. Metaph.

Any philosophical doctrine which refers all knowledge to, and founds it upon, any subjective states; egoism.


© Webster 1913.

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