Animals, for example, cannot be just -- nor can they be unjust -- because they cannot take a disinterested view of things. If my dog is eaten by a mountain lion, it may be sad, but not unjust. Conversely, it would be unjust if she were eaten by Obama.
Schuon defines objectivity as "the perfect adaptation of the intelligence to objective reality," or "conformity to the nature of things” in a manner independent "of all interference of individual tendencies or tastes." You might say that objectivity is subjectivity minus passion, desire, interest, and perspective.
But we really cannot define objectivity in isolation from subjectivity, because the two obviously co-arise and are complementary. There is also paradox here, in that only a subject may be objective.
Likewise, all objects have a degree of subjectivity (however attenuated), which is to say, "depth," but this depth only becomes self-aware, or "luminous," in human beings.
Now, science partakes of objectivity, but it cannot account for it, nor can it ever be truly (i.e., literally) objective, first, because science is the adequation of theory to phenomena (not noumenon), and second, because no scientific theory can account for the existence of the scientific subject.
Failure to appreciate this leads to the irony of a scientism which imagines it not only possible but desirable to subtract the scientist from the science, and ultimately intelligence from cosmos. Then you have a science that applies to everything but reality.
In short, the "perfect science" would exclude the scientist entirely, but this should be understood as a practical ideal, not a real possibility, for even at the level of quantum physics we know that facts are determined by perspective (e.g., the wave/particle complementarity).
To imagine we can rid ourselves of the subject is a little like turning off the light and trying to jump into bed before it gets dark.
Science simply presumes the scientist, which is fine, because it is not the role of science to penetrate to essences or to being as such. Only by collapsing this hierarchy can science presume to be an objective account of reality.
In other words, it is easy to be comprehensive if one simply omits everything one's metaphysic cannot account for. But that can hardly be called objective or disinterested.
For example, scientists who are conspicuously interested in eliminating the spiritual dimension of reality -- the atheistic evangelists -- are hardly objective.
Rather, their passion comes through loud and clear. As I said in the book, it is more interesting to ponder the source of this ironic "passion for meaninglessness" than it is to contemplate their absence of meaning.
It reminds me of something Dennis Prager said about being on a particularly boring date with a woman. In order to deal with the boredom, he would try to get to the bottom of why the person was so boring. This would generate interesting theories on the phenomenology of boredom.
Prager doesn't know it, but the phenomenology of boredom is actually conceptualized in psychoanalytic theory. In psychoanalysis, there is the "transference," which involves the patient's unconscious feelings toward the analyst, and the "counter-transference," which involves the feelings provoked in the analyst by the patient.
Some patients are flat boring. Why is this? Often it is not pathognomonic per se, just the result of, say, low intelligence, inadequate education, poor vocabulary, or undeveloped imagination.
Interestingly, these people are almost like "objects," analogous to the animals you might see grazing in a landscape. Frankly, it's like conversing with a cow, and just as edifying. (And don't pretend you don't have any bovine acquaintances.)
But there are other instances when the counter-transferential boredom is pathological. Put it this way: whenever two subjects are together, a (potentially) vibrant space is created between them.
For some patients, the transmission of boredom is a kind of preemptive attack that collapses or warps this space, so that certain areas become off-limits.
This kind of enforced boredom can have the appearance of stupidity, but it's worse than that, because it aggressively encloses you in their boring and unimaginative world. (Think of the liberal narrative, which is simultaneously tedious and obnoxious.)
In extreme cases, there is a condition called "alexithymia," which essentially involves a complete detachment of subject from object, and an inability to ascribe words to emotions.
There is clearly something analogous in the spiritual dimension. I think of someone like Schuon, who is able to make such exceedingly fine and intelligible distinctions on these planes, using language in a clear and compelling -- and objective -- manner.
Conversely, I think of a boredom-inducing troll who eliminates and deluminates this impossibly rich reality with a crude and childlike "there's no such thing!"
The other day I read something to the effect that poetry speaks of imaginary ponds with real toads. This species of toad dumps toxins into the pond, and then claims that toads don't exist.
Boredom does as boredom is. Which is to say, dead.