Do you know how pissed off I am?
As it happens, I am at this very moment pissed off enough to say, "intersubjective verifiability is the core of the empirical sciences" -- say it and mean it!
That's how pissed off I am.
I have just come from a kerfuffle. Someone (the nerve of that person! The Nerve!) at this very moment is -- despite my protests -- asserting that "objectivity is the core of the empirical sciences". And they are saying it on the internet -- on the internet, where impressionable children might see it and thus have warped their tender, young epistemologies!
Please allow me to quote the fool: "The basis for science is objectivity, yet the foundational premise for science is based on an assumption (existence of objects)."
DOESN'T ANYONE THINK THROUGH THEIR TERMS THESE DAYS?
I humbly apologize if the sheer emotional violence of my response to that person has caused you to reach for the smelling salts. I realize I am a man of passions. Strong passions. And that sometimes my passions might be a tad overwhelming, especially when an epistemology is involved. But please bear with me while I say this: It is a myth -- it is only a myth -- that in order to do science I must believe in an objective reality. I am, of course, permitted to believe in an objective reality. But my belief in an objective reality is not necessary because I can do science even if I do not believe in an objective reality.
I myself favor throwing the concept of objectivity out the door. We don't need it. It is unnecessary baggage, and it reeks of the Middle Ages. Moreover, the concept of objectivity is quite easily and very soundly replaced by the concept of intersubjective verifiability.
All of us intersubjectively verify things -- even if we do not call it "intersubjective verification". Someone tells us something is true and we say, "Show me!" In a nutshell, that's the principle behind intersubjective verification.
Suppose I say to you, "It is snowing outside." You look out the window, see snow, and say, "So it is!" You have just intersubjectively verified my statement, "It is snowing outside."
Again, you say to me, "If you run an electric spark through a mixture of hydrogen and oxygen, the mixture will explode, after which, you will be left with some water." I don't believe you. So I experiment by running an electric spark through a mixture of hydrogen and oxygen. The mixture explodes, after which I notice some water. I have just intersubjectively verified your claim.
Imagine thousands of people do the same experiment and almost all of them get significantly the same results. Would we not have considerable evidence -- a weight of evidence -- that we can rely on a mixture of hydrogen and oxygen to produce water when a spark is passed through it? I think so. But have we in any way demonstrated there is some objective world out there -- a world separate from our awareness -- in which hydrogen and oxygen are real things that produce real water when a real spark is passed through them?
Strictly speaking, we have not.
Yet -- and this has a certain beauty to it -- we don't need to. We do not need to figure out with absolute certainty what the ultimate nature of reality is before we can arrive at reliable facts through processes of intersubjective verification. For example, we can discover that a mixture of hydrogen and oxygen reliably produces water when a spark is passed through it without ever needing to speculate about metaphysics.
In short, science does not crucially rest upon the metaphysical notion that objects really exist.
So take that, Mr. Internet-Child-Corrupting-"The-Basis-For-Science-Is-Objectivity"-Poo-Poo-Head-Man!
Once again, I must apologize to you, my dear readers, on the chance that my strong, vigorous language has caused you to reach for your smelling salts.