‘Introduction: the varieties of objectivity’ describes objectivity as a distinctively human trait. Objectivity requires us to stand back from our perceptions, our beliefs and opinions, to reflect on them, and subject them to scrutiny and judgement. Above all, it requires a degree of indifference in judging that may conflict with our needs and desires. Objective values are now regarded as underpinning notions of fairness and equality. Conceptions of objectivity are different for scientific work, for everyday concerns, and for social, moral and aesthetic questions and so there is not one simple definition of objectivity that can be applied to all.