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Wed Apr 1, 2020, 07:54 AM

A question about philosophy

Folks,

On an old thread, someone wrote (I think) "An apple is objectively real, but opinions about it are subjective."

This interested me. My question is - Is it possible for an opinion to be true?

D.

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Arrow 8 replies Author Time Post
Reply A question about philosophy (Original post)
Dworkin Apr 2020 OP
ret5hd Apr 2020 #1
Dworkin Apr 2020 #2
defacto7 Apr 2020 #3
Dworkin Apr 2020 #4
defacto7 Apr 2020 #5
Dworkin Apr 2020 #6
defacto7 Apr 2020 #7
Dworkin Apr 2020 #8

Response to Dworkin (Original post)

Wed Apr 1, 2020, 07:57 AM

1. My opinion is "No".

Just dwell on that for a while.

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Response to ret5hd (Reply #1)

Wed Apr 1, 2020, 12:17 PM

2. Its a start

Hi ret,

Well, its a start. In my experience philosophy folds back on itself at the edge of reason, which of course, is what philosophy is all about and where the work happens.

You give a nice example of that. So, if it was my opinion that an opinion cannot be true, then I would be saying that my statement that an opinion cannot be true cannot be true. Of course this might lead me to think that my statement that an opinion cannot be true is false, which of course cannot hold, as logically what cannot be true cannot be false.

You knew that, and immediately spotted my game. However, it would be nice to continue doing something in my social isolation, so I would ask a related question, moving from logic to another branch of philosophy.

Can an opinion be right?

D.

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Response to Dworkin (Original post)

Wed Apr 1, 2020, 01:18 PM

3. It's in the definitions I guess.

Truth is subjective
Right and wrong are subjective.
Only fact is objective.

"Apples are objectively real" means apples are a fact. We can have opinions about facts but that has no effect on fact itself. One can argue whether facts are real but then you enter the world of metaphysics or faith. There's no limit at that point what a person's mind wants to envision. But I personally hold that facts are. Apples factually exist.

Opinions in my book can be true or false, fact or fiction. Truth is another thing. It can be true, false, both or neither... If truth touches on fact it's only due to the thinkers choice.

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Response to defacto7 (Reply #3)

Fri Apr 3, 2020, 04:08 PM

4. Agreed

defacto7,

I agree with much of your post. In formal logic the words 'true' and 'false' have a technical meaning, but in everyday language we often use them in the way you describe.

There is a correspondence theory in epistemology which describes knowledge as 'justified true belief'. If a belief is expressed (thus being an opinion) we look for a correspondence between the opinion and the subject in hand. This correspondence may be better or worse.

There would be nothing unusual in a person saying, 'In my opinion these apples are sweet'. Another, tasting the same apples might say, 'True'.

D.

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Response to Dworkin (Reply #4)

Fri Apr 3, 2020, 04:48 PM

5. Very nice. We're close on this I think.

I think the second individual would be commenting on the first persons opinion. Do you think the second person might answer 'false'? I think they would say, 'I disagree' which is an opinion of the opinion and not whether the apple taste would be an empirical true or false. The use of the word true in this case is simply cultural vernacular in the English cultural bent. If you were German on the other hand you may very well say 'false' instead of registering an opinion. Opinion has a higher status in argumentation in Germanic culture. They are more likely to require an explanation, to stand firm or specifically state it as opinion. Anyway, true works even though it doesn't represent the number 1 or on.

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Response to defacto7 (Reply #5)

Fri Apr 3, 2020, 05:50 PM

6. second opinion

Hi,

Yes I follow that. Here is a thought. When a person is ill and not getting better, they often say that they would like 'a second opinion'. Now, that would fit in with opinion having a high status in some settings, as you say.

To me, a second opinion from a doctor about another doctor's diagnosis or treatment would certainly be about the diagnosis or treatment.

D.

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Response to Dworkin (Reply #6)

Fri Apr 3, 2020, 06:24 PM

7. That's right.

Better than, I want a different opinion. Ha.

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Response to defacto7 (Reply #7)

Mon Apr 6, 2020, 07:06 AM

8. That's it

defacto7,

Yep, that is subjective/objective in a nutshell.

D.

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