truth and opinion in philosophy examples
What is Truth? The fact/opinion distinction varies independently of the true/false distinction. But this simple statement masks a great deal of controversy.” Michael Glanzberg, “Truth,” in Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (2009) Human society has not always thought this way, however. There are many definitions of this concept focusing on different dimensions. We seem to rely on it almost every moment of every day and it's very \"close\" to us. Read more at www.johncorvino.com. We cannot provethis to be true or false. When someone asks, “Is that a fact?” they can be understood as asking, “Is that really the case?” or “Is that ultimately true?” When someone says, “It is a fact that…” they are telling us, in other words, “It is the case that…” or “It is true that…” That is, facts are not the statements themselves; they are, rather, the state of affairs or the reality to which a true statement corresponds. Let me offer a conjecture: the fact/opinion distinction is ambiguous, and in trying to explain it, people typically conflate it with other distinctions in the neighbourhood. PPT Week c - Fact vs Opinion - Free download as Word Doc (.doc / .docx), PDF File (.pdf), Text File (.txt) or read online for free. Claims are made about things that are very large such as galaxies and the entire universe, as to its shape and size and duration that are beyond the ability of any human to have a direct experience of it. ), and by including an evaluative notion (“good for you”) among examples of facts. Truthmaker theory is the branch of metaphysics that explores the relationships between what is true and what exists. Second, consider the subjective/objective distinction. supporters of the idea that opinion must be discussed in public debate. What Is Truth - Comparison of Plato and Peirce's Philosophy Essay examples 994 Words | 4 Pages. It also jumbles together occurrences (what we earlier called “states of affairs”), statements about occurrences, and the evidence for those statements. Solid opinions, while based on facts, are someone’s views on a subject and not facts themselves.”. Ditto if it didn’t happen. For more content, go … Take, first, the familiar philosophical distinction between belief and reality. Every man is a fool in some man's opinion . In education, children as young as kindergarten engage in conversation about fact an… He also believes that free speech is justified because humans can never know if the majority opinion is truly correct. The physical world only has one constant - change. Discussions of truthmakers and truthmaking typically start with the idea that truth depends on being, and not vice versa. Can we truly know that what we critical thinkers think is true and does it have merit or is it only our reality that allows us to differentiate between opinion and what we call truth, knowledge and wisdom? Truth, in philosophy, the property of sentences, assertions, beliefs, thoughts, or propositions that are said, in ordinary discourse, to agree with the facts or to state what is the case. I personally believe that Mill took freedom of speech too far in On Liberty, and, Since the beginning of our individual life, we are guided by those elders with prior experience of life. Moreover, many of the standard “opinion” examples are not normative: consider “God exists” or “A Democrat will win the presidency in 2016”. A fact is based on direct evidence, actual experience, or observation. Either we send troops to Syria or we don’t. Accept and close Essays; Philosophy; The Different Kinds Of Truth Philosophy Essay. But this answer doesn’t seem right either, since it would make it audience-relative whether something is a fact: for example, “the earth revolves around the sun” would be a fact for modern Europeans but not for medieval ones; “God created the earth” would be a fact for believers but not for sceptics; “The earth is flat” would be a fact for Flat-Earthers but not for the rest of us. (4a) The current US president is a Democrat. When asked to explain the principle of distinction between the two, however – the rule that tells us how to assign statements to one category or the other – they often get tongue-tied. Either we allow same-sex couples to marry or we don’t. How useful would the fact/opinion distinction be if any statement could count as either one, depending on who hears it? FACT OR OPINION? Some are about objective matters, such as whether there is beer in the refrigerator. In common understanding, there’s a world (reality), and then there are our representations of that world (beliefs: sometimes true, sometimes not). Therefore, if truth gives us knowledge we will need to provide an explanation of existence or why a statement is true. The same goes for expressions of belief: We can talk about statements of fact vs. statements of opinion, or factual claims vs. opinion claims, and so forth, and all of these are in the mouths of subjects. Others say that factual statements are “concrete” rather than “abstract”, but that answer would render all mathematical statements non-factual, since mathematics involves abstract concepts (e.g. But there’s another, more pragmatic reason. numbers). For example, it is a fact that broccoli is good for you (you can look this up in books about healthy diets). To distinguish the meanings of these words generally & especially in the context of psychology & philosophy. If the fact/opinion distinction were identical to the fact/value distinction, then once again we would need to revise our common thinking about facts and opinions. Philosophy, politics, and objective truth Volume 5 Summer 2013 something like method in the history of astronomy. John Corvino argues that the claim "That's just your opinion" is pernicious and should be consigned to the flames. An opinion is simply what a given individual (believes) is the truth or what is factual in the case of an event of some kind. Plato encouraged looking past what is directly visible in order to find truths that exist independent of the, fair to say that opinion is based in the assumption of knowledge? The perception we develop through the senses (seeing, smelling, tasting, touching, and hearing) does not consist of real truth. Such reticence conflicts with common sense: surely some opinions are more thoughtful, more informed, more coherent, and more important than others. John Corvino is Chair of the Philosophy Department at Wayne State University, the author of What's Wrong With Homosexuality?, and the co-author (with Maggie Gallagher) or Debating Same-Sex Marriage. Truthmaker Theory. Usually, we are unable to understand the real meanings of truth, fact, perception & belief. Below we look at truth from a number of different perspectives, offering insight into “what we can know” and “how we can know it” as it pertains to Truth in its different forms. It is true that snow is white if and only if snow is white. For example, it is an opinion that broccoli tastes good (or bad).”. Generally, the truth is an expression or a statement that conforms to the reality - you can include this statement in your conclusion. Finally, consider the descriptive/normative distinction. On this theory, truth is understood in terms of the way reality is described by our beliefs. But in common parlance, “provability” seems audience-relative as well: While one person might find Anselm’s ontological argument to be a sufficient proof for God’s existence (thus rendering “God exists” a fact for that person); others may not. Some have tried to explain the distinction to me by arguing that facts are true. Others are about subjective matters, such as whether one would enjoy a Guinness more than a Corona. The principal problem is to offer a viable theory as to what truth itself consists in, or, to put it another way, \"What is the nature of truth?\" To illustrate with an example – the problem is not: Is it true that there is extraterrestrial life? After all, the truth is what you think is correct. Montaigne believes that the one tie that binds all truth is this idea of permanence. A belief is false when it does not reﬂect states-of-affairs, 1. This answer is not at all helpful, since opinions are typically put forth as true, and some factual claims turn out to be false. A fact is a statement that is true and can be verified objectively, or proven. Truth takes in consideration feelings and beliefs, whereas they have no place in fact. Moreover, there is a strong commonsense intuition that genocide would be wrong whether anyone believes it’s wrong, suggesting that the claim is objective, not subjective. When debating ethics and other controversial topics, one frequently hears the claim “That’s just your opinion.” It is a pernicious claim, devoid of clear meaning, and it should be consigned to the flames – or so I shall argue here. Either we lie to our parents about what happened to the car or we don’t. Perhaps more confusing is its labelling opinions as “statement(s) of belief.” As we’ve been using the terms, all statements express beliefs, and our task is to determine which of them express factual beliefs and which express opinions. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, since – as we have seen – our common thinking about facts and opinions appears rather confused. In particular, the statement that “God created the earth” will need to move over to the “fact” column, since whether God created the earth is an objective matter – it happened (or not) independently of whether we believe it happened. The Enchanted Learning site muddies the waters even further by claiming that you can look up facts in an encyclopaedia (always? As we age throughout life, we acquire our knowledge through people with a certain profession. So while the subjective/objective distinction might be useful in explaining the fact/opinion distinction, adopting this approach would require us to revise our common thinking about facts and opinions. Something is subjective insofar as it is mind-dependent, objective insofar as it is mind-independent. Despite its unclear meaning, the claim “That’s just your opinion” has a clear use: It is a conversation-stopper. The few who do recognize the beautiful itself are followers of the sight of truth, the philosophers. Questioning many professions, journalism or any social media has taking the biggest blow of them all. In my own reason-based thought this idea that through silence ignorance grows louder is my own general understanding. However, seeing is not believing. Real truth is not what is in front of us, but of absolute concepts and unchanging truths. I therefore propose that we abandon the ambiguous fact/opinion distinction, and especially the dismissive retort “That’s just your opinion.” We should focus instead on whether people can offer good reasons for the claims they make – reasons that might compel us to share their views. A fact is something that is true everywhere and for everyone. In fact, several historians say for instance, that the “Roman Catholic Church is more Roman than it is Christian.” Socrates and most intellectuals since his time, have been of the firm opinion that "higher" pursuits such as self-examination and philosophy make for a better life. For example, most people would say that it’s true that genocide is wrong, and there may or may not be beer in my refrigerator. Over the years, the doctrine of the Bible has been influenced by opinions of those trained in philosophy and Roman government. One reason is that precise thinking is valuable for its own sake. And since we’ve been treating both facts and opinions as statements of belief, facts and opinions are similarly subjective: In other words, we can always ask “Whose belief?” or “Whose statement?”. Truth, in matters of religion, is simply the opinion that has survived. In recognising that a personal belief differs sharply from that of other individuals and cultures, one may conclude, “I guess that’s just my opinion – no better than anyone else’s.” This conclusion may stem from an admirable humility. According to this approach, we can separate facts from opinions by using what Perry Weddle has called the “Whose?” test: It always makes sense to ask “Whose opinion is it?” but never “Whose fact is it?”. The Form of Truth They are closely related and hence many dictionaries actually list them as synonyms. This is not an example of the work produced by our Essay Writing Service. Are philosophers not putting forth their opinions about life and what they think the truth is? You can view samples of our professional work here. Of course, there are different kinds of beliefs and statements. One of the most common misconceptions about philosophy is that philosophical views are just opinions and hence any view is just as good (or bad) as any other. Montaigne even states, “Truth must be, out several arguments for why it is always beneficial for people of the minority opinion to voice their opinions. between the two, however – the rule that tells us how to assign statements to one category or the other – they often get tongue-tied. Ironically, every definition of truth that philosophers have developed falls prey to the question, \"Is it true?\" Simply, we can define truth as: a statement abou… An opinion is not always true and cannot be proven. Noun ()A belief that a person has formed about a topic or issue. Some empirical questions are how things are made, who, capacity for knowledge with this belief that only though God can one achieve true knowledge. There were a number of views of truth under discussion atthat time, the most significant for the contemporary literature beingthe correspondence, coherence, and pragmatist theories of truth. The girl has beautiful hair.FACT OPINION 4 5. That is, they contrast factual beliefs from opinions (opinion beliefs), and it is quite appropriate to ask “Whose belief?” in either case. Opinion, Philosophy or the TRUTH! That’s true whether we’re talking about beliefs that usually show up in the “fact” column (“There’s beer in the refrigerator”) or in the “opinion” column (“God created the earth”). Sue can have the opinion that reading is boring, while Mike can have the opinion that reading is fun. Truth for Aristotle has a conclusion; it is defining and is tangible. (I’ll say more about the subjective/objective distinction later on.). Knowledge is based on what is, or truths. Suppose, then, we narrow our inquiry to statements, so that when we ask, “What is the difference between facts and opinions?” what we’re really asking is “What is the difference between statements of fact and statements of opinion?”, This seems like it should be an easy question, but it actually tends to stump most people on the street. “Opinion: statement of belief or feeling. In the last degree is falsehood. I would like to know your opinions on the new systems. This means that opinions are those ideas that we have absolutely no proof of. Perhaps the fact/opinion distinction tracks the distinction between statements with objective content (facts?) “ The problem of truth is in a way easy to state: what truths are, and what (if anything) makes them true. Throughout society, most common men are lovers of sights and sounds. Both of these connect fact with provability. In Plato's The Republic he discuses the idea that there is first knowledge at the first degree. (De gustibus non est disputandum: there’s no disputing taste.). Moral debates are practical – they’re debates about what to do – and they concern our values: things that matter to us. For example: the statement that thousands were killed in Darfur is descriptive; the statement that such killing was wrong is normative. Second, they explain why some objective matters – in particular, controversial matters such God’s existence or predictions about the future – get placed in the category of opinion, despite their objective content. Having teased apart these various distinctions, and looking back over the several attempts to explain the difference between fact and opinion, we might propose the following definitions: o A statement of fact is one that has objective content and is well-supported by the available evidence. Indeed, the “opinion” label is used not only to belittle others’ stances, but also to deflate one’s own. Now it is neither necessary nor useful – indeed, it is positively misleading – to define ‘fact’ in terms of what is indisputablythe case – yet people … So for instance, given. Plato says “They say that they can pretty much put knowledge into sounds that lake it, like putting sight into blind eyes.” (Plato, trans C.D.C Reeve, Hackett,1999, p. 212) Plato is explaining that anyone can be knowledgeable with the right tools or instructor. I, Aristotle, is a man that wants to investigate the premises of truth. An opinion is a belief. The same is true for “God exists” – not an opinion, on this schema, but a factual claim (maybe true, maybe false). dll philosophy week 3 Some of the best essays on truth feature controversial opinions. In other words, a fact is true and correct no matter what. The problem, obviously, is that attempts to bridge that gap always proceed via our own fallible cognitive capacities. These definitions have several advantages. (4b) A Democrat will win the presidency in 2016. According to Arendt, the greatest antagonist of factual truth is an opinion, rather than a lie, particularly in light of the current predilection of blurring between fact and opinion. o A statement of opinion is one whose content is either subjective or else not well supported by the available evidence. If everyday observers are confused about the distinction, “experts” fare little better. Even someone who isn’t the smartest can still gain useful amounts of knowledge to create good in the world if they have the correct guidance. Study Maths and Science. Yet it's difficult to define because as soon as you think you have it pinned down, some case or counterexample immediately shows deficiencies. Generally, we strive to make our beliefs as accurate as possible in representing reality, but that doesn’t remove the gap (some would say “gulf”) between the two. Curious as to the standard explanation, I Googled “facts vs. opinions”. In calling something an opinion, one presumably wants to contrast it with something that is not an opinion, and the obvious candidate for the contrast class is “fact”. Although this is reliable to a certain extent, we are sometimes misguided in understanding the truth by relying in other folks’ status in their profession. Are philosophers stating truths or are they stating opinion? In my opinion , white chocolate is better than milk chocolate. For among the beliefs that people have about the world, there are some that people tend to put in the “fact” column and some that they tend to put in the “opinion” column. Want to Be Good at Philosophy? The concept of truth as the basic philosophical notion has been interpreted differently. The human senses give an idea of the present reality. The descriptive/normative distinction is sometimes called the fact/value distinction, which might lead it to be confused with the fact/opinion distinction. You can look up facts in an encyclopedia or other reference, or see them for yourself. Categorising these issues as “matters of opinion” doesn’t make them any less urgent or vital. However, truth is often considered to have a grander scope than fact. Why worry about the fact/opinion distinction? Very interesting & important question. but then were there no facts before books? If this is “Critical Thinking”, I’d hate to see what Sloppy Thinking looks like. I might believe that there’s beer in the refrigerator, whether or not there’s any there. Aristotle thinks the work of epistemology and empirical observation allows him to analyze the answer to questions of what is truth, the purpose of why something exists and how we can identify truth. And third, they avoid the sloppiness of some of the earlier proposals. It shows one’s feelings about a subject. Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of UKEssays.com. Example 1. At most there might be an added emphasis, but no change of topic. Moreover, many of the standard “opinion” examples are not normative: consider “God exists” or “A Democrat will win the presidency in 2016”. But this way of drawing the contrast merely pushes the problem back further. The problem is: What does it mean to say that it is true that there is extraterrestrial life? Mind you, they have no trouble in offering examples of either, or in categorising others’ examples. For example, if the sentence ‘Kangaroos live in Australia’ is true, then there are kangaroos living in Australia. Knowledge is connected to truth because without knowledge their, Paul Laurence Dunbar's "We Wear the Mask" and His Facade of Opinions, Watching A Disappearing Number in Theater Essay examples, Racism, Sexism and Socioeconomic Prejudice in Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird. There was never any systematic attempt at justification, and without this any claim to truth is seriously (and usually fatally) flawed. To understand more completely, let's define each. For most, this pursuit is a driving force which usually doesn't end until one finds a "truth" that is satisfying to him or her. In my opinion, truth and falseness in art is relative, meaning that a piece of art is not limited to a single truth. In the chapter "Truth and Falsehood" in his Problems of Philosophy,2 Russell advances the “correspondence” theory of truth. In other words, both facts and opinions can be either successful or unsuccessful in representing reality, and thus the fact/opinion distinction is not the same as the belief/reality distinction. For example, whether or not God created the earth is an objective matter, albeit a controversial and difficult-to-prove one. “Opinions express how a person feels about something – opinions do not have to be based upon logical reasoning. Of course, there will inevitably be people whose "truth" does not square with objective facts. Examples of OPINIONS: The dog is cute The class is fun 3 4. If it happened, it happened whether anyone believes it or not. A man of right opinion cannot explain why he thinks as he does or cannot explain to others why he thinks he his opinion is right. God is an unchanging, permanent being, and only from this state can the concept of truth propagate. “Facts are statements that can be shown to be true or can be proved, or something that really happened. The recent prediction that ‘the world will end at 6.00pm on 21 May 2011’ is an example. Ann can have the opinion that Italian food tastes best, while Joe has the opinion that French food is ideal. Neither does it help, at least at first glance, to say that facts are “objective” (rather than “subjective”), since at least some statements in the “opinion” column involve matters that would be true (or false) regardless of what any particular subject believes. It is also by no means obvious that “Genocide is wrong” should remain in the “opinion” column. Can Psychologists Tell Us Anything About Morality? He argues that opinion is not pure knowledge and therefore can not be pure truth. Descriptive statements describe or represent the world; normative statements evaluate it. they’ll say that the A statements are facts and the B statements are opinions. That’s my opinion, anyway. This way of drawing the distinction makes “The earth revolves around the sun” an opinion – or at least, not a fact – since no one directly observes it happening (not even astronauts!). Truth Can Be Subjective Philosophy Essay Sample. Knowledge is connected with both opinion and truth. Perhaps the last example suggests a better answer: the difference between facts and opinions is that factual statements are uncontroversial. God is the only infinite, all seeing, being with divine wisdom. Isn’t philosophy based on the opinions of their studying of human nature? For example, an historian might say, What Copernicus said was objectively true in exasperation — if some rival historian had been defending some depth-psychological or economic explanation of the fact that Copernicus said These theories all attempt to directly answer the naturequestion: what is the nature of truth? "Lovers of sights and sounds like beautiful sounds, colors, shapes, and everything fashioned out of them, but their thought is unable to see and embrace the nature of the beautiful itself (Republic 476b)." While some philosophers hold that moral beliefs are subjective, many do not. For example, when speaking about God or His holy word, which is the truth (indeed, Jesus Christ is the truth Jn 14:6), instead of saying, “My opinion is,” or, “I have a different opinion,” or, “I think,” or, “Everyone is entitled to his own opinion,” we Christians ought to say, “This is the truth,” “It is written,” “Here is the com- mandment of Christ,” “Here is how to apply that commandment”. Plato also believes, This means that it is not something that we believe to be true, we know its true and we can prove that it is true and know why it is true. Astrobiologists study the former problem; philosophers, the latter.This philosophical problem of truth has been with us for a long time.
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