Let’s consider three of those other distinctions. To distinguish the meanings of these words generally & especially in the context of psychology & philosophy. You can look up facts in an encyclopedia or other reference, or see them for yourself. In my opinion, truth and falseness in art is relative, meaning that a piece of art is not limited to a single truth. Of course, there are different kinds of beliefs and statements. The problem, obviously, is that attempts to bridge that gap always proceed via our own fallible cognitive capacities. But there’s another, more pragmatic reason. Descriptive statements describe or represent the world; normative statements evaluate it. 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. This answer is not at all helpful, since opinions are typically put forth as true, and some factual claims turn out to be false. Truth Can Be Subjective Philosophy Essay Sample. It also jumbles together occurrences (what we earlier called “states of affairs”), statements about occurrences, and the evidence for those statements. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, since – as we have seen – our common thinking about facts and opinions appears rather confused. 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. FACT OR OPINION? He argues that opinion is not pure knowledge and therefore can not be pure truth. Second, consider the subjective/objective distinction. One reason is that precise thinking is valuable for its own sake. Mind you, they have no trouble in offering examples of either, or in categorising others’ examples. Some are about objective matters, such as whether there is beer in the refrigerator. I, Aristotle, is a man that wants to investigate the premises of truth. The only established truths are the forms, 16 February 2016 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. 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. For example, if the sentence ‘Kangaroos live in Australia’ is true, then there are kangaroos living in Australia. 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. Truth, in matters of religion, is simply the opinion that has survived. Indeed, the “opinion” label is used not only to belittle others’ stances, but also to deflate one’s own. There are many definitions of this concept focusing on different dimensions. Ditto if it didn’t happen. The recent prediction that ‘the world will end at 6.00pm on 21 May 2011’ is an example. In education, children as young as kindergarten engage in conversation about fact an… Very interesting & important question. For thousands of years, mankind has persistently pursued truth, knowledge, and understanding. Some have tried to explain the distinction to me by arguing that facts are true. Major theories of truth include those based on correspondence, coherence, truth conditions, and deflationism. It is true that snow is white if and only if snow is white. 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. 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. In my opinion, the greatest scandal of philosophy is that, while all around us the world of nature perishes - and not the world of nature alone - philosophers continue to talk, sometimes cleverly and sometimes not, about the question of whether this world exists. between the two, however – the rule that tells us how to assign statements to one category or the other – they often get tongue-tied. Truth for Aristotle has a conclusion; it is defining and is tangible. 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. Real truth is not what is in front of us, but of absolute concepts and unchanging truths. In other words, a fact is true and correct no matter what. Here are the second and third results from my quick internet search, from an “Education Oasis” and “Enchanted Learning” website, respectively: “A fact is a statement that can be proven true.”, “An opinion expresses someone’s belief, feeling, view, idea, or judgment about something or someone.”. And third, they avoid the sloppiness of some of the earlier proposals. If it happened, it happened whether anyone believes it or not. As we age throughout life, we acquire our knowledge through people with a certain profession. These definitions have several advantages. they’ll say that the A statements are facts and the B statements are opinions. 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. 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. Philosophers might be tempted to draw this contrast by identifying facts as states of affairs – occurrences that are there in the world regardless of what anyone may think about them – and identifying opinions as beliefs (or some other mental state) about states of affairs. He is not subject to the laws and rules of the human domain, and he exists in a realm outside of human comprehension. However, the actual value of living the heavily-examined life could be open to debate. But if so, we would need to revise what usually gets put in each column. Such reticence conflicts with common sense: surely some opinions are more thoughtful, more informed, more coherent, and more important than others. Knowledge is based on what is, or truths. Sue can have the opinion that reading is boring, while Mike can have the opinion that reading is fun. 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. In common understanding, there’s a world (reality), and then there are our representations of that world (beliefs: sometimes true, sometimes not). Categorising these issues as “matters of opinion” doesn’t make them any less urgent or vital. Ann can have the opinion that Italian food tastes best, while Joe has the opinion that French food is ideal. Here’s the first result I received, from a “Critical Thinking Across the Curriculum Project” website: “Fact: statement of actuality or occurrence. It’s a way of diminishing a claim, reducing it to a mere matter of taste which lies beyond dispute. 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. 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. A fact is a statement that is true and can be verified objectively, or proven. John Corvino argues that the claim "That's just your opinion" is pernicious and should be consigned to the flames. How useful would the fact/opinion distinction be if any statement could count as either one, depending on who hears it? 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. 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. In my own reason-based thought this idea that through silence ignorance grows louder is my own general understanding. The same is true for “God exists” – not an opinion, on this schema, but a factual claim (maybe true, maybe false). If this is “Critical Thinking”, I’d hate to see what Sloppy Thinking looks like. Of course, there will inevitably be people whose "truth" does not square with objective facts. Either we lie to our parents about what happened to the car or we don’t. It is also by no means obvious that “Genocide is wrong” should remain in the “opinion” column. Are philosophers stating truths or are they stating opinion? 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. Beliefs about reality are still beliefs, and some of them, despite our best efforts, turn out to be false. 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. 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? (4b) A Democrat will win the presidency in 2016. Some empirical questions are how things are made, who, capacity for knowledge with this belief that only though God can one achieve true knowledge. Plato goes on to, the ideas of opinion and knowledge. 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