Everything in philosophy is belief or opinion?

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Re: Everything in philosophy is belief or opinion?

Postby A_Seagull on February 11th, 2019, 4:51 pm 

BadgerJelly » February 12th, 2019, 4:29 am wrote:
To suggest that we are just a disembodied brain is untrue. ).


But how do you determine that it is untrue?

I don't doubt your conclusions but your conclusion is an assumption which is fair enough, but in the domain of philosophy it needs to be recognised that it is an assumption.
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Re: Everything in philosophy is belief or opinion?

Postby A_Seagull on February 11th, 2019, 5:04 pm 

charon » February 12th, 2019, 3:39 am wrote:
There's only one truth. Either today is Monday or it's not. Either I'm a human being on earth or I'm not. I think we have to start somewhere.

.


Fair enough. And yes we have to start with an analysis of the normative state of popular knowledge. But that doesn't mean we can't probe beneath to explore how such knowledge was arrived at and what knowledge itself means.

One can begin with the normative assumption that animal life evolved from plant life. From which it follows that somewhere along the line the first animals created the first 'idea'. the beginnings of a model of the world which all humans possess. Then the question can be asked (as I think I asked earlier in this thread): What are the logical processes which could enable this to occur?

A fairly rudimentary examination of the possibilities leads one to the conclusion that the only possible logical process that could effect this is the identification of patterns from sense-data.

From this it follows that all knowledge of the exterior world is based upon the logical process of pattern identification.
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Re: Everything in philosophy is belief or opinion?

Postby BadgerJelly on February 11th, 2019, 10:17 pm 

A_Seagull » February 12th, 2019, 4:51 am wrote:
BadgerJelly » February 12th, 2019, 4:29 am wrote:
To suggest that we are just a disembodied brain is untrue. ).


But how do you determine that it is untrue?

I don't doubt your conclusions but your conclusion is an assumption which is fair enough, but in the domain of philosophy it needs to be recognised that it is an assumption.


In the context of my reply. You could just as well say we’re all the product of the machinations of some inter-galactic hippo’s fart. Truth is relevant to the context the words are written in. It is untrue to suggest I am only a brain because if the input is “simulated” to perfection there is essentially no difference to the quality of my experiencing - which constitutes who I am as far as I know (of course there is always some possible woo woo beyond my ken).
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Re: Everything in philosophy is belief or opinion?

Postby charon on February 11th, 2019, 11:03 pm 

BadgerJelly -

And yes we have to start with an analysis of the normative state of popular knowledge. But that doesn't mean we can't probe beneath to explore how such knowledge was arrived at and what knowledge itself means.


So are you asking how we know what we know and whether it's valid?
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Re: Everything in philosophy is belief or opinion?

Postby A_Seagull on February 11th, 2019, 11:55 pm 

charon » February 12th, 2019, 3:03 pm wrote:BadgerJelly -

And yes we have to start with an analysis of the normative state of popular knowledge. But that doesn't mean we can't probe beneath to explore how such knowledge was arrived at and what knowledge itself means.


So are you asking how we know what we know and whether it's valid?


I think that was my quote actually!

No, I am not asking how we know what we know; I am providing an explanation.
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Re: Everything in philosophy is belief or opinion?

Postby BadgerJelly on February 12th, 2019, 12:38 am 

Seagull -

But you cannot step outside of yourself/“being”. If you’re talking about this from an epistemic position then I don’t quite understand what “explanation” you’re giving (or can give)?

The “logic” may well be a binary limitation of humans not of all possible cognition - but apparently of human cognition as it appears to me.

If you’re approaching/focusing on the oldest question there is in philosophy - what is a “what” question? - the issue of inference, then nobody has an answer and I don’t believe it is logically possible to provide an “explanation” that holds any completley sound argumentation and it takes little effort to produce a valid statement.

The issue of “soundness” is I believe kind of a falsehood based on some ideological absolute - it is only ever considered “sound” based on strictly defined abstract rules (and of course we’re not privy as limited beings to any complete understanding of the “rules” of existence even if such a thing could be presumed to be considered “sound”; and therein lies the limits of logical analysis!)
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Re: Everything in philosophy is belief or opinion?

Postby A_Seagull on February 12th, 2019, 1:03 am 

BadgerJelly » February 12th, 2019, 4:38 pm wrote:Seagull -

But you cannot step outside of yourself/“being”. If you’re talking about this from an epistemic position then I don’t quite understand what “explanation” you’re giving (or can give)?

The “logic” may well be a binary limitation of humans not of all possible cognition - but apparently of human cognition as it appears to me.

If you’re approaching/focusing on the oldest question there is in philosophy - what is a “what” question? - the issue of inference, then nobody has an answer and I don’t believe it is logically possible to provide an “explanation” that holds any completley sound argumentation and it takes little effort to produce a valid statement.

The issue of “soundness” is I believe kind of a falsehood based on some ideological absolute - it is only ever considered “sound” based on strictly defined abstract rules (and of course we’re not privy as limited beings to any complete understanding of the “rules” of existence even if such a thing could be presumed to be considered “sound”; and therein lies the limits of logical analysis!)


I am not suggesting a logical analysis, I am suggesting a logical synthesis.
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Re: Everything in philosophy is belief or opinion?

Postby charon on February 12th, 2019, 7:46 am 

A_Seagull » February 12th, 2019, 4:55 am wrote:
charon » February 12th, 2019, 3:03 pm wrote:BadgerJelly -

And yes we have to start with an analysis of the normative state of popular knowledge. But that doesn't mean we can't probe beneath to explore how such knowledge was arrived at and what knowledge itself means.


So are you asking how we know what we know and whether it's valid?


I think that was my quote actually!

No, I am not asking how we know what we know; I am providing an explanation.


Right, sorry, it was probably one of those quotes-within-a-quote. And apologies to BadgerJelly.

So you're saying pattern recognition from sense-data, I think. I think that's probably true.

Mind you, I think it goes a bit beyond that, though. That might be the physical process but there's also the psychological issue. Those patterns are recognised and given meaning. Not just dry factual meaning but meaning in reality coupled with emotion and great subtlety. The problem then is we might be into problems of consciousness, qualia, and all that.

One could say, of course, that it's all just physical pattern recognition but we mystify it a bit because the brain, like our life, is very complex.

So you may have a point :-)
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Re: Everything in philosophy is belief or opinion?

Postby A_Seagull on February 12th, 2019, 11:59 pm 

charon » February 12th, 2019, 11:46 pm wrote:
A_Seagull » February 12th, 2019, 4:55 am wrote:
And yes we have to start with an analysis of the normative state of popular knowledge. But that doesn't mean we can't probe beneath to explore how such knowledge was arrived at and what knowledge itself means.


So are you asking how we know what we know and whether it's valid?

I think that was my quote actually!

No, I am not asking how we know what we know; I am providing an explanation.


Right, sorry, it was probably one of those quotes-within-a-quote. And apologies to BadgerJelly.

So you're saying pattern recognition from sense-data, I think. I think that's probably true.

Mind you, I think it goes a bit beyond that, though. That might be the physical process but there's also the psychological issue. Those patterns are recognised and given meaning. Not just dry factual meaning but meaning in reality coupled with emotion and great subtlety. The problem then is we might be into problems of consciousness, qualia, and all that.

One could say, of course, that it's all just physical pattern recognition but we mystify it a bit because the brain, like our life, is very complex.

So you may have a point :-)


I tend to take a purely logical approach whereas you take a more psychological approach.. which is interesting.

And certainly the brain is very complex. And quite what the relationship is between the physical aspect, the logic and consciousness is unclear.

The logical part can only be a model for the physical part. Self awareness can be a product of or emerge from that. But quite whether consciousness is equivalent to self-awareness is also unclear.
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Re: Everything in philosophy is belief or opinion?

Postby charon on February 13th, 2019, 1:08 am 

Seagull -

But quite whether consciousness is equivalent to self-awareness is also unclear.


Absolutely. Have you noticed that nearly all these sorts of conversation, if one pursues them, come back to questions no one can answer?

I think I realised that a long time ago so I decided I wasn't going to wait for anybody and answer them for myself. And what's strange is how quickly one can find the answers. I'm quite sure that we spend far too much time reading what other people say, or reading the arguments they have, or depending on others' input. One can waste a great deal of time doing that. But a moment's observation of oneself can give the answer. It's quite easy but no one trusts it (as if others really do know better - they don't) so the innovator can find themselves out on a limb quite quickly :-)

Is consciousness is equivalent to self-awareness? Is everything conscious self-aware? What does self-aware mean? Aware of pain? Or aware of a self? Is an animal aware of itself beyond the physical senses? Does it have a concept of 'me'. I doubt it.

Do we have a concept of 'me'? Absolutely. 'Me' is my background, experience, knowledge... everything which is in our consciousness. Is it permanent? Certainly not, nothing is. Is it a good thing or a bad thing? I would say a dangerous thing because there's my 'me' and your 'me' and they're separative. Is a 'me' necessary at all? Probably not, although it's so prevalent that it's taken for granted. What happens when there's no 'me'? Then there's no separation, which means unity, harmony, integration with others and everything around one. That can only be good.

So is consciousness is equivalent to self-awareness? Physically, yes, otherwise we wouldn't be conscious. Otherwise, no, it depends how one is thinking. Which, presumably, is why no one has really established a clear answer yet.
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Re: Everything in philosophy is belief or opinion?

Postby BadgerJelly on February 13th, 2019, 1:41 am 

Biv pointed out Chalmers. It makes sense to look closely at his work given it deals with this subject.

If someone wants to frame philosophy as being “opinion or belief” then good for them. If no one else sees the point of doing so they shouldn’t complain or insist they are correct. They should explain as clearly and precisely as possible and take on board that others likely don’t use the terms “opinion” and “belief” in the manner they are presenting them.

I’ve been down that road before on this very forum. There was certainly a very strange and stubborn resistance - I think due to people assuming what my position was rather than dealing with the words written.
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Re: Everything in philosophy is belief or opinion?

Postby charon on February 13th, 2019, 1:48 am 

I don't mind opinion or belief as long as it makes sense. It requires intelligent discernment.
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Re: Everything in philosophy is belief or opinion?

Postby A_Seagull on February 13th, 2019, 2:33 am 

BadgerJelly » February 13th, 2019, 5:41 pm wrote:Biv pointed out Chalmers. It makes sense to look closely at his work given it deals with this subject.

If someone wants to frame philosophy as being “opinion or belief” then good for them. If no one else sees the point of doing so they shouldn’t complain or insist they are correct. They should explain as clearly and precisely as possible and take on board that others likely don’t use the terms “opinion” and “belief” in the manner they are presenting them.

I’ve been down that road before on this very forum. There was certainly a very strange and stubborn resistance - I think due to people assuming what my position was rather than dealing with the words written.


And that is your opinion! And I accept that. Quite whether it represents a belief as well I am not so sure.
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Re: Everything in philosophy is belief or opinion?

Postby BadgerJelly on February 13th, 2019, 3:11 am 

Seagull -

I’d rcommend you come to understand what you when you say “belief” then.

1+1=2 isn’t a belief nor an opinion. I have managed to show what a “belief” and an “opinion” are not. Next step is to explain further what is meant by “belief” and “opinion” ... there are many different ways to frame both of these terms so it is advisable to announce our intentions where the meaning may come across as overtly ambiguous right?

My “opinion” is based on how much value/relevance I take this or that to be. Confusingly enough many people (including myself) also say “I believe it to be so” meaning that their opinion is such and such.

So what is the difference between opinion and belief? Obiviously the latter has a theological weight to it historically, yet one needn’t be “religious” to say they “belief” this or that because the context of the use of that term doesn’t have to be “religious”.

Kant is someone who made some outlines about the distinctions between knowledge, opinion and belief. His simplistic endering was that knowledge is something one cannot have an “opinion” about (see 1+1=2), opinion is something one has a good weight of evidence for to support it, and belief is more or less without any validified evidence but still appears to make sense to the person expressing the belief (for a variety of reasons rational or otherwise).

Note: that is the gist of Kant in the particular points he was writing about not mine.

We cannot reasonably dispute that 1+1=2 is either an opinion or belief so we know straight off that belief and opinion share this in common at least. Beyond that how are they different to you? Are they different to you? They may not be and it may simply be that the day-to-day use of these words gives them some subtle distinctions in communicating thoughts yet they are essentially no different unless one uses “belief” in a more theological context.

Also, what exactly is “my opinion” in the above? Some of it is cetainly not my opinion. The point being that people have different uses of these words different contexts is known to me not my opinion. If you don’t make the terms clear then you’ll most likely suffer by having discussions where you talk past each other (again, not my opinion because if two people are using the same words in a different way without addressing this possible issue then they don’t really know if they agree or not - they would would only be under the belief that they and be blinded by a coincidental conclusion).

Pretty much everything everyone writes has elements of opinions, beliefs and sometimes neither (ie. 1+1=2). Given that logic is a prominent branch of philosophy it is incorrect to say that “Everything in philosophy is belief or opinion” becasue it clearly isn’t, although many elements of it are exploratory and ill defined - logical rules are certainly not “beliefs” or “opinions” though.
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Re: Everything in philosophy is belief or opinion?

Postby BadgerJelly on February 13th, 2019, 3:19 am 

charon » February 13th, 2019, 1:48 pm wrote:I don't mind opinion or belief as long as it makes sense. It requires intelligent discernment.


What does any of that actually mean? What do these phrases “don’t mind?”, “opinion or belief” (distinction between them being what exactly?), “makes sense” (how does anything “make sense”?), and “intelligent discernment” mean?

Note: “discernment” is another of those words with a weight of religiousness to it. “Discern” means to distinguish and generally differentiate, whilst “discernment” focuses on “judgement” and therefore deals with “value”. As I’ve noted above (in previous response to Seagull) “opinion” is certainly distinguished by myself from “belief” due to the “value” factor; aesthetics are also tightly wound up in all of this.
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Re: Everything in philosophy is belief or opinion?

Postby A_Seagull on February 13th, 2019, 5:04 am 

BadgerJelly » February 13th, 2019, 7:11 pm wrote:Seagull -

I’d rcommend you come to understand what you when you say “belief” then.

1+1=2 isn’t a belief nor an opinion. I have managed to show what a “belief” and an “opinion” are not. Next step is to explain further what is meant by “belief” and “opinion” ... there are many different ways to frame both of these terms so it is advisable to announce our intentions where the meaning may come across as overtly ambiguous right?

My “opinion” is based on how much value/relevance I take this or that to be. Confusingly enough many people (including myself) also say “I believe it to be so” meaning that their opinion is such and such.

So what is the difference between opinion and belief? Obiviously the latter has a theological weight to it historically, yet one needn’t be “religious” to say they “belief” this or that because the context of the use of that term doesn’t have to be “religious”.

Kant is someone who made some outlines about the distinctions between knowledge, opinion and belief. His simplistic endering was that knowledge is something one cannot have an “opinion” about (see 1+1=2), opinion is something one has a good weight of evidence for to support it, and belief is more or less without any validified evidence but still appears to make sense to the person expressing the belief (for a variety of reasons rational or otherwise).

Note: that is the gist of Kant in the particular points he was writing about not mine.

We cannot reasonably dispute that 1+1=2 is either an opinion or belief so we know straight off that belief and opinion share this in common at least. Beyond that how are they different to you? Are they different to you? They may not be and it may simply be that the day-to-day use of these words gives them some subtle distinctions in communicating thoughts yet they are essentially no different unless one uses “belief” in a more theological context.

Also, what exactly is “my opinion” in the above? Some of it is cetainly not my opinion. The point being that people have different uses of these words different contexts is known to me not my opinion. If you don’t make the terms clear then you’ll most likely suffer by having discussions where you talk past each other (again, not my opinion because if two people are using the same words in a different way without addressing this possible issue then they don’t really know if they agree or not - they would would only be under the belief that they and be blinded by a coincidental conclusion).

Pretty much everything everyone writes has elements of opinions, beliefs and sometimes neither (ie. 1+1=2). Given that logic is a prominent branch of philosophy it is incorrect to say that “Everything in philosophy is belief or opinion” becasue it clearly isn’t, although many elements of it are exploratory and ill defined - logical rules are certainly not “beliefs” or “opinions” though.


You take the example of 1+1=2 as not being an opinion, fair enough, but it is not philosophy either. It is a statement in the domain of mathematics.
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Re: Everything in philosophy is belief or opinion?

Postby BadgerJelly on February 13th, 2019, 6:53 am 

Seagull -

Maybe it slipped past your attention? I was outlining the differences between what “belief,” “opinion,” and “knowledge” are.

Tell me how the knowledge you have of say sitting on your chair differs from your knowledge of 1+1=2. Do they differ? How do they differ? If we’re to use the term “knowledge”/“belief”/“opinion” for both/either/neither then why and to what end?

If you remain entrenched then how about the famous “Socrates is human, all humans are mortal, therefore Socrates is mortal” as something we neither hold as “opinion” or “belief”. Is that not what you’d call philosophy? (A fair point, but I’d then have to ask you what you mean by “philosophy” because it would be different to how most other people interpret that word).
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Re: Everything in philosophy is belief or opinion?

Postby charon on February 13th, 2019, 8:12 am 

BadgerJelly » February 13th, 2019, 8:19 am wrote:
charon » February 13th, 2019, 1:48 pm wrote:I don't mind opinion or belief as long as it makes sense. It requires intelligent discernment.


What does any of that actually mean? What do these phrases “don’t mind?”, “opinion or belief” (distinction between them being what exactly?), “makes sense” (how does anything “make sense”?), and “intelligent discernment” mean?

Note: “discernment” is another of those words with a weight of religiousness to it. “Discern” means to distinguish and generally differentiate, whilst “discernment” focuses on “judgement” and therefore deals with “value”. As I’ve noted above (in previous response to Seagull) “opinion” is certainly distinguished by myself from “belief” due to the “value” factor; aesthetics are also tightly wound up in all of this.


It means any opinion/belief has to make sense; it must be sensible, not ridiculous. It might not be right but it has to make sense to normal, sensible people.

As for intelligent discernment I'm sure we all do it a hundred times a day, from how much milk to put in your coffee, to where to sit on a train, to what to say to the boss, to what to watch on the TV, etc. I don't think there's anything religious about it.
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Re: Everything in philosophy is belief or opinion?

Postby A_Seagull on February 13th, 2019, 2:41 pm 

BadgerJelly » February 13th, 2019, 10:53 pm wrote:Seagull -

Maybe it slipped past your attention? I was outlining the differences between what “belief,” “opinion,” and “knowledge” are.

Tell me how the knowledge you have of say sitting on your chair differs from your knowledge of 1+1=2. Do they differ? How do they differ? .


One is 'real' and the other is 'abstract'.

Knowledge of sitting in a chair is founded on pattern identification of sense-data and be classed asa knowledge of the 'real world'.

Knowledge of 1=1=2 is based upon an axiomatic and abstract logical system.
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Re: Everything in philosophy is belief or opinion?

Postby BadgerJelly on February 13th, 2019, 2:46 pm 

Okay, and how about differentiating “opinion” from “belief”? Or do you just use them interchangeably?
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Re: Everything in philosophy is belief or opinion?

Postby A_Seagull on February 13th, 2019, 3:45 pm 

BadgerJelly » February 14th, 2019, 6:46 am wrote:Okay, and how about differentiating “opinion” from “belief”? Or do you just use them interchangeably?


Belief is something one believes. It is stored in ones memory.

An opinion is something that is stated or communicated.
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Re: Everything in philosophy is belief or opinion?

Postby Reg_Prescott on February 14th, 2019, 12:11 am 

A_Seagull » February 14th, 2019, 4:45 am wrote:
BadgerJelly » February 14th, 2019, 6:46 am wrote:Okay, and how about differentiating “opinion” from “belief”? Or do you just use them interchangeably?



An opinion is something that is stated or communicated.



Er, so Robinson Crusoe had none? (eg. "The food here sucks")

Till Man Friday ruined everything?
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Re: Everything in philosophy is belief or opinion?

Postby Reg_Prescott on February 14th, 2019, 12:18 am 

To be less flippant, it seems to me the word "opinion" is being misused, with the implication that an opinion cannot be true.

Different people have different opinions on, say, extraterrestrial life.

And presumably, given there are only two possibilities (yes/no), many of the opinion holders are correct.

Likewise, if everything in philosophy is opinion, then presumably some of these opinions are correct.

Now, even if we disregard blind guesswork, isn't there such a thing as a well grounded opinion?
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Re: Everything in philosophy is belief or opinion?

Postby charon on February 14th, 2019, 12:29 am 

Of course there is, well done. It's called an informed opinion.
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Re: Everything in philosophy is belief or opinion?

Postby BadgerJelly on February 14th, 2019, 1:03 am 

A_Seagull » February 14th, 2019, 3:45 am wrote:
BadgerJelly » February 14th, 2019, 6:46 am wrote:Okay, and how about differentiating “opinion” from “belief”? Or do you just use them interchangeably?


Belief is something one believes. It is stored in ones memory.

An opinion is something that is stated or communicated.


So there is no difference between knowledge, opinion and belief then according to you because I have both a memory of and the ability to communicate 1+1=2 or stuff abou Socrates being Mortal and Human.

If you’re so free and loose with your terminology then how are expecting to get anywhere? If you cannot outline the differences between these terms (which you’ve certainly not done yet) you’ve said very little.
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Re: Everything in philosophy is belief or opinion?

Postby Serpent on February 14th, 2019, 1:16 am 

charon » February 13th, 2019, 11:29 pm wrote:Of course there is, well done. It's called an informed opinion.

Oh, hey, that sounds like something I tried on Page 1.
I've been wondering whether anyone would actually catch their tail.
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Re: Everything in philosophy is belief or opinion?

Postby BadgerJelly on February 14th, 2019, 2:03 am 

I guess it appears most of you think referring to a dictionary trumps philosophy.

The OP asks a question but doesn’t explicate what they mean by “opinion” or “belief” so it’s impossible to answer.

The root of the problem is epistemic. We’re essentially asking what knowledge is. If you want to avoid addressing this then this thread is going nowhere fast (it is not my “opinion” that knowledge has to be addressed in order to get anywhere, it is my belief it will help reveal a whole new set of questions and push the current aside as facile). My “belief” is dependent upon concensus because people here may very well be using these terms in a very unusual fashion.
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Re: Everything in philosophy is belief or opinion?

Postby A_Seagull on February 14th, 2019, 3:39 pm 

BadgerJelly » February 14th, 2019, 5:03 pm wrote:
A_Seagull » February 14th, 2019, 3:45 am wrote:
BadgerJelly » February 14th, 2019, 6:46 am wrote:Okay, and how about differentiating “opinion” from “belief”? Or do you just use them interchangeably?


Belief is something one believes. It is stored in ones memory.

An opinion is something that is stated or communicated.


So there is no difference between knowledge, opinion and belief then according to you because I have both a memory of and the ability to communicate 1+1=2 or stuff abou Socrates being Mortal and Human.

If you’re so free and loose with your terminology then how are expecting to get anywhere? If you cannot outline the differences between these terms (which you’ve certainly not done yet) you’ve said very little.


It seems clear enough to me, I don't see your problem.

A belief does not need to be communicated.

An opinion does not necessarily have to be representative of a belief, though in normal cases it would be.
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Re: Everything in philosophy is belief or opinion?

Postby A_Seagull on February 14th, 2019, 4:20 pm 

BadgerJelly » February 13th, 2019, 10:53 pm wrote:Seagull -


how about the famous “Socrates is human, all humans are mortal, therefore Socrates is mortal” as something we neither hold as “opinion” or “belief”. Is that not what you’d call philosophy? (A fair point, but I’d then have to ask you what you mean by “philosophy” because it would be different to how most other people interpret that word).


A syllogism, such as your Socrates example, is, per se, no more philosophical than, say, a poem. It lacks the logical rigour of a mathematical proof.

It only becomes philosophical when it is claimed that it is 'true' or 'valid' or even 'important'. In which event the claim is an 'opinion'.

The logic that it does contain is too vague and undefined, (what some would call 'hand-waving') to constitute any sort of proof. At best it conflates logic and meaning in a way that might suggest rigour but in fact does not.
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Re: Everything in philosophy is belief or opinion?

Postby BadgerJelly on February 14th, 2019, 4:38 pm 

Seagull -

You’ve still not told me what “opinion” and “belief” are. I given up.
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