Thursday, August 26, 2004

Fact Coupled With Opinion

I've decided that I might as well start typing up quite rough notes to this blog, rather than waiting till I have something a bit more solid to say and concrete examples to illustrate the concepts with. So here goes...

In the current climate, saying that you understand a viewpoint is tantamount to saying that you approve of that viewpoint. The truth of the matter is, of course, that it's possible to understand a viewpoint that you are very critical of, and which you strongly disaprove of.

Unfortunately, the current climate it is assumed that statements are always expressing opinions. That is, statements of facts and statements of opinions are always coupled.

The standard way of expressing strong disapproval of something is to say that it's "crazy" or "illogical" or that you "don't understand it". I think the reason why understanding is equated with approval is that, it's believed that if something can be understood then it must "make sense".

And behind this view is, I believe, the notion that a view is constructed from some logical chain of reasoning, such that an incorrect view (this is why you strongly disapprove of it) is the result of poor logic. I've previously given some reasons why I think this view is wrong.

As I gave some explanations for then, I think views are more the result of perception and their underlying assumptions than the logic that goes into them.

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