Expressions of Mere Opinion

 Posted by on 29 April 2013 at 2:00 pm  Epistemology, Rationality
Apr 292013

I appreciate that it’s often useful for people to say “I agree” or “I disagree” in contexts where wrong assumptions might be made.

That’s rarely the case, however. Most of the time, when people just indicate their mere agreement or disagreement with some remark, my reaction is pretty much: Why the heck did you bother to say that for? How about offering some kind of reason or argument or example? Do you think that anyone cares about your mere opinion? Be witty or be substantive or be silent! Then, despite my major disagreements with Plato’s epistemology, I feel the urge to beat them over the head with his distinction between opinion and knowledge.

Am I alone? Is this a crazy pet-peeve? The inevitable result of reading too many undergraduate philosophy papers? Or just a hope for higher standards of rationality?

  • Tjitze de Boer

    I’ve got pretty much something opposite to this. If someone blatantly says they agree or disagree without basis I immediatly look up reasons why that could be the case. I’m somewhat annoyed by those who who never get the idea of looking up information themselves when I inform them that their position is not self evident.

    But maybe that’s just from reading too many philosophy and or for holding higher general curiosity standards.

  • shemsky

    Do you think that morality is knowledge or opinion? And if you think that it’s knowledge, then how do you know this?

  • sba

    I agree.

    Well, maybe it is a mixture of genuine lazyness and the search for an easy way to strenghen grid within a group or impact of the opinion expressed, as practiced at facebook (where the “like” which to use seems someway to be taken as supprotve and/or helpfull for the concern or at least: to express goodwill towards the poster). So: “Why to bother about reasons while I like the speaker and/or what he said”. That’s just about that: Generally people tend to do least work possible. I recommend just not to let them get away with this.

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