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  1. #81
    Artisan Conquerer Halla74's Avatar
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    Po-TAE-toe

    Po-TAH-toe



    To-MAE-toe.

    To-MAH-toe.


    --------------------
    Type Stats:
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    BIG 5 -> Extroversion 77% ; Accommodation 60% ; Orderliness 62% ; Emotional Stability 64% ; Open Mindedness 74%

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  2. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by SolitaryWalker View Post
    I can't respond at length as I've got to get to work, but the short version is that there are conventional meanings of a word or a phrase. When you look it up in a dictionary, you get several definitions, but one of them is usually ranked as number one or its primary definition.

    The speech-act is a result of people assuming by convention that the speaker has the primary definition in mind.

    Those who interpret it differently simply misinterpret it, or the speaker who uses the non-primary definition miscommunicates unless he clarifies that his definition is such. This is actually a distinct example of how a person can make a speech act that does not represent his intentions. In the case of my opinion, somebody may intend to convey mere politeness, yet unintentionally they discourage others from questioning their views and compel them to assume that something substantial has been communicated by the speaker.
    Even this is suspect, because different dictionaries produce different primary definitions. Observe:

    Quote Originally Posted by http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/opinion
    1 a : a view, judgment, or appraisal formed in the mind about a particular matter
    Quote Originally Posted by http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/opinion
    a belief or judgment that rests on grounds insufficient to produce complete certainty.
    These are similar definitions, as we would expect. But notice how the former definition says nothing about the nature of the certainty of the view, where the latter does. We would read more into the word with one source than we would if we went by the other source.

    In such matters, one must ask.. "Whose dictionary?" Who is correct? More importantly, by whose authority?

    This just illustrates that language is a human construct, built upon what's been useful for a given society. Therefore, language in and of itself is not truth. Therefore, we all necessarily "read into" definitions, colored by the source we use and by our own mental filters.

    Halla74 above had a very, very loud and direct way of stating this.


    I wholeheartedly agree that in any exchange of ideas, a common definition of the things to be described is immensely important. (This is why I very rarely 'debate' the existence of God, for example, since the term has a very nebulous definition.) But until that common definition is clarified, you cannot completely presuppose that the person is communicating what you believe that they are communicating, nor can you pin them down and force them to use words in such a way as to match your internal dictionary.

    The general message is inevitable because although there may be many ways to interpet it, there often is a primary way and others are of a rather ancillary nature.
    If a particular interpretation is "often" a primary way--that is, if you leave open the possibility that there may be multiple primary ways--it is, by definition, not inevitable.

    Unless, of course, by "often" you simply mean that people often use the primary way but others use the secondary or ancillary ways.

  3. #83
    failure to thrive AphroditeGoneAwry's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SolitaryWalker View Post
    My thread is not about typology or people's intentions. It is about speech-acts or messages a person inevitably conveys without respect to his private mindstates.


    Without respect to his private mindstates?



    I'm sorry you INTPs are srsly tickling my funny bone today.
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  4. #84
    Senior Member KDude's Avatar
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    A 9 page thread on the statement "Just my opinion".

    I have absolutely nothing to offer except to say that this is the height of wankery. Kind of impressed actually.

    And yes, I'm just being an asshole. Carry on.

  5. #85
    mrs disregard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rez View Post
    A 9 page thread on the statement "Just my opinion".

    I have absolutely nothing to offer except to say that this is the height of wankery. Kind of impressed actually.

    And yes, I'm just being an asshole. Carry on.
    Do not confuse simplicity for being an asshole. It's easily forgiven, whereas being an asshole requires knowing better.

  6. #86
    Senior Member KDude's Avatar
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    Well, I do feel simplistic. It makes zero sense on any level. I want to guilt myself though, and say I'm not trying on purpose. That I'm an asshole. It obviously makes sense to someone.

    Anyhow, it's my view that it's the most accommodating thing you can say for someone. I don't believe there are any ominous connotations to it.

  7. #87
    Senior Member matmos's Avatar
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    As amost everything people say is blatantly an opinion, look at the slight change of agency by the word "just". In the way a child would say "The toy broke" (rather than "I broke the toy") creates a confusion: an adult would not normally caveat the premise of a strongly felt belief with the diminutive statement (for example, "God does not exist - just my opinion, guys.") The phrase lessens the ability to seem reasonable with a valid response. After all, would you tell a child who claims the toy broke, "No. You broke it." A response of "Be more careful, in future, little fella" would seem more appropriate.

    In other words the agency of the proponent has reverted to a child ego state and is in effect playing a game.

    I contend that the motives are relevant, even unconcious ones.

  8. #88
    Senior Member KDude's Avatar
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    Why would it be relevant, if it was unconscious?

  9. #89
    Tenured roisterer SolitaryWalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by greed View Post
    Unless, of course, by "often" you simply mean that people often use the primary way but others use the secondary or ancillary ways.
    I'd define primary use of the word as the most common way in which it is used in professional literature: books, novels, scholarly journals or informative blogs. I am excluding the folk ways in which the word is used: we shouldn't take their contribution to language in consideration for the same reason we don't bother defining slang terminology or grammatically improper expositions.

    As a general rule, it is difficult but possible to establish the main definition of most conventional English words such as opinion. Perhaps consulting a basic dictionary won't be sufficient to accomplish this goal, as they tend to be rather vague and simplistic. Generally scholars consult dictionaries that are far more specific and rigorously outlined. For instance, I've come across several philosophy dictionaries where a single entry is often over 1000 words long. Similar dictionaries exist for other disciplines and I imagine some dictionaries used by Literature scholars define ordinary language words as rigorously and thoroughly because they are integral to their discipline.

    Here is my main point regarding why there is a primary definition for simple words like opinion: if there wasn't we couldn't hope to have a coherent, reasonable conversation as we'd have a hard time understanding what even the most basic words mean. But since we don't have that problem, I'd claim that for words as simple as 'opinion' we should be able to establish a primary definition, which again, is an indication of how the word is used most frequently in the professional literature.

    Why do I think that the primary definition of opinion denotes somebody's judgment that they aren't willing to justify? Look at how its used in literature. For example, 'expert opinion' is a common usage of the word which usually points to a situation where the expert will state his views and the audience will believe that he is correct not because of his justification but solely because he is an expert.

    I regularly read philosophy and have been to hundred of seminars, and rarely, if not never do I hear philosophers claiming that their justification is an opinion. Usually they use a more cognitive noun to describe their views such as a tought, conjecture, rationale, belief, proposition and so on.

    I've got some basic experience in a variety of other fields, as I've been reading mathematics and as an academic ghost-writer, I've written papers in a number of other academic disciplines; in none of the class readings that I've done have I come across the word 'opinion' as a characterization of someone's scholarly argument.

    However, I do see that word used frequently on sports websites, newspaper or journalist articles, yet again, there it is referred to a person's private judgment. Such as for example, a journalist's intuition or a speculation about what is going on in the scenario or a professional athletes mere feeling, and so on. Again, not even there is it used to denote any judgment that a person is expected to justify.

    In fact, I have never even seen the word 'opinion' used to define anything other than a person's private judgment which is usually not expected to be supported. Furthermore, I don't believe that anyone here is even defining opinion as such. My only proposition was that the main definition of opinion is a judgment that is not necessarily indefensible, but one that its communicator is not expected to defend. I don't believe anyone has yet contradicted that. You merely mentioned that there could be a different definition for it, I grant that, but on the basis of the reasons mentioned above I conclude that the definition I cited is the primary. It is the primary because its the one most commonly used in professional discourse.
    "Do not argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level and beat you with experience." -- Mark Twain

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  10. #90

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    Quote Originally Posted by SolitaryWalker View Post
    On this forum and throughout our culture I find the phrase in the title of this thread quite common. 'It is just my opinion'. On the most basic level, such a notion simply means this is what I think and nothing else. In other words, I am no authority on the subject, so you don't have to accept my beliefs uncritically or you don't have to believe what I believe. That is all well and good, we shouldn't thoughtlessly believe in many of the views that we come across, however, this phrase carries another far more ominous connotation.

    Usually the conversationalist makes this utterance after they have stated a view about the world, and often a controversial one. For the sake of an example, view the post of one of our members below.




    Such a tactic allows the communicator to deny responsibility for his or her actions and thereby render the expressed views impervious to criticism. He or she puts forth an appeal to pity by implying that since the notion in question is a mere 'opinion', it ought not to be questioned or criticized.

    What's wrong with a view that can't be questioned? First of all it gets people thinking about an important matter and leads them to suppose that there is something to the 'just my opinion' and portrays any contrary notion as flatly unacceptable. In short, this phrase appears to be no more than an instance of harmless politeness at the outset, yet is actually an insidious strategy for people to force their views on others without carrying any responsibility for any harm or false beliefs incurred by others as a result.
    Possibly sometimes, maybe not others I.M.O.

    Potato tomato by Halla74 is a more apt & funny way of putting this I.M.O Look above.

    I didn't look first then translate, honest.

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