Distinguishing Facts and Opinions
From: L. Michael Hall
2021 Neurons #80
December 13, 2021
There are many different kinds of statements. Some statements are factual, some are not. Given the nature of language, most of the statements that you make and that you hear are not factual. Amazing, isn’t it? So what are they? Most of the statements that we exchange among ourselves as we communicate are opinions, evaluations, judgments, beliefs, decisions, identifications, and on and on. Further, when it comes to facts as I have noted, there are real facts and there are pseudo-facts.
What then? How should we operate in a world where facts are actually pretty scarce and where there are many kinds of statements that are derivative (or supposedly) from facts? The most obvious answer is to aim to make statements that are true-to-the-facts. That is a phrase from Alfred Korzybski in Science and Sanity. By way of contrast, he spoke about false-to-fact statements and how they fail to align with reality and therefore represent false mapping. Such statements do not accord to the facts that we can determine or detect in reality. And doesn’t all of that make sense? So here is what we have.