Are Facts And Opinions Really So Different?
Berny Belvedere

Thank you for the opportunity to comment on your text. I would like to highlight that, to the best of my understanding, you are not really blurring the line between the concepts of fact and opinion. You are simply stating that, depending on context, the same statement can fit the category of ‘fact’ or the category of ‘opinion’. Actually, depending on context, two different statements can also fit the category of ‘fact’: Carl Lewis won the gold medal in the 100 metres race in the Olympics; Usain Bolt won the gold medal in the 100 metres race in the Olympics. The first fact happened in 1984, the second in 2008. Here, the difference is not expertise (the elementary school kid vs the historian) but time. This does not make the statements any less factual (provided they relate to the right context). Finally, to ‘prioritize reason and evidence as the markers for accepting claims of any kind’ seems excessive: one thing is to be able to produce an articulate discourse on an opinion (e.g., why my favourite movie is X or my favourite band is Y); another, very different and potentially dangerous thing is to suggest that you are only entitled to have a favourite movie or band in case you can provide reason/evidence supporting your claim.

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