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Everybody is entitled to their own opinion?

Its a stupid line in a discussion of any issue since it (the ability of anyone to express a view) is almost never the issue being discussed. I discussed the fallacy of this reasoning years ago on this blog but the erroneous thinking still arises and still bugs me.

I notice the issue is discussed […]

Winning isn’t everything

Joshua Gans is ‘over the moon’ because his daughter won a sports event. With some qualifications he asserts winning is everything. Its a very American attitude and one I don’t agree with particularly in relation to kids sport where I think the key objective for the vast majority of kids is to participate – to […]

Gnomes at LP

One of the Larvatus Prodeo lefties, Phil Gnomes, makes illogical remarks about the consequences of ratbags supporting a particular viewpoint. If ratbags support a viewpoint he claims, it ‘speaks’. So, taking the example Gnomes takes, Pauline Hanson supports Kevin Andrews on the African migrant question so it ‘speaks’ – since Pauline Hanson is beyond the […]


This is an interesting New York Times blog containing an interesting argument by Stanley Fish. The atheist’s claim that God does not exist – because actual religions are a bundle of contradictions that could not possibly be constructed by an omniscient God – does not undermine the case for the existence of God. Nor, of […]

Motives and public policy views

The question I posed to this week’s Blogocracy-organised group blog (Joshua Gans, Tim Dunlop, Ken Parish, Kim, Robert Merkel Andrew Bartlett and Tigtog) was:

How relevant are motives in assessing the public policy stance of a politician or commentator?

I had early posted on this topic here. To summarize my tentative conclusions I argued […]

Political motive fallacies

An introductory book on logic I keep returning to is Jamie White’s, Crimes Against Logic. I have already discussed its demolition of the ‘everyone is entitled to their own opinion’ fallacy. Another fallacy he disposes of is the ‘Motives Fallacy’. This is a special case of the ad hominem circumstantial fallacy – it resonates with […]

Is anyone entitled to their own opinion?

I enjoyed this piece in The Australian Higher Education this week – ‘Opinion trounces fact’ by Gary Olsen. We have become so obsessed in our education system with eliciting opinions (‘what do you think?’) that we neglect understanding:

Not long ago, a scholar of postmodern thought delivered an honours seminar on the French philosopher Michel […]