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Knowledge vs Opinion-What are the difference?

Updated on August 12, 2017

Indeed, it is a problem to confuse opinion and knowledge because, in philosophical contexts, the two terms are quite divergent from one another. In his article, the Knowledge Problem, Hayek pointed out that knowledge is inherently localized and dispersed across economic agents. He went on to argue that the totality of what individuals know exceeds what a policymaker knows to a large extent. In particular, while knowledge relates to an unchanging and eternal truth, opinion pertains to a higher level of certainty which individuals can hope for in a sensible fact or visible realm. In other words, an opinion is somebody’s view or perceptions which can be substantiated with experiences while knowledge is an idea backed by credible sources. In most cases, philosophy draws evidence from scientific discoveries and other credible sources to back the arguments presented. When someone is giving an opinion, he or she will be giving what he or she thinks without necessarily backing the sentiments espoused. What we learn from Hayek’s argument is that knowledge is something permanent or tacit and individual gains it gradually after learning or through experiences. On the other hand, one does not need to learn anything in order to form an opinion. In essence, philosophy relies more on an individual’s rather than his or her opinion.

According to Rouner, a good opinion in philosophical arguments must be well informed and anyone holding it must use a good reason to support it. Such an opinion must be backed by credible evidence to support it. Therefore, this is not an individual’s opinion. An example of a current opinion being used as it is not supposed is that people are worshipping the same deity under different names. There is no evidence to back this assertion. Using these insights, I will endeavor to analyze each opinion, particularly in philosophical discussions to find the use of proof and or any other form of support before accepting it as truth.


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    • Angel Guzman profile image

      Angel Guzman 8 months ago from Joliet, Illinois

      There's a big difference, lol. Opinion is preference in some occasions.