Tag Archives: Justin McBrayer

Truth Vs. Opinions

Is it actually wrong to steal someone’s car for fun? How about cheating on a test in school, or treating someone poorly because of the their skin color?

For many of us in the United States—particularly kids in school—answering “yes” those questions might be more complicated than we might think.

In a recent piece for the New York Times, philosophy professor Justin McBrayer (who received his Ph.D. at Mizzou and attended The Crossing) writes of discovering two signs on the bulletin board of his son’s second grade class. They read:

Fact: Something that is true about a subject and can be tested or proven.

Opinion: What someone thinks, feels, or believes.

Note that these definitions apparently suggest that claims must either be a fact or an opinion. What’s the problem with that? McBrayer explains: