28 February 2013

from Lawrence, Sunday PhiloMadrid meeting: My opinion is better than yours + news

Dear friends,

This Sunday we are discussing: my opinion is better than yours.

And once again we are lucky that Ruel has sent us a link to his essay on the subject; see below. I
have also written a few lines on the subject at the end of the email

In the meantime I'm enclosing with this email the programme for visits to the British cemetery for

And finally, after next week I should be all clear to finalise the group lunch. So please let me
know if you intend to come.

----Lunch at the Segoviano----
1) Last Sunday we discussed the possibility of organising a lunch at the centro and I asked Encarna
for details. However, we still have to organise the date so you can think about this lunch and find
a gap in your busy diary. I also have a pending appointment at the hospital and won't know the dates
until next week. What is sure is that we start lunch at 3:30pm and then start the meeting as usual.
In the meantime we can think about the menu:
-Starters (frituras variadas), Entrecot o Cochinillo con ensalada, Postre- cafe-bebida. 25 euros per
-Alternative option 1: fish or vegetarian but you will have to speak to Encarna about this, I've got
her number so please ask me or her when you come to the meeting. 25 euros per person
-Alternative option 2: cochido completo (plus the extras above) 20 euros per person.
(Looking at the menu you might think this is a challenge to this week's subject, but I am assured
that the food is very good!!!)


Sophophilia: Critical Readings in Philosophy Por Ruel Pepa

MY E-BOOKS . . . .

Os paso la información de algunos eventos en los que os comenté que participo como soprano por si os
apetece alguno...
de Enrique Muñoz Molina
Ignacio Vento, narrador
Coro de la Universidad Autónoma de Madrid
Ensemble Vocal Soli -Tutti
Denis Gautheyrie
6 de marzo-20.30 horas
Teatros Canal
Entrada: 5 euros (subvencionada)
Más información en www.madrid.org/artesacro

10 de marzo-
Auditorio Nacional
Entrada : 20 euros (recaudación para proyectos en países en vías de desarrollo)
Será retransmitido por TVE
Más información en http://www.vocesparalapaz.com/

Grupo de investigación y transformación del mundo a través de la música de la Universidad Autónoma
9 de marzo
La Universidad en la calle
Lugar y hora por confirmar
Abierto a la participación de cuantos vengan


******************************************************* Redacto el presente mensaje tanto en inglés
como en español para comunicar al máximo mi programa de visitas comentadas antes de Semana Santa,
los sábados por la mañana :-
Hora : a las 11 de la mañana
Lugar : en la entrada del Cementerio, c/ Comandante Fontanes 7, 2007 Madrid ( distrito de Carabanchel )

*sábado, día 16 de marzo con las explicaciones en inglés
*sabado, dia 23 de marzo con las explicaciones en español

Le dejo a su elección cual día acuda y no hay necesidad de avisar
Si prefiere hacer la vista en otra fecha y está en situación de formar un grupo de 8 personas o más,
avíseme y haré lo mejor para llegar a un acuerdo sobre fecha y hora

WEBSITE <www.britishcemeterymadrid.com>........ con detalles de la historia del Cementerio y el plan
de su ubicación

I am writing this in both Spanish and English to provide the programme of guided visits on Saturday
mornings up to Easter

Time : 11 a.m.
Place: gatehouse entrance in C/ Comandante Fontanes 7, 28007 Madrid ( Carabanchel disrict )

*the visit on Saturday 16th March will be in English
*the visit on Saturday 23rd March will be in Spanish

I leave it to you which date you prefer and there is no need to check further, just turn up on the day
If you would like a visit on any other day, and you are able to make up a group of 8 persons or
more, I will do my best to arrange a date to suit you

WEBSITE < www.britishcemeterymadrid.com> with some details of the history of the Cemetery and a map
to show its location
David Butler
See you Sunday,

Take care


PhiloMadrid Meeting
Meet 6:30pm
Centro Segoviano
Alburquerque, 14
28010 Madrid
Metro: Bilbao

Thursday's Open Tertulia in English
Important Notice: From December 1st, the Tertulia will take place at O'Donnells (ex-Moore's) Irish
Pub, c/ Barceló 1 (metro Tribunal)



Hello Lawrence,

HoHere is an article I wrote re next Sunday's topic: "My opinion is better than yours". Hasta luego.



My opinion is better than yours.

At face value this topic might look a bit arrogant; but from a philosophical point of view we have to go beyond the face value. So the issue is neither one of arrogance nor one of a sense of superiority by me over others. That last point is a different matter.

Nor is the issue here about who is right and who is wrong. It is about three basic philosophical issues: self identity, the identity of others and, of course, value judgments.

The fact that we can identify ourselves from other people suggests a basic biological feature, self identity as part of our self consciousness, despite belonging to the same biological group. Thus the pronoun -my- suggests that we can distinguish between what belongs to me, what belongs to our individual person and what belongs to others. This ability to distinguish between me and others is a key issue in philosophy. And self consciousness is of course one part of the issues related to the self in philosophical analysis.

Of course, being aware of my opinions is a neutral event; we know that we have an opinion about something. The fact that some people do not seem to have an opinion about anything is not a big issue for us here.

However, what is my opinion and what is someone else’s opinion requires at the very least an ability to distinguish between my opinions and those of others. From a language point of view there must be some exchange of information between me and the other person. Of course, how we interpret that information is another issue; one I won’t go into here. But to go from my opinion being better than someone else’s we have to go a few steps up the evolutionary process and establish a sense of value judgement.

It is one thing to distinguish my opinion from your opinion, but it is a different matter to evaluate that my opinion is better than yours. But my opinion is better than yours does not mean nor imply that my opinion is true and represents reality and yours not. An opinion is not necessarily a causal function of what is true or what is reality. If anything an opinion is a causal function of my knowledge base, experience, beliefs, prejudices etc.

Thus if my opinion is better than yours can be true it must be so under a under a set of conditions. The first is that my opinion is based on evidence and facts that are more representative of reality or the truth than yours. Secondly my way of forming my opinion is based on some methodology that can be analysed by others; at least in principle. Although, of course, we still have to deal with the issue of a gut feeling, a hunch, an intuition and so on. But I would argue that all these processes of arriving at a solid opinion are basically neurological functions and therefore understandable in principle even though it might be difficult for medical science to do such an analysis.

One issue is of course, whether others have what it takes to understand our opinions and our ideas. Maybe someone’s background knowledge is much more advanced than that of others. This might put some in a disadvantage if others have no idea what they’re talking about.

And a more pertinent issue is whether our opinion would be better than someone else’s if we had more facts (and truths) incorporated in our opinion? Do facts and truths make better value judgements?

Best Lawrence

from Lawrence, Sunday PhiloMadrid meeting: My opinion is better than yours + news

No comments: