The March Philosophy Book of the Month is Final Notice by Van Fleisher. Discuss Final Notice now.

The April Philosophy Book of the Month is The Unbound Soul by Richard L. Haight. Discuss The Unbound Soul Now

The May Philosophy Book of the Month is Misreading Judas by Robert Wahler.

Gender in profile

Here is the place for your suggestions, comments, or questions regarding the Philosophy Forums.
User avatar
Posts: 327
Joined: May 3rd, 2015, 10:39 pm
Favorite Philosopher: Frigyes Karinthy

Re: Gender in profile

Post by Renee » November 11th, 2016, 12:51 am

Roel wrote:I think I get why this is: an outsider can get a better general overview of a situation than a participant.

Say a boss is forced to fire his worker because of outside circumstances. The worker might be convinced that it's all the fault of the boss, while an outsider might see that the boss was subject to certain circumstances and it was outside of his possibilities to keep the worker.

However, when talking about what working feels like, how it is experienced, only the worker will really know.
You're right, this is the point I wanted to emphasize.

BTW, what happens when two workers have different points of view? Two workers work side-by-side on the same production line. They do the same job. Exactly same duties, responsibilities. They start and end at the same time every day, and take vacations when the factory stops for two weeks in the summer. They earn the same wage, and have the same superwisor. Have the same co-workers, and eat every day lunch in the same cafeteria.

How do you explain their differing opinions? If their opinions differ. So let's assume their opinions about aspects of their jobs differ.

I don't mean how this is possible for them to have different opinions. You can create a case mentally really easily of that. I meant from the "weight behind the opinion" point of view.

And if their boss, or any outsider: you or me, or anyone, aligns with the opinion of Worker A, but not with the opinion of Worker B, then will this Outsider A's opinion bear more or less weight than the opinion of Outsider B's opinion, who sides with the opinion of Worker B?

This is the can of worms and the slippery-slope angle of the "assigning of weights to opinions" argument. I may be an outsider, and have less weight, than Worker A or Worker B individually, but I happen to side with Worker A who actually said the truth, and Worker B's opinion is invalid, or does not reflect the truth. In your argument, you give Worker B a higher weight rating than to me, Outsider A, and yet you admit (after hearing the supporting arguments) that I was right and Worker B was wrong.

Despite Worker B having a higher weight-rating for dependability of his opinion than I!

This is why I don't support the weight-ranking of opinions. I think opinions should be measured and judged for their testable truths, rather than relying on who utters what opinion.

And in fact, this is the reason and background for having an "appeal to authority" fallacy.
Ignorance is power.

User avatar
Posts: 3381
Joined: January 18th, 2015, 1:16 am

Re: Gender in profile

Post by LuckyR » November 11th, 2016, 3:04 am

Renee wrote:
LuckyR wrote:It is common for folks to use their personal experience as part of their "evidence" when making arguments. How much credence should you give to a man's opinion (based on their experience) on women's topics? Everyone deserves an opinion, but not all opinions should be given equal weight.
Opinions should not be given equal weight... slippery slope. I can devalue your opinion on this (not that I'd want to), if I accept that opinions are not given equal weight. I can assign more weight to my (hypothetical) opinion than to yours.

With this proposal you open a can of worms on a slippery slope. Because this opinion of yours is not expert-based; so the weight in my (possible) opinion that opposes yours has the same weight behind it as yours. We are both opinion-generators, that's our expertise; and as such, neither of us has more "expertness" by difference of background or experience, than the other. So if I wanted to oppose your opinion, that is, "not all opinions have the same weight", then all of a sudden all opinions have the same weight.

But if all opinions have the same weight, then your opinion of "not all the same weight" applies again... this is an infinitely flip-flopping logical switch, and that's what I meant by "opening a can of worms on a slippery slope".

Of course qualifying it that expert's opinions are more valuable, and added that having the direct, immediate experience of an opinion-generating event, should give the experiencer a higher "expert" status than to a non-experiencer. I admit this, but what about two experiencers of the same background with different opinions? If you give them equal weight, and their opinions still differ, then what? For instance, one multimillionaire's son wants to raise the taxes of the poor and decrease the taxes of the rich, and another multimillionaire's son wants to increase the taxes of the rich and decrease the taxes of the poor... which opinion must be given more weight, considering the sources they have come from?

On a more humorous note: I doubt most women would want to have the same weight behind their opinions as I have. I hit 195 lbs on the bathroom scale. That is approx. 87-88 Kg for our metric-minded friends here on the forums.
Roel wrote: In discussions about pregnancy, I value a women's opinion higher as that of a man, in discussioms about being a father, I value a man's opinion higher as that of a woman, as in these cases only they know what it is like to be so.
See below
LuckyR wrote: Exactly my point. Do you value the opinion of a white billionaire, son of a multimillionaire as pertains to the plight of common folk, the minority experience, the immigrant experience etc?
LuckyR and Roel: This makes good sense, of course, but only to a point. I had a friend who was a bachelor, and a virgin at 50, and he was and had been a successful marriage counselor for decades. Also, my father was a father, and yet he did not have the insight into being a father and how it affected others which a teacher of mine gained in five seconds flat meeting him. Or... or take Friedrich Engels, a leading social anthropologist of his time; he knew more about primitive societies, the problems they faced, the nature of their love life, the way they waged war, than the citizens of these primitive societies, despite not living in a so-called primitive society.
We are talking of trends not absolutes. There can be individual men who happen to follow women's issues and have an opinion that is based on more experience, albeit not personal experience, than that of a particular woman. However as a group men are going to be below the level of women in this area.

Marriage counselors are a bad example since that is a profession that has training so a lack of practical life experience can be compensated for. OTOH, if someone has had a particular surgery before, I would put their opinion on it below that of a surgeon who does that procedure but above a random citizen.
"As usual... it depends."

Posts: 689
Joined: January 7th, 2015, 7:09 am

Re: Gender in profile

Post by Gertie » November 12th, 2016, 9:59 am

Why not open a poll for a few weeks, see if it's an option most peeps here want?

Post Reply