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A Primer Of Semantics

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OGDEN AND RICHARDS                          6g
We are now confronted with an important question:
How does this restriction of reference to things affect statements of opinions, of loyalties, and of principles?
Ogden and Richards would say that opinions, loyalties, and principles are "complicated by emotional, diplomatic, and other disturbances" and are, therefore, irrelevant to the science of symbolism. They state, however (in a footnote to page 76), that "the context method of analysis is capable of throwing much light" upon that area of experience which has to do with desires and motives. This is a tempting challenge from which to extrapolate as follows:
The science of symbolism is relevant to opinions, to loyalties, and to principles. Symbolism is relevant to such attitudes and beliefs precisely in that they are, or should be, based ultimately upon facts.
The distinction between facts and opinions is not discussed by Ogden and Richards. Of opinions, they say only that they require "corroborative evidence." (page 203) And this is a good start. Today, the distinction between facts and opinions is an important one to the student of semantics.9 We treat statements of fact differently from the way we treat statements of opinion. This will become clear as we proceed with definitions of these terms as used in this context.
Everyone knows that a fact1957 may not be a fact1958. Nor can we know all about any one thing. In order to know all about any one thing, we should have to know all about everything, in which case, we should have "only one fact, the
9 Facts and opinions will be discussed again in Part Four below in connection with Morris's uses of language.