Right Opinion

Maccia (1987) cited the Greek philosopher, Plato, when discussing the difference between right opinion and true opinion:

In Theaetetus, Plato distinguished two kinds of natural intelligence: 'right opinion' and 'true opinion'. Right opinion was described as the direct apprehension of things. True opinion was described as conception which was justified by definition of classification.

In leading Theaetetus to see that right opinion was not equivalent to true opinion, Socrates had him conclude that it was impossible to distinguish Socrates or Theodorus from any other snub-nosed person by means of definition or classification. He brought Theaetetus to agree that he and Theaetetus would recognize each other when they met at the Agora. (p. 213)

Maccia clarifies:

... one does not argue one's recognition of a unique. One discloses it and acknowledges it ... [A]n argument would be superfluous. Right opinion does not follow as a consequence of deductive or inductive inference; it precedes such quantifications. Right opinion ostensively selects the unique from all others, i.e., points out, directs to, and thereby, acknowledges (p. 214, italics added).

There are three kinds of right opinion: recognition, acquaintance, and appreciation.

For more about right opinion, see: