Point of view (philosophy)

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A point of view, in philosophy, is a specified or stated manner of consideration, an attitude how one sees or thinks of something, as in "from doctor's point of view". This figurative usage of the expression as attested since 1760. In this meaning, the usage is synonymous with one of the meanings of the term perspective.


  • If you say that this is an old, badly painted wall you're judging it metaphysically, extracting the current moment. If you however say: it's shiny, nice, new wall, then you're wrong from current moment's point of view, because the wall is not yet like that. But from dialectical point of view you're right, because it will be like that tomorrow. If you said that Soviet people are living in old hovels, full of worms, you would be lying, even if usually they look like this. But if you say that Soviet people like in new, nice houses, you're saying truth, even if today very few live like that. See today what will happen tomorrow - is to think dialectically
  • But there are some people, nevertheless—and I am one of them—who think that the most practical and important thing about a man is still his view of the universe. We think that for a landlady considering a lodger, it is important to know his income, but still more important to know his philosophy. We think that for a general about to fight an enemy, it is important to know the enemy's numbers, but still more important to know the enemy's philosophy.
  • You have your Lebanon and its dilemma. I have my Lebanon and its beauty. Your Lebanon is an arena for men from the West and men from the East. My Lebanon is a flock of birds fluttering in the early morning as shepherds lead their sheep into the meadow and rising in the evening as farmers return from their fields and vineyards. You have your Lebanon and its people. I have my Lebanon and its people.
    • Khalil Gibran, "You Have Your Lebanon and I Have My Lebanon", Mirrors of the Soul, trans. Joseph Sheban, p. 30–31 (1965).
  • The general form of the total conception of ideology is being used by the analyst when he has the courage to subject not just the adversary's point of view but all point of view, including his own, to the ideological analysis.
    • Karl Mannheim, Ideology and Utopia (1929), as translated by Louis Wirth and Edward Shils (1936).
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