I feel like this is a dumb question because I've always thought this to be true and never had anything or anyone disagree with this idea, but recently I've come across two instances where someone has said something along the lines of "I think X is objectively Y" and vehemently defended their usage of "think". Isn't this contradictory? If you say "I think blue is the best color" doesn't that imply it is your personal opinion that blue is the best color and nothing more? It was my understanding if you wanted to convey objectivity you can't use "I think" and instead would use "is". "Blue is the best color".

If I were to replace "I think" with "it is my opinion" and "is objective" to "is not a personal opinion" then this should be correct:

"I think X is objectively Y" -> "It is my opinion of X that Y is objective" -> "It is my opinion of X that Y is not a personal opinion" which is a contradiction.

Maybe I messed up somewhere but it seems like that is correct. It might be unnecessary to go that in depth but I can't figure out any other way to prove whether it's correct or incorrect to pair "I think" with "objective". I would appreciate if someone could help me out with this. Thanks!

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    'I think' can also mean that you're not quite sure about what you're saying. I think.
    – Mithical
    Mar 15, 2017 at 9:02
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    You should really do and post research here. // Collins Spanish {!} Dictionary correctly gives one sense of 'objectively': << 2. (= actually) → ... whether this was objectively true or not, I felt it was >> (ODO also has this sense, but a less helpful example). "I think blue is objectively the best colour" is thus a paraphrase of "I think blue is the best colour per se". This is not contradictory. However, it does sound like a senseless arrogation. Whereas the statement 'I think blue is the best ... Mar 15, 2017 at 10:30
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    colour' at least has the pragmatic (and almost invariably assumed) interpretation ''In my opinion, blue is the 'best' colour" / "Blue is my favourite colour". The addition of 'intrinsically / actually / objectively / per se' intentionally disqualifies the 'is my favourite' reading, but, as said, produces a ridiculous claim. "Blue is unquestionably the best colour." Mar 15, 2017 at 10:37

2 Answers 2


Black is the best colour for a solar panel, because black objects absorb most heat.

is an objective statement.

I think green solar panels absorb more heat than black ones

states an objective opinion about which you are not quite certain. The truth can be verified objectively.

If you are choosing a household ornament you might say

I think the green one looks best.

Here you are not stating an objective fact, about which you are uncertain. you are stating a subjective preference. If someone else thinks the yellow one looks better you will never be able to present evidence or arguments to convince the other person.


Whether or not you say I think doesn't matter; if you don't attribute the statement to someone else, that statement is your own belief or position.

I think blue is the best color


Blue is the best color

Both mean that you believe blue is the best color.

Whether or not the statement is subjective or objective depends on the facts you have to support your position.

As Mithrandir says in the comments, I think can also suggest uncertainty.

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