What is the community's approach to 'Test My Theory' style questions?

It is worth considering that this style of question often garners opinionated discussion rather than factual response, which seems discouraged according to the rules of the site.

Should the permissibility of the question depend on whether the OP shows that they have done research on their topic before consulting this domain?

Is it recommended that these theories show that they are supported by philosophical canon, or are is it expected that OPs may not have sufficient background to do so?

If more relevant concerns are thought of, please add them in the comments.

I intend to impart no bias on this question; my intentions are to understand what the community's approach to this issue is.

  • Funny as I really want to have input but I can't put what I have in my head in writing and it's very frustrating ha
    – kell kell
    Apr 28, 2018 at 23:19

2 Answers 2


Questions of this style should be voted to close. Actually, this is an explicit reason to close, you can find it under "Off-topic, because...":

Questions that push a personal philosophy with no question beyond "am I right" or "what do you think" are off-topic here as this is not a blog. It's ok to express unique opinions, but you must have an actual, answerable question to go with them.

The authors should be encouraged to ask for references that express a similar view, i.e. a "Are there sources that discuss this/a similar view?", going with the "reference-request" tag.


I see all questions that are not homework exercises as a kind of "Test My Theory" question. Or, to put it in other words, they are motivated otherwise they wouldn't be asked at all and they come from some perspective on what the person asking the question already thinks is true.

In the case of homework exercises there is still motivation, but it is indirect. It has to do with performing well on the homework and maybe even getting it done for them.

The person answering the question can keep a potentially opinionated discussion under control by presenting what someone else has written, with references, rather than pure assertions expressing their own opinions. If the answer or comment leaves the readers with an introduction pointing them somewhere else to look besides these assertions, this provides as much objectivity as I expect to find.

As an example, this specific answer that I am providing right now is an opinion because it is in the meta section. Were it in the philosophy section, I would present the answer pointing the reader elsewhere, say, Moral Foundations Theory or somewhere else entirely.

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