A proposition in formal logic is an assertion that a certain condition is true. For example, "It is raining in Boston." According to the rules of Western logic, this proposition can have only one of two values: either it is true, or it is false.
In philosophy, and to a certain extent in politics and ordinary conversation or writing, a person may take any of three positions on any given proposition:
- They may believe that it is true;
- They may believe that it is false;
- They may remain neutral, i.e., uncommitted as to whether it is true or false.
The person's reason for neutrality can be any of many various things. They may fear to be wrong - or to be seen as wrong. They may be an engineer or doctor who has not studied the matter carefully enough yet, and wishes to remain open-minded until they have enough evidence to be sure. They may worry about what other people will think of their opinion. For example, "Ken didn't say whether he thought the boss was right about the new product because he feared losing his job."