Both can mean "view/idea/opinion".

For example, I can say: 对这个问题有两种不同的看法 (there are two different view on this question)

Would it be reasonable to replace "看法" with "想法"?

  • It could be vary depends on the "question" in 对这个问题 – Alex Jan 26 '16 at 18:46
  • studying the 100 example sentences for 想法 at jukuu might supply the answer – user6065 Jan 26 '16 at 21:01
up vote 2 down vote accepted

Think about a scenario: You and your group are asked to do a social survey, and you're going to pick up your topic by yourselves. So you called a meeting to discuss it. Everybody talked about their ideas(想法), and you vote for a topic.
Think about another scenario: At class, your professor played a piece of video about some hot news, and then he wanted you to talk about your own point of view(看法).
So, "想法" is usually used when there is some problem need to be discussed to solve. "看法" is usually used when people talked about their opinions about something happened or some social phenomenon.
"想" means you need to think and "看" means how you see this.
Yet in daily life, replace one with another won't make it a big deal, so people sometimes don't take the difference seriously, they just speak it out. May this would help.

  • Great answer! Another question: what about 注意 in relation to 想法? – Andrew Guo Feb 1 '16 at 18:28
  • edit: I meant to say 主意 instead of 注意 – Andrew Guo Feb 1 '16 at 18:36
  • 1
    Hi, sorry for the late response. Let's presume there is a problem need to be solved. And you think and think and finally you came up a thought, just a thought and you didn't know if this 'thought' could solve the problem, so you can say"我有一个想法"; or you think and think and Bingo,you had an idea, and you're confident about your idea,then you can say "我有一个主意". So "主意" is more self-confident/possible than "想法". May this would help.@AndrewGuo – Hunter Feb 4 '16 at 4:19

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