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  truth and method with alien conceptuality
gary e. davis
June 2023
Anticipating a detailed conception of conceptuality (based in cognitive science of concepts): Concepts are better understood as tropes for a cohering of constellated understanding which, for the constellater, is best named with that term as concept of given understanding.

For example, there’s no such thing as what  “truth” is, only how understanding ‘truth’ may be best employed, all things considered. (That’s much more than a deflationist sense of ‘truth’, to my mind.)

Authorial understanding implies that “what I think” implicitly expresses a validity claim of confidence in the reliability of conveyed understanding relative to new terms or re-definition of common ones. Validity is a reliabilist value. (I will advocate a reliabilism which involves all modes of validity claim: genuineness, normativity, evidentiality [or truth-functionality in the factual sense], and cogency or comprehensibility.)

“Insufficient” validation (insufficiently explicated warrant) may pertain to exact articulation which [at least tacitly] anticipates refinement relative to an other’s level of wanting that (youth…specialist, etc.), rather than being fully discursive
in anticipation of any likely audience. Reader reality is quite plural and ultimately evolving, but conceptual prospecting can have general confidence about its terms relative to working with any later audience.

Validity is basically about genuineness, action-oriental value (the basis for norm-
ative appeal), and aptness of interest (level of cogency), which “knowing full well” serves.

A prevailing conception is like a jetstream of authorial or cultural sway, at best—
to my mind—serving an appealing futurity of Our humanity. (Heidegger writes at length about the “sway” of showing through language, in On the Way to Language. Academic programs in rhetoric are integrally relevant to that.)

Keywords of culture tend to be about what has become common sense because
the sway of its relevance is so felicitous. So, inasmuch as conceptions re-appropriate common terms, a shared basis can be a good way to think newly, relative to new senses of shared terms.

But grounding new conceptions through common terms can be mistaken for idiosyncratic misconceiving of what deserves to stay traditionally understood.
So, the task of thinking with “you” (tending toward intimate tutorial) is likely the best way to advance new kinds of understanding, rather than trying to anticipate any likely audience (rhetoric of formality in lecturing), as if a universalistic basis for understanding developmental and evolving situations should make clear sense to any development level of interest. Doing formal discourse is not yet teaching.

So, the “practical” place for conceptual analysis is academic guilds and domains. Academia lives relative to (expresses) the evolving background of directly and indirectly practical aspects of living life (personal, cultural, conceptual, social, and political). Interest in the former (“pure” academia) can’t be expected outside of specialist audiences.

Sharing conceptual inquiry (reporting out from inner Work) reconciles to lack
of general audience cogency, including ordinary aversion to conceptual work.
(But confidence about one’s Work’s is good for want of solitude venturing onward fruitfully, if only to oneself).

The eventual Point is shared understanding between/among “us,” thanks to excellence in teaching, appealing results, and contributing to new generations of your/their futuring of humanity.

“Alien as I may seem,” I’m caused to feel sometimes, “be assured that there’s reliable backing for the venture.”

The audacious artist isn’t wanting ultimate homelessness (the marginalized stranger), rather enrichment of our shared horizons, landscapes, and gardens— and maybe, along the way, being an entertaining Entertaining (non-trivially good show), as master teachers usually are.

But note: I don’t regard myself as a master teacher. But I want to understand such leading virtue as best I can.

next—> on being for better humanity


  Be fair. © 2023, gary e. davis