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  validity of reasoning: coherently good thinking
gary e. davis
January 26, 2019
Genuine thinking takes to heart fidelity to all relevances—to the best of one’s ability—in reasoning (inquiry, conceptualization, justification, and interaction).

“To the best of one’s ability” involves openness to realizing—or staying mindful—that learning never ends: Relevance is always an open issue in inquiry, articulation, and conveyance. Appreciability is always an open potential.

Validity can be usefully characterized as having four dimensions (and a cohering of the four), not all of which become overtly relevant (thematic) for a given dispute, but all being implicitly in play (as coherence of a view) with any reasoning:

• genuineness of engagement (fair interaction):

Trustworthiness (a value) and appropriateness (normativity) of interaction are different from the content of interaction which may imply values and norms as implicatures holding good (or as content advocated for preference or orientation of future interaction). A view that doesn’t distinguish values and norms is, in effect, reducing one to the other. But orientations of action are different in kind (oriented by values—a life-centered “normativity” of preference) from orientations of interaction (oriented by norms—interactional “value”).
• semantic comprehensibility of articulation (meaning of key terms are clear, good form in making sense):
Commonly trivial, semantic good form becomes an issue in complex views, which may depend on special definitions.
• oriental value (perspectivity):
Values not only determine preferences for action, but determine (or are implied as) interpretive frames applied to construals (enframing) and orienting situational stances for interaction (enstancing).
• evidentiary soundness:
Evidence-enough and reliability are not always matters of strict factuality. A given issue that’s not about factuality still needs enough plausibility of evidence in order to continue with the issue. But, of course, many issues are about exact factuality: so-called “truth functionality” in assertion.
• overall good sense:

cohering of all four in effecting one’s view: We “do things” with communication. We are affective or persuasive because the overall coherence of conveyance gels. Philosophers who have sought (or—more commonly—debunked) a “coherence theory of truth” are intuiting (or failing to intuit) that validity is altogether about coherence of engagement, sense, value, and evidence in a liminality of action/interaction (self investment / interpersonal investment).


There’s emancipatory truth (“the truth will set you free”). There’s truthfulness (authenticity, genuineness). There’s normal factuality (evidence enough, common with journalism and trial law). There’s technical truth (“hard evidence” that the thing will not blow up or the substance will not harm). There’s revelatory truth (great discovery).

The truth of a matter is a fine thing.

Indeed, truth is evaluative. The framing of facts as value-free conceals that selected facts are employed in valuational action, and sense of relevance is never value free.

Finding coherence is a matter of ability to comprehend, which expresses potential scale of value. The best explanation (“abduction”) may be the most prospective, the most promising preference.

Inability to construe good faith in controversial authorship and find good conscience is not evidence of anything (except inability), when others show evidentiary good faith. Finding good conscience in a complex view is superior to regarding obscurity as bad conscience. It's a hermeneutical issue of what's mirrored in the finding (i.e., what the interpreter can construe). If inferring to the best explanation (the most evidence-based probable explanation) supports good conscience over bad conscience, that's strong reason to prefer the imagination of good conscience in a controversial other.

“Truth” as coherence of validity-aspects (above) implies that there may be prevailing interest/value of defending one’s integrity (genuinness) which prevails over other dimensions of validity (which serve that vindicative purpose), rather than having fidelity to factuality and normative warrant prevail.

Given acceptance of another’s integrity, we commonly accept as valid a view because it’s held by that person. That’s often reliable (re: an esteemed specialist), as well as sometimes foolish (re: a celebrity marketer). Authority is never a basis for acceptance of a view, but views are often reliably authoritative.

But is an author always the final authority on the meaning of a text? Is imputed authorship (coherence of the text as intended cohering) always congruent with the authorial authorship (i.e., the prevailing coherence that the literal author intended)? The validity of a text accrues to a certain autonomy of the text that often keeps criticism and creative influence in business.

Another kind of difficult aspect of validity (or acting with confidence that the validity of one’s action is accepted) is that situationality is often a fair constraint on the degree of “truth” that’s relevant, such that others’ awareness of the boundaries of candor or justification can cause suspician, as if relativity is self-invalidating.

Persons without a dramactional sense of rationality may blame others for “lack of transparency,” when the reality is about situational (or scenic) relevance.

Commonly, public relations is constrained by the presumption of multiple audiences (some unable to appreciate complex accounts, so oversimplification is prudent—but not unfair figurativeness). A car may sold by reason of power appeal, but it’s also excellently regarded by automotive engineers (but you don’t want the details).

Accounting relative to a limited purpose may conceal interest in the large-scale engagement that is admirable, but not relevant. So, exposure of the boundarids allegedly shows “lack transparency,” when it was actually an effort to be appropriate for an apparently-limited interest expressed by the inquirer.

One person’s ethical instrumentality may be another person’s manipulative duplicity: Ethical duplicity may be more interested in not hurting others’ feelings than being candid about the other’s work thus far (because one needs the other’s self confidence). Or: “My” relations with friend 2 is harmless to my relations with friend 1, but friend 1 wouldn’t understand, without extensive explanation that easily evokes paranoia, while enough time isn’t available to explain. Or: the other is bigoted, but I need their cooperation (due to their control of necessary resources—budgetary control), so I seem to agree with their prejudices, though actually I need to get something done ASAP that requires their cooperation (not their friendship).

The elusiveness of “truth” is a hallmark of Literature and theater because life “is” theater is life.

We rightly respect shared normality. That’s genuine, appropriate, and realistic. The Chinese value of “harmony” is surely conservative (if not dynastic), but ecospherical homeostasis makes the world go ‘round.

Instrumentality of rationality is not unreasonable. Good rationality of interaction serves good reason to be engaged. Good instrumentality serves good projects, which serve good programs, which serve good policies.

Telelogy is generated by the appeal of cohering time for the sake of advancing lives, advancing humanity, and for contributing to Our evolving, lastingly at best. “Realism” (factuality / evidentiary confidence) serves reliability of results for “idealism” (long-term project-ivity).

So, we accumulate a heritage of best practices (causing good “conservatism”) which are constellated into progressive programs (causing good “liberalism”). Finding and sustaining lifelong meaningfulness expresses a balance of goods. That’s leading a life.

Isomorphically, that’s integral to leading an organization. The virtue of leadership is a fine sense of balance irt “all things considered” relevant—mindfulness that is scaled to exemplary degree, relative to given domain and workable range.


next—> appropriative thinking






  Be fair. © 2019, gary e. davis