Reasoning About Facts

Written by L. Michael Hall, Ph.D Posted in L. Michael Hall, Ph.D. on Thursday, 06 January 2022.

From: L. Michael Hall
2021 Neurons #76
November 29, 2021                                              
Facts #6

 

When you reason, you reason using facts and about facts.  The process begins with data, the data is then turned into facts as a factual statement that assert something.  The process for turning the details into facts involves reasoning—how you order your thoughts.  This process is the very way that you and I construct meaning.  We invent meaning about what exists and so in our reasoning we make factual statements, “X exists,” “There is such a thing as Y.”  We invent meanings about causes, “X causes Y.”  We make meanings about what’s important and significant, “X is Z (a value term).”  The bottom line is that we have to structure facts, to put them together in an ordered form to construction meaning.

In this way each of us invents our sense of reality for ourselves.  We express this in NLP by calling it a person’s model of the world.  This internal representation of things that we select and present to ourselves operates like a map—we map what things are, how they work, the rules by which they work, what we can or should do, etc.  To make all of this work, we first construct facts and then we work the facts into a coherent picture or a coherent narrative as the story we tell ourselves.  As we do, we start to assume our facts and take them for granted.  This moves the facts to a position where they are unquestioned, and even unquestionable.  They become the premises upon which we build more elaborate theories and understandings.

Amazing, isn’t it?  I hope this description brings into focus the critical nature of facts and the importance of getting your facts right.  This is such an important piece for clear thinking, rational reasoning, and creation of knowledge that makes a positive difference in your life.  Only in that way can your reasoning from the facts give you a map by which you then navigate your life effectively and productivity.

When The Media Doesn’t Check The Facts

Written by L. Michael Hall, Ph.D Posted in L. Michael Hall, Ph.D. on Thursday, 06 January 2022.

From: L. Michael Hall
2021 Neurons #75
November 22, 2021                                              
Facts #5


In this deep dive into facts, what they are, how to identify a true fact from a false one, how to establish factual evidence, there has been playing out on the media in the past couple weeks a real mis-use of “facts” and generation of non-facts.  Some of the media, not all of it, has played really loose and wild with facts, others have offered lies as “facts” with a straight face. In the last administration, the media “fact checked” everything President Trump said.  Today they have given that up and do not even attempt to fact check President Biden.

Here’s a fact to start with.  On Friday, the jury in Kenosha Wisconsin returned a “not guilty” verdict on all five counts against Kyle Rittenhouse.  After 26 hours of deliberating, they decided on the basis of the facts and the evidence presented that Kyle had shot three people in self-defense.  That event occurred in August of 2020 when a young teenager came to Kenosha where his dad lived the day after riots and burnings of buildings to give medical aid and to protect a friends.  Once there, he was asked to help protect a friend’s car dealership from the violence and rioting.

The amazing thing about facts is that they are pretty easily established when you have a video record.  And that’s what the jury had.  So the case for self-defense was pretty easy given that you could see Kyle running away from the mob and being chased and then defending himself. There was also video of him falling to the ground, being beaten on the head with a skateboard.

There are Facts and There are Meta-Facts

Written by L. Michael Hall, Ph.D Posted in L. Michael Hall, Ph.D. on Thursday, 06 January 2022.

From: L. Michael Hall
2021 Neurons #73
November 15, 2021
Facts #4

 

If you have been following these articles on facts you know that not all facts are the same. There are facts at different levels of abstraction and there are meta-facts—facts about facts. While I have mentioned them in passing, let’s now identify and describe this phenomenon of meta-facts. For example, we have already noted these things about facts:

Facts are statements that assert something about reality.
Facts are dependent and fallible in sensing and in thinking (reasoning).
Facts are dependent on context.
Primary facts are empirical and public and can be tested.
Secondary facts are conclusions draw from first level facts.

As we now step back and think about facts, here are some meta-facts:

Why METAMIND?  read