Facts and Values

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 #81
December 20, 2021
Facts #9


A day came in Maslow’s life when he made a big semantic leap.  It happened the day that he said that facts can be both description and normative.  Now that is a big leap!  In this he suggested that facts do not just point out what is, but also what ought to be.  You may recall (Neurons #78) that Maslow said that facts can tell you what to do.

Now to facilitate this leap, he also said he would call such the words which facilitate this semantic leap—“fusion-words.”  For him, these words describe “a fusion of facts and values.”  If facticity tells us about the data (the empirical information at the sensory level), then fusion-words like...

“... mature, evolved, developed, stunted, crippled, fully functioning, graceful, awkward, clumsy, self-actualization, diminution” and the like are “fusions of the normative and the descriptive” (Farther Reaches of
Human Nature, 1971, p. 28)

Words in that list are fusion-words.  In NLP we recognize them mostly as nominalizations. In Meta-States many of them are evaluations and classifications that exist at a level up from the primary level.  And, for what reason did Maslow bring them up and invent this idea of fusion-words?  Maslow wrote this in the context of critiquing science for falling into the trap of attempting to be value-free.  But the very idea of a value-free science or world, he noted, was non-normative and non-human.

“Fusion concepts and words permit us to participate in the normal advance of science and knowledge from its phenomenological and experiential beginnings on toward greater reliability, great validity, greater confidence, greater exactness, greater sharing with others and agreement with them.” (Ibid., p. 28)

Distinguishing Facts and Opinions

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 #80
December 13, 2021
Facts #8


There are many different kinds of statements.  Some statements are factual, some are not. Given the nature of language, most of the statements that you make and that you hear are not factual.  Amazing, isn’t it?  So what are they?  Most of the statements that we exchange among ourselves as we communicate are opinions, evaluations, judgments, beliefs, decisions, identifications, and on and on.  Further, when it comes to facts as I have noted, there are real facts and there are pseudo-facts.

What then?  How should we operate in a world where facts are actually pretty scarce and where there are many kinds of statements that are derivative (or supposedly) from facts?  The most obvious answer is to aim to make statements that are true-to-the-facts.  That is a phrase from Alfred Korzybski in Science and Sanity.  By way of contrast, he spoke about false-to-fact statements and how they fail to align with reality and therefore represent false mapping.  Such statements do not accord to the facts that we can determine or detect in reality.  And doesn’t all of that make sense?  So here is what we have.

Facts Can Tell You What To Do

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 #78
December 6, 2021
Facts #8

The Transition from Is to Ought

First, the is.  What exists—where, when, and in what way.  What we can assert as a true and valid statement about the data we discover in the world. Normally facts point to grounded sensory-based information.  Yet Maslow also noted that they also point in a direction, i.e., they are vectorial.

“Fact just don’t lie there like pancakes, just doing nothing; they are to a certain extent signposts which tell you want to do, which make suggestions to you, which nudge you in one direction rather than other.  They ‘call for,’ they have demand character, they even have ‘requiredness’ as Kohler [co-founder of Gestalt] called it.” (Farther Reaches of Human Nature, 1971, p. 26, italics added)

The discovery of facts, truth, and reality depends on what is, that is, on what exists.  When you know what is, often you then know what to do.  In fact, Maslow suggested that the facts, the is,  can tell you want to do.  He illustrated by referring to carving a turnkey. 

“Carving a turkey is made easier by the knowledge of where the joints are, how to handle the knife and fork —that is, by possessing fully knowledge of the facts of the situation.  If the facts are fully known, they will guide us and tell us what to do.  But what is also implied here is that the facts are very soft-spoken and that it is difficult to perceive them.  In order to be able to hear the fact-voices, it is necessary to be very quiet, to listen very receptively. ... If we wish to permit the facts to tell us their oughtness, we must learn to listen to them in a very specific way...” (Ibid., p. 120)

Now “to listen very receptively,” in NLP terms, is “losing the mind and coming to one’s senses.” It is coming into an uptime state (rather than down inside oneself) and into sensory awareness.  Then you can more cleanly see and hear reality for it is rather than for what you wish it to be.  As Maslow was modeling fully functioning people, he noted that the self-actualizing person is “a good perceiver of reality and truth” and has a “clear perception of facts” because he accepts reality for what it is.  He places no demands on reality.  This enables her to see what is the case and to end up be superior in perception of reality and in the ability to reason.

Why METAMIND?  read