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