TRINPsite 54.33.3 - 55.27.2  
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Strictly speaking, 'doxastic relevance' is no relevance, and amongst ourselves it is, indeed, superfluous to speak of "nondoxastic relevance". Yet, in a wider or introductory context this addition stresses our ontological and epistemological position that something is not relevant merely because it is believed to be relevant. We have seen in the Book of Instruments how the use of the notion of relevance (especially the phenomenological one) sometimes tends to be excessive and doxastic, and we rather take a certainty for an uncertainty. This is not to suggest, of course, that we ourselves can be sure about what is relevant; actually no-one can. It does mean tho that we think it very important to apply at least the criterion of inconsistence, which does away with partial relevancy, the criterion of the fake focus, which does away with fake focuses of relevancy and the criterion of mere correlation, which does away with pseudofactual relevancy. Even if we, or other people, believe something to be relevant, it is not relevant if, for example, the focus of relevance is fake. The doxastic relevance is, then, irrelevance all the same. Nondoxastic relevance and irrelevance, however, are there, whether believed in or not.

The question of why the nondoxastic relevance we are concerned about must be discriminational relevance, has only to be answered for the role of relevance in the ground-world as our principle of relevance is a nonpropositional one. Hence, it need not be explained why relevance-relatedness or semantic relevance are not interesting here. The fact that we are dealing with a principle of relevance which, when interpreted, yields a norm, makes it definitely impossible, too, that the relevance concerned is statistical or causal, for statistical and causal relevance are modal conditions, not factual ones. If something ever should be statistically or causally relevant, then only as a means to something else. The relevance is, then, merely instrumental, not a perfective (or perfectively instrumental) value, which it is supposed to be on the normative principle of relevance.

The relevance of a nonpropositional principle of relevance must be value-dependent relevance, and must be classified on the basis of the type of fundament involved. To classify it on the basis of the type of terminus involved would either leave the principle of relevance without content, or would establish a different value for which the relevance would merely be a means. 'Moral' or 'motivational relevance', for instance, leave a principle of relevance devoid of any practical meaning even when the fundament is given, because the question which remains then is with respect to what moral value or with respect to what kind of motivation should something be relevant?. On the other hand, when the terminus is defined in denotative terms, it is the value of the terminus which is given its normative significance by the 'principle of relevance', not relevance itself. For example, when something has to be socially relevant (or 'of practical relevance to the interests of society at large'), and the social goal is simultaneously defined as the greatest happiness of the greatest number of citizens, it is this particular happiness value which is made the subject of the relevance principle. The relevance principle tho, holds independently of the kind of terminus involved, that is, independently of the focus of relevancy. Setting aside forms of relevancy which are gradations of value-dependent relevancy on a decision-theoretical level, such as 'topical' or 'primary' and 'marginal' or 'minor relevance', the object of the relevance principle is therefore nothing else than pragmatic or discriminational relevance.

Pragmatic relevance in the ground-world is itself merely a type of discriminational relevance, namely the relevance of distinctions made by the speaker or writer between words, phrases, statements, and so on. It is the relevance of a speech act done where an alternative act could have been done, that is, where a decision between different acts has been taken. It is in this decision that one or more distinctions are, or have been drawn. The very need of a principle of relevance was demonstrated in this field in the first place. When we concluded --in the Book of Instruments-- that even 'purely descriptive theories' ought to be true and relevant, this true and this relevant referred to statements made as part of a theory. But making a statement is a speech act in which a person distinguishes one class of things from another, and in which `e decides to mention some things and not to mention other things. Since the pragmatic relevance involved in speaking and writing is only a special kind of discriminational relevance, and since discriminational relevance is the most extensive form of relevance which can be the subject of a nonpropositional relevance principle which does not fix a focal determinant, it is this form we must be dealing with when talking of such a principle.

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