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  • Obvuto refers to a kind of truth value. An obvuto statement is true and useful as long as one appreciates the extent to which it may tend to mislead or be untrue.

    An important use of the word obvuto is as a label to call out statements that may be true in some respect, but may harbor a falsity, an unproven notion, a misleading or deceptive element, etc.

    An obvious reason for using this word might be to shine a light on an attempt to slide a half-truth into a debate. But such a usage is covered by words like misleading, or even bullshit.

    Obvuto implies an effort to negotiate admission for a less-than-perfect assertion of fact: either party to the discussion might call out the obvuto nature of a statement, recommending that it be allowed as admissible as long as the potentially misleading nature of the statement is clearly acknowledged. In this way, the discussion can be allowed to move forward, but with the appropriate caveats.

    The word obvuto might also be used in an analytical sense to describe how individuals interact with information that is true in some degree, but also defective. Some individuals may immediately grok the obvuto nature of the statement, and thereby make more effective use of the information or idea, while others may be blind to its obvuto nature and thus fall prey to the misleading aspect of the assertion.

    Obvuto statements are not always deliberately deceptive and are often extremely helpful. Models are obvuto, as are axioms. Either can be aids to very clear thinking, or can cause the obvuto-blind to make huge errors of reasoning.

    January 31, 2015