Coherence in Dictionary

Coherence, from the Latin cohaerentia, is the cohesion or relationship between one thing and another. The concept is used to name something that is logical and consistent with respect to an antecedent. For example: “The secretary showed his coherence and resigned before the dismissal of his boss”, “What you are saying is not coherent”, “The president affirmed that he will continue working with coherence to solve the problems of the population.

The coherent, therefore, maintains the same line with a previous position. If a man claims that he would never leave his country and, within a few weeks, travels to settle abroad, he will have engaged in incoherent (inconsistent) behavior. On the other hand, if a footballer claims that he would not play for a different club than the one that saw him debut and then rejects a millionaire offer from another team, it can be said that he is a coherent person.

Consistency is also associated with what is understandable from logic. A politician will speak coherently if he does not make impossible promises or distort reality. The opposite would be that he promised things that he will not be able to fulfill.

This concept is especially subjective, since the lack of coherence can be very serious in some contexts, but somewhat unimportant in others. In the examples given above, especially with regard to the decisions and promises of a government, being consistent with the statements themselves and with the plans is synonymous with responsibility, and it is a trait that citizens look for in their leaders to be able to trust in they.

However, life is made up of thousands of trivial situations, such as choosing a flavor of ice cream or a color of shoes, and in no way a sudden change or a contradiction in such decisions can represent a negative trait of a person, nor a threat to the safety of those around you, despite being valid examples of inconsistency.

On another, deeper level, current societies are characterized by a lack of coherence between the needs of citizens and their actions. Very commonly, human beings feel lost, especially when we reach certain key points in our lives, as if we do not know who we are, what our goals are, why we act in one way or another. This feeling of not having control over ourselves is related to the lack of connection that exists between our deep desires and what we really do.

Why do we choose to study a university degree that does not represent our true vocation? Why do we get married if we prefer being single? Why do we have children before achieving the economic and emotional stability necessary to support a family?

Not acting consistently when making such decisions can seriously affect us for the rest of our lives, as well as the rest of the people involved, such as being a couple and children. But it is not a mere mistake, but rather the consequence of a strong influence that conditions us from birth, and is transmitted to us by our elders and the media: the world tells us how we should be, what we should do, what we must like it and, in many cases, we end up believing it; although, sooner or later, the truth emerges.

For linguistics, textual coherence is the state of a text in which its components act in solidarity groups. This means that, beyond the unitary entities and secondary ideas, it is possible to find a global meaning around a main theme. Words, sentences, and paragraphs are consistent to create the meaning of a chapter, while chapters are consistent for the unit of a book.