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Cogency   /kˈoʊdʒənsi/   Listen
Cogency

noun
1.
Persuasive relevance.
2.
The quality of being valid and rigorous.  Synonyms: rigor, rigour, validity.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Cogency" Quotes from Famous Books



... from its first inception, to be an imaginative version of the "Political Justice," he would have had to invent a different plan and different characters. The arguments of a sociological novel lack cogency unless the characters are fairly representative of average mankind. Godwin's principal actors are both, to say the least, exceptional. They are lofty idealizations of certain virtues and powers of mind. Falkland is like Jean Valjean, a superhuman creature; and, indeed, "Caleb Williams" ...
— Caleb Williams - Things As They Are • William Godwin

... think the inclusion of the Preface—not because I agree with it any less—more dubious than I did then. In this Preface the doctrine of "art for art's sake" and of its consequent independence of any licet or non-licet from morality is put with great ability and no little cogency, but in a fashion essentially juvenile, from its want of measure and its evident wish to provoke as much as to prove.[216] Without it the book would probably have excited far less odium and opprobrium than it has actually done; it ...
— A History of the French Novel, Vol. 2 - To the Close of the 19th Century • George Saintsbury

... persuasion forces him to take a six-mile walk and swallow the revolting draught, then, and only then, is triumph secured. So a preacher may convince the habitual sinner of the heinousness of sin; he may win his applause by the cogency of his reasoning and the brilliancy of his style; but not till he has moved his will to fling the old fetters to the winds, not till he brings him a tearful penitent to the ...
— The Young Priest's Keepsake • Michael Phelan

... In the case, for example, upon which you dwelt, of the impressions of external sense, the certainty of the impressions is your and my certainty that we have them; and so in the case of a cogent argument; for any given person the test of the cogency is his perception that the cogency is there. And it is the same with the Beautiful and the Good; there is no conceivable test except perception. Our difficulty here is simply that perceptions conflict; not that we have no independent test. But if, as in the ...
— The Meaning of Good—A Dialogue • G. Lowes Dickinson

... Clayton saw the cogency of his friend's reasoning, and, after agreeing to meet Witherspoon in the Astor Rotunda each evening until the sailing of the "Fuerst Bismarck," he proceeded to the office to take up the ...
— The Midnight Passenger • Richard Henry Savage

... cogency of the system of debate followed in the Indian Council has not seemed to me clearly demonstrable; nor is the cause for the honour attaching to the Chiefs of the Mohawks and Senecas, and of the Onondagas, respectively, of commencing and closing discussion, very explicable. I believe, ...
— A Treatise on the Six-Nation Indians • James Bovell Mackenzie

... her guns. Her husband, who delighted in her public attitude, was amazed when she rounded upon him in their domestic sanctuary, and emphatically took the other side. In his disgust, he made a very penetrating observation, whose cogency Violet realized, though she loftily ignored it at the time it was uttered. But three or four nights later, at an opera dinner at the Heaton-Duncans, she fired it off shamelessly, as a shot out of ...
— The Real Adventure • Henry Kitchell Webster

... occasion which first introduced the author to the knowledge of opium. Whether afterwards, having been thus initiated by the demon of pain, the opium confessor did not apply powers thus discovered to purposes of mere pleasure, is a question for himself; and the same question applies with the same cogency to Coleridge. Coleridge began in rheumatic pains. What then? This is no proof that he did not end in voluptuousness. For our parts, we are slow to believe that ever any man did, or could, learn the somewhat awful truth, that in a certain ruby-colored elixir, there lurked a divine power to chase ...
— Narrative And Miscellaneous Papers • Thomas De Quincey

... occasion to remark what vexations and inconveniences arise from this privilege of deceiving one another. The active and vivacious have so long disdained the restraints of truth, that promises and appointments have lost their cogency, and both parties neglect their stipulations, because each concludes that they will ...
— The Young Gentleman and Lady's Monitor, and English Teacher's Assistant • John Hamilton Moore

... Arneel, with a cogency of reasoning which did not at the moment appear on the surface, inquired: "Do any of you happen to know anything in particular about the state of Mr. Cowperwood's finances at present? Of course we know of the Lake Street 'L' and the Northwestern. I hear ...
— The Titan • Theodore Dreiser

... point out to the readers, who are not 'so learned,' where the 'jet of our arguments lieth,' and the 'emphasis' they are to lay upon 'those words'; whereby they will take in readily our 'sense' and 'cogency.' Some 'pragmatical' people have said, that an author who doth a 'great deal of this,' either calleth his readers 'fools,' or tacitly condemneth 'his own style,' as supposing his meaning would be 'dark' without it, or that all of his 'force' lay in 'words.' But all ...
— Clarissa, Or The History Of A Young Lady, Volume 8 • Samuel Richardson

... is absolutely clear, and Browning's "obscurity" an invention of the invertebrate. The problems presented by his writing are merely tough, and will always yield to intelligent and patient scrutiny. But the problems presented by his mind are elusive, and it would be hard to resist the cogency of his interpreters, if it were not for their number. The rapid succession of acute and notable studies of Browning put forth during the last three or four years makes it even more apparent than it was before that the last word on Browning has not yet ...
— Robert Browning • C. H. Herford

... in favour of the great truths of religion valueless; for if there are no universals, rational theism is impossible. It follows that the famous scholastic 'proofs of God's existence' have for Newman no cogency whatever; indeed it is difficult to see how he can have escaped condemning the whole philosophy of St. Thomas Aquinas as a juggling with bloodless concepts. Newman himself pleaded that he had no wish to oppose the official dogmatics of his Church. But protestations ...
— Outspoken Essays • William Ralph Inge

... state, than incur those which the very removal of a master-spirit was certain to occasion. We may bind men not to change laws, but we cannot bind the spirit and the opinion, from which laws alone derive cogency or value. We may guard against the innovations of a multitude, which a wise statesman sees afar off, and may direct to great ends; but we cannot guard against that dangerous accident—not to be foreseen, not to be directed—the ambition of ...
— Athens: Its Rise and Fall, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... drunkenness, gentlemen," said the coroner, imitating as well as he might the facetious cogency of a real judge, "and I imagine that the standard of the Merrymouth may be more advanced than in some other places. I don't think"—and he looked sarcastically at Westray—"I do not think we need carry this inquiry farther. We have a man who drinks, ...
— The Nebuly Coat • John Meade Falkner

... Learning (1690) is far from deserving the disdain of Macaulay, who describes its matter as "ludicrous and contemptible to the last degree." [Footnote: The only point in it which need be noted here is that the author questioned the cogency of Fontenelle's argument, that the forces of nature being permanent human ability is in all ages the same. "May there not," he asks, "many circumstances concur to one production that do not to any other in one or many ages?" Fontenelle speaks of trees. It is conceivable ...
— The Idea of Progress - An Inquiry Into Its Origin And Growth • J. B. Bury

... islands, we are in the habit of regarding mankind as of one species, but a fortnight's steam will land us in a country where divines and savants, for once in agreement, vie with one another in loudness of assertion, if not in cogency of proof, that men are of different species; and, more particularly, that the species negro is so distinct from our own that the Ten Commandments have actually no reference to him. Even in the calm region of entomology, ...
— Darwiniana • Thomas Henry Huxley

... own. Let her remark further, that should her people set their hearts pretty strongly on those national seminaries, which in many parts of the country would become, if opened up, wholly their own de facto, and which are already their own de jure, they might not be quite able to feel the cogency of the argument that, while it left Socinians and Papists in the enjoyment of at once very liberal and very flexible Government grants, challenged their right to choose, on their own responsibility, State-paid teachers for their children; and which virtually assured them, ...
— Leading Articles on Various Subjects • Hugh Miller

... be captious, I should say that the reason why the general could not use the wagons he had was that a large number of them lay untouched in the holds of the transports. He might have said, with equal cogency, that there was no lack of food, because at no time could all the hard bread and bacon in his ships be eaten. The usefulness of food and wagons is dependent to some extent upon their location. A superfluity of wagons on board a steamer, five miles at sea, ...
— Campaigning in Cuba • George Kennan

... letter of Dec. 12, 1781, to Dalberg, he admits the cogency of the objection to his horde of robbers 'in our enlightened century' and virtually expresses regret that he had not himself, from the beginning, imagined an earlier date for the action. But he fears that to change the time, now that the piece ...
— The Life and Works of Friedrich Schiller • Calvin Thomas

... information as to his mysterious studies, beyond the assurance that his scheme "would revolutionise the whole face of the material world and of society." In 1820 Mr. Gray published the result of his studies in his 'Observations on a General Iron Railway,' in which, with great cogency, he urged the superiority of a locomotive railway over common roads and canals, pointing out, at the same time, the advantages to all classes of the community of this mode of conveyance for merchandise and persons. In this book Mr. Gray suggested a railway between ...
— Lives of the Engineers - The Locomotive. George and Robert Stephenson • Samuel Smiles

... which led Canning to declare that Wordsworth's pamphlet was the finest piece of political eloquence which had appeared since Burke. And yet if we compare it with Burke, or with the great Greek exemplar of all those who would give speech the cogency of act,—we see at once the causes of its practical failure. In Demosthenes the thoughts and principles are often as lofty as any patriot can express; but their loftiness, in his speech, as in the very truth ...
— Wordsworth • F. W. H. Myers

... vegetable kingdoms have been made Man's instructors for ages past; and ever since the microscope has revealed so many unsuspected wonders, the argument from contrivance and design, Creative Power and infinite Wisdom, has been pressed with increasing cogency. The Heavens, from the beginning, have been felt to "declare the glory of GOD." One department only of Nature, alone, has all along remained unexplored. Singular to relate, the Records of Creation, (as the ...
— Inspiration and Interpretation - Seven Sermons Preached Before the University of Oxford • John Burgon

... been long ago," he replied, without the shadow of a ray of hope. He got up, and turning his face away from Eleanore, said in a half-audible voice: "Let's have no argument, no cogency, no urgency. Not now! Not now when I am creeping along on the earth with such light as is left me, trying to grope my way out of the hole. A man doesn't give up the ghost so quickly as all that, Eleanore. The stomach is a very elastic piece ...
— The Goose Man • Jacob Wassermann

... the bottle, and afterward dropped it just in time to catch, cannily, with his naked left hand, the knife-blade with which the rascal had dug at the unguarded ribs. The Prince was astounded, but he was never a subtle man: here were four knaves who, for reasons unexplained—but to them of undoubted cogency—desired his death: manifestly there was here an actionable difference of opinion; so he had his sword out and killed ...
— Chivalry • James Branch Cabell

... Resurrection of Christ. For a sternly faithful estimate of the cogency of this argument, it must be remembered that all the data, every fact and postulate in each step of the reasoning, rest on the historical authority of the four Gospels, documents whose authorship and date are lost in obscurity. ...
— The Destiny of the Soul - A Critical History of the Doctrine of a Future Life • William Rounseville Alger

... Thomas Aquinas, we see that the scholastic philosopher might be a person of extraordinary insight and erudition, ready to recognize all the objections to his position, and able to express himself with great clearness and cogency.[175] The training in logic, if it did not increase the sum of human knowledge, accustomed the student to make careful distinctions and present his material ...
— An Introduction to the History of Western Europe • James Harvey Robinson

... not to be found in his manner of composition. That derives its immense power from other sources; from passion, intensity, imagination, size, truth, cogency of logical reason. Those who insist on charm, on winningness in style, on subtle harmonies and fine exquisiteness of suggestion, are disappointed in Burke: they even find him stiff and over-coloured. And there are blemishes of this ...
— Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 4, Part 4 - "Bulgaria" to "Calgary" • Various

... who believe that instincts are quasi-sacred, and who, after they have included the fighting instinct in this category, regard it as imposed by fate upon all living animals from the lowest to the highest. For, in the first place, instinct varies greatly in its cogency. We find it to be non-modifiable or modifiable, absolute or relative, permanent or transient, not merely as we pass from one genus to another, but within the same genus as we pass from species to species,[83] and ...
— The Forerunners • Romain Rolland

... the mythical. He threatened to dissolve the whole history into myth. He had no sense for the ethical element in the personality and teaching of Jesus nor of the creative force which this must have exerted. Ullmann says with cogency that, according to Strauss, the Church created its Christ virtually out of pure imagination. But we are then left with the query: What created the Church? To this query Strauss has absolutely no answer to give. The answer is, says Ullmann, that the ...
— Edward Caldwell Moore - Outline of the History of Christian Thought Since Kant • Edward Moore

... those who say love dethrones reason, but observe with what admirable logic, what cogency of deduction Stephen La Mothe could argue upon Commines' incapacity for judgment—thus. He had misjudged Ursula de Vesc, why not also Villon? If there had been this undeserved prejudice against an innocent and helpless girl, was not his contempt for Villon equally unjustified? How, in fact, ...
— The Justice of the King • Hamilton Drummond

... careful scholars and reverent disciples of Christ, who are so earnestly seeking after truth, because the results of their learned researches do not agree with the prejudices of their anathematizers. It is with no less cogency of argument than nobility of feeling that Dr. Briggs replied to his assailants: "If it be heresy to say that rationalists, like Martineau, have found God in the reason, and Roman Catholics, like Newman, have found God in the Church, I rejoice in such heresy, and I do not hesitate ...
— The Arena - Volume 4, No. 24, November, 1891 • Various

... and find out what he means. It would be better for you both. That is what I call enlarging the mind," said Phoebe with a smile; which was, to tell the truth, a very pretty smile, and filled with a soft lustre the blue eyes with which she looked at him. Whether it was this, or the cogency of her argument, that moved the young Anglican, it would be hard ...
— Phoebe, Junior • Mrs [Margaret] Oliphant

... excited by the teaching and the example of every possible past or present art, exhausting itself in attempts to invent, to express, to be something, anything, so long as it is new. Hence forms gratuitous, without organic quality or logical cogency, pulled about, altered and re-altered, carried to senseless finish and then wilfully blurred. Hence that sickly imitation, in a brand-new piece of work, of the effects of time, weather, and of every manner of accident or deterioration: the pottery and ...
— Laurus Nobilis - Chapters on Art and Life • Vernon Lee

... things of any among them." This, however, is said in his account of the year seventy-five, when Waller was only seventy. His name, as a speaker, occurs often in Grey's Collections; but I have found no extracts that can be more quoted, as exhibiting sallies of gaiety than cogency of argument. ...
— Lives of the Poets, Vol. 1 • Samuel Johnson

... single reference to c. vii. Thus he has entirely misled his readers. He has deliberately ignored more than nine-tenths of the evidence in point of amount, and very far more than this proportion in point of cogency. The note was quite appropriate, supposing that the First Epistle of St John were meant, as I assumed; it is a flagrant suppressio veri, if it refers to the First Epistle of St Peter, as our author asserts ...
— Essays on "Supernatural Religion" • Joseph B. Lightfoot

... believe to be wrong over right, and of a duty to redress that iniquity. Outraged national pride would be reinforced by the sense of injustice; and the next war, the war of revenge, would be prepared for, not only by every consideration of interest and of passion, but by every cogency of righteousness. The fact that the Germans are mistaken in their view of the origin of the war has really nothing to do with the case. It is not the truth, it is what men believe to be the truth, that influences their ...
— The European Anarchy • G. Lowes Dickinson

... and not only encouraged him to exertion but gave him opportunities to appear before many important assemblages. On the list of orators whom the League commissioned to go into the agricultural districts to advocate their cause, Mr. Bright's name soon became prominent. By the irresistible cogency and energetic expression which characterized his speech before many thousands in Drury Lane Theatre, his reputation became national, and printed copies being distributed throughout England, a desire to hear him on the ...
— Continental Monthly, Vol. I, No. V, May, 1862 - Devoted To Literature And National Policy • Various

... between modest stillness and heroic energy—nay, between the tenderest conservatism and the boldest plans of world-wide reformation. The witness of history to Christ is a witness which has been given with irresistible cogency; and it has been so given to ...
— The Great Events by Famous Historians, Volume 03 • Various

... majority of the nation plunged headlong into the Russian War, and the grip of the British bull-dog's teeth upon his opponent was not easily loosed, even when good cause for loosing it appeared. We had no more notion of retiring from India in 1857, when the Indian mutineers used some cogency of material argument to make us do so, than we should have of retiring from Ireland, if a new Irish rebellion occurred; but when the question was merely that of breaking up a vast republic beyond the Atlantic in the interests of negro slavery, the horrors and wickedness of war were obvious ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 17, No. 100, February, 1866 • Various

... this deliberate decision of the nation, is that to which it will come whenever again appealed to; and is supported by reasons of cogency. The nation is thoroughly aware of the immense importance of upholding and protecting the agriculture of the country, and that to secure this grand object, it is necessary to admit foreign corn into the country, only when our deficiencies ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, No. CCCXXXIX. January, 1844. Vol. LV. • Various

... as law not contained in an express legislative enactment. In that sense a modern lawyer will agree that he was right. Practically all the English colonies had slavery thoroughly recognized and often without or before legislation; and all the well known legal maxims asserted the cogency of such custom.[20] Mr. Justice Allen considered that no human power could justify slavery—and his brother Saunders agreed with him. It would seem that these judges were concerned with what the law should be, the others with what it ...
— The Journal of Negro History, Volume 5, 1920 • Various

... of the absolute imperious necessity of sharing such a love with none. Putting all notion of principle, of duty, of the understood expediency of conforming to laws divine, and human, out of the question, such a love as Paolina felt demands this with a cogency of insistence that cannot be set aside. And the man who hopes, or flatters himself, or suffers himself to be persuaded that such a love has been given to him upon any other terms, is—he may rely ...
— A Siren • Thomas Adolphus Trollope

... have to close its doors. These facts are forgotten by such advocates of industrial training as oppose the higher schools. Strong as the argument for industrial schools is—and its strength is undeniable—its cogency simply increases the urgency of the plea for higher training-schools and colleges ...
— Masterpieces of Negro Eloquence - The Best Speeches Delivered by the Negro from the days of - Slavery to the Present Time • Various

... decision bears upon the interest of an individual, and if the law is slighted, it is only collaterally. Moreover, although it be censured, it is not abolished; its moral force may be diminished, but its cogency is by no means suspended; and its final destruction can only be accomplished by the reiterated attacks of judicial functionaries. It will readily be understood that by connecting the censorship of the laws with the private interests of members of the community, and by intimately ...
— American Institutions and Their Influence • Alexis de Tocqueville et al

... that the minister of a sacrament does not communicate to the recipient his own character of holiness or of guilt, that it is Christ Himself who baptizes and absolves and gives efficacy to sacramental signs. The cogency of his words, the clearness of his explanations, and his grace of manner led many of the Donatists to desire union with the Church, which he showed them, as Christ's Body, is one and indivisible. His chief works in this controversy are a letter to ...
— Great Men and Famous Women. Vol. 3 of 8 • Various

... not he admits their practical cogency, an attentive reader will not fail to be interested in the attempt Mr. Saintsbury has made to give technical rules of metre for the production of the true prose rhythm. Any one who cares to do so might test the validity of those rules in the nearest possible way, by applying ...
— Essays from 'The Guardian' • Walter Horatio Pater

... could not conceive, how any man could reason so forcibly, without feeling the cogency of his own arguments, paid his visit in a few days, and was denied admission. He had now learned the power of money, and made his way, by a piece of gold, to the inner apartment, where he found the philosopher, in a room half-darkened, with his eyes ...
— Dr. Johnson's Works: Life, Poems, and Tales, Volume 1 - The Works Of Samuel Johnson, Ll.D., In Nine Volumes • Samuel Johnson

... extent undefined in the Scriptures, had gone on for years before Martin appeared. Cartwright and Whitgift had fought, with a certain advantage of warmth and eloquence on Cartwright's side, and with an immense preponderance of logical cogency on Whitgift's. Many minor persons had joined in the struggle, and at last a divine, more worthy than wise, John Bridges, Dean of Salisbury, had produced on the orthodox side one of those enormous treatises (it had some fifteen hundred quarto pages) which are usually ...
— A History of English Literature - Elizabethan Literature • George Saintsbury

... had more success with juries than the subject of this sketch. The secret of this success has been, not more the admirable lucidity and cogency of his addresses, than the confidence and trust with which his reputation for fairness and truthfulness, and his evident abhorrence of exaggeration, have inspired his hearers. Another explanation is, that he has ...
— The Bay State Monthly, Volume 3, No. 6 • Various

... was struck by the cogency of Frank's reasoning. Signing to him to fall back, he whispered to Lieutenant Summers. The latter listened, then nodded. He stood ...
— The Radio Boys with the Revenue Guards • Gerald Breckenridge

... too high, and, without absolutely declining the contract, intimated that he would "wait a while." Said the architect, "Better make up your mind before June, or you may have the Irish Legislature to deal with." This argument acted like magic. The good Father instantly saw its cogency, and, like every other patriotic Nationalist whose personal interest is involved, preferred to place himself in English hands rather than in those of his own countrymen, and incontinently accepted the contract, begging the architect to proceed with ...
— Ireland as It Is - And as It Would be Under Home Rule • Robert John Buckley (AKA R.J.B.)

... the story could have no point. He did not wish to speak of his marriage, if for no other reason than that it was much too late to speak of it. The other reasons remained as valid as ever; but he was bound to confess the superior cogency of this present one. ...
— The Forest Lovers • Maurice Hewlett

... Sherman said, "Webster is right; the Union must be maintained." Lee and Jackson answered, "Calhoun is right; the Union must go, and the sovereign State remain." At Bull Run, Calhoun's doctrine seemed to be in the ascendancy; at Gettysburg, Webster's argument seemed to have the more cogency; at Appomattox Lee withdrew his support from Calhoun, and allowed Daniel Webster's plea that the Union must abide and be now ...
— The Battle of Principles - A Study of the Heroism and Eloquence of the Anti-Slavery Conflict • Newell Dwight Hillis

... in the first place upon the assumption that there is such a thing as witchcraft, and therefore have nothing to do but with the cogency or weakness of evidence as applied to this particular case. Now what are the premises on which they proceed in this question? They believe in a God, omniscient, all wise, all powerful, and whose "tender mercies ...
— Lives of the Necromancers • William Godwin

... allurements and agreeableness to will or desire them. The reasons for willing may present themselves to me with all their most lively and affecting attendants, and the Supreme Being may also attract me by His most persuasive inspirations. But yet for all this actual attraction of objects, cogency of reasons, and even inspiration of a Superior Being, I still remain master of my will, and am free either to will or not ...
— The Existence of God • Francois de Salignac de La Mothe- Fenelon

... Mars, is dependent upon a small number of generally admitted scientific facts; while the conclusions drawn from those facts are simple and direct, requiring no mathematical knowledge to follow them, or to appreciate their weight and cogency. I claim for them, therefore, that they are in no degree speculative, but in their data and methods exclusively scientific. In the next chapter I will put forward a suggestion as to how the very curious markings upon the surface of Mars may possibly be interpreted, so as ...
— Is Mars Habitable? • Alfred Russel Wallace

... these metaphors little that affords an argument against slander; the motive which they suggest would appear to many far-fetched and of small cogency; but to one who looks on this world as a vast whole, and who has recognised the moral law as only a part of the great law of the universe, harmoniously blending with the whole, illustrations such as these are the most powerful of all arguments. The truest definition of evil is that ...
— Sermons Preached at Brighton - Third Series • Frederick W. Robertson

... ungrateful a line of analysis and exposition has been entered upon. It is to be regretted if facts that may flutter the emotions of one and another among the sensitive and unreflecting can not be drawn into such an inquiry without having their cogency discounted beforehand on account of the sentimental value imputed to them. Of course no offense is intended and no invidious ...
— An Inquiry Into The Nature Of Peace And The Terms Of Its Perpetuation • Thorstein Veblen

... see if the argument is a bit the worse for it—thus: "How can you prove that Father Newman informs us a certain thing about the Roman Clergy, by referring to an Anglican or Anglo-catholic Sermon of the Vicar of St. Mary's?" The cogency of the argument remains just where it was. What have I gained in the argument, what has he lost, by my having said, not "an Anglican Sermon," but "a Protestant Sermon?" What dust then is he throwing ...
— Apologia pro Vita Sua • John Henry Newman



Words linked to "Cogency" :   relevance, cogent, rigor, relevancy, validity, credibleness, credibility, believability, rigour



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