What Does Valid Mean?

Understanding the term ‘valid’ requires an insight into its different contexts and usages. The term is employed in various disciplines such as logic, law, and general parlance, each having its nuances. However, a common thread runs through all these meanings – that of authenticity, correctness, or effectiveness.

In general usage, valid is referred to something that is logically sound, justified, or well-founded. If an argument, idea, or reason is valid, it means it is based on evidence or facts and therefore, can be accepted or believed. It conveys the idea of being legally or officially acceptable or recognized.

For example, if you say “Her criticism of the movie was valid,” it means Her criticism is justified or grounded in reasonable judgment. Similarly, if you say “Your ticket is valid,” it means your ticket is currently legal or official and can be used for its intended purpose.

In a legal context, ‘valid’ means that something is legally or officially acceptable. For example, a valid passport is a properly issued and unexpired passport. It means that it corresponds to the rules or requirements set by the law.

In mathematics and logic, ‘valid’ has an even more specialized meaning. In logic, especially, a valid argument is one where if the premises are true, then the conclusion must be true. Here, ‘validity’ is not about whether the statements and conclusion are true or not in the actual world, but instead about the logical connection between them.

For instance, if we have an argument like “If it rains, the streets will be wet; it rained, therefore the streets are wet,” that’s a valid argument because the conclusion logically follows from the premises. It’s not about whether or not it actually rained or if the streets are actually wet: the argument is valid because IF the premises are true, THEN the conclusion must be true.

However, considering the definition of ‘valid’, it’s critical to note that what is deemed valid can change depending on the context, situation, or discipline. For example, a document that is valid in one country might not be recognized or considered valid in another. Same goes with logical or scientific theories, that something considered logically valid for one theory, might not be for another, and vice versa.

In conclusion, ‘valid’ generally stands for something that is right, accepted, legally and officially binding, or logically sound. Therefore, to understand whether something is valid or not, one should examine it based on its rationality, legality, authenticity, and relevance to certain rules or facts.