I'm looking for a term to express that a certain component of a system gives coherence to it. I've found that coherencer exists, but it's used in just a couple of physics papers, and it's sort of a neologism. Consider the next example:

Edit 1: The principle of justice as fairness was the "coherencer" of Rawls' system.

Edit 2: I came across the term coherer, which is an electrical device that brings coherence in a system. Would this be a valid term outside the electrical arena?

Would anyone suggest alternatives please? thanks!

closed as off-topic by Drew, curiousdannii, jimm101, Skooba, Canis Lupus Mar 17 '17 at 23:28

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  • 2
    Can you please edit the post to include a sentence in which you'd like the proposed word or phrase to fit? – MDHunter Mar 16 '17 at 13:03
  • "Coherence" is a pretty vague term to begin with. What meaning do you wish to convey? – Hot Licks Mar 16 '17 at 13:10
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    'Glue' (both verb and noun) is often used metaphorically. (And notice that 'coherencer' in your example sentence isn't a verb.) Here, I'd use ' ... cohesive force behind ... ' or 'The principle of justice as fairness underpinned Rawls' system'. – Edwin Ashworth Mar 16 '17 at 13:13
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    I can't get to a single word for this. It's trying to express too many properties: that it's part of the system, essential to it, a thing that promotes coherence within it (by some mechanism). You might consider variations on unifying or underlying like, "unifying element." However, I would flip the order and rephrase it as, "Rawls' system cohered around the principle of justice as fairness." – MDHunter Mar 16 '17 at 13:27
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    linchpin would work. – Phil Sweet Mar 16 '17 at 13:38

What manner of reader or listener should determine how the thought is expressed. Churchill, speaking to masses might have said:

The notion that justice is fairness binds our way of doing things.

In other situations, one might use:

The principle of equity fixes our system of justice


That justice is fairness solidifies our system

Certainly you may use binder, fixer or solidifier, they are all "dictionary" Merriam Webster on line words. There may be other words that express what you intend.

  • Thanks @JTaylor, but I'm trying to stay within the systems thinking terminology. BTW, has anyone seen coherer used as a valid term outside the electrical field? – Oliver Amundsen Mar 17 '17 at 12:20

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