The term relevance represents the proximity of information to what is desired. This term can have many implications, depending on the context in which it is used.
Relevance is an important concept in law; in the common law of evidence, "relevance" generally means the tendency of a given item of evidence to prove or disprove one of the legal elements of the case, or to have probative value to make one of the elements of the case likelier or not. Evidence that is irrelevant has no bearing on any of the issues. To be admitted in court, evidence must be both legally relevant and legally admissible.
Relevance notoriously became a buzzword during the 1960s. This time, the word became a word of vague approbation; it generally indicated the tendency of a person, work, or thing to address ideas of concern to New Left politics or counterculture enthusiasms. People and things distant from these concerns were judged "irrelevant."
Last updated: 05-13-2005 07:56:04