There are two types of facts, and two types of thinking. They can be combined into four techniques for making sense of the world.
A first order fact is one that is immediately relevant to a narrative or subject. It is usually presented as a detail in the description of the narrative or subject. Its purpose is to convey information. An example of a first order fact is that the sky is blue on sunny days.
A higher order fact is a fact that is not immediately relevant to a narrative or subject, but which can influence opinion about the subject.
American dinner tables are home to the most common example of a higher-order fact. A child who will not finish dinner is met with the fact that “there are starving children in Africa”. The subject is dinner, and people in Africa are not immediately relevant. The higher order fact is used to make the child eat, not to communicate information.