Definition of presupposition in English:

presupposition

noun

  • 1A thing tacitly assumed beforehand at the beginning of a line of argument or course of action.

    ‘both men shared certain ethical presuppositions about the universe’
    • ‘Discourse ethics has an a priori foundation: the presuppositions of discourse or argument.’
    • ‘The argument explores, therefore, the presuppositions of this self-consciousness.’
    • ‘First, often the very questions which challenge the presuppositions of a given problem are those which on their face seem most naïve.’
    • ‘Kant took himself to be delimiting the a priori presuppositions of experience, and of empirical science.’
    • ‘If they do, a theoretical diagnosis of the sceptic's presuppositions may encourage second thoughts about how well we understand everything he says.’
    • ‘Moral philosophy reposes on natural law precepts as common presuppositions, but its advice will be true only in the main.’
    • ‘Rawls has since tried to eliminate the universalist presuppositions from his theory.’
    • ‘It's not surprising that critics celebrate novels which reflect their own prejudices and presuppositions.’
    • ‘We are permitted, defeasibly, to adopt the usual and mutually expected presuppositions of those around us.’
    • ‘At every turn the novel's implied reader is encouraged to read using a priori expectations, or presuppositions.’
    • ‘My first argument: that no finite set of presuppositions can account for the practically uncountable number of human perspectives.’
    • ‘The argument, he claims is sound, given the six presuppositions.’
    • ‘Moreover, the sceptical argument we have been considering has its own presuppositions, which it claims to know.’
    • ‘Sense is always presupposed as soon as I begin to speak; I would not be able to begin without this presupposition.’
    • ‘The Christian idea of humanity is one such presupposition, and in our country, it is the culturally dominant one.’
    • ‘However, it is by no means necessary to a theory of evolution that it embodies any presupposition of increasing or decreasing complexity.’
    • ‘This is, therefore, an absolutely necessary need and justifies its presupposition not merely as an allowable hypothesis but as a practical postulate.’
    • ‘A very widespread but mistaken presupposition is that Revelation contains secret, coded messages, specifying the dates and details of cataclysmic events just around the corner.’
    • ‘His comment stresses the most important presupposition about the activity of spectators: spectating creates and reinforces our social, political, and even bodily place in the world.’
    • ‘The analysis that follows from this presupposition identifies three tiers of the world economy: core, periphery, and semiperiphery.’
    • ‘I have taken that presupposition for granted for forty years.’
    • ‘And, a third embedded presupposition was that the client could place herself on such a scale.’
    presumption, assumption, preconception, preconceived idea, preconceived notion, supposition, hypothesis, surmise, speculation, guess, prediction, thesis, theory, premise, belief, suspicion, thought, argument, postulation, prejudgement
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1mass noun The action or state of presupposing or being presupposed.
      • ‘Notice that the therapist did not explain or justify this presupposition in a preamble but simply embedded it in the question.’
      • ‘He has tutored Catherine in a form of intertextual ‘reading’ by analogy that forces likeness through automatic and inappropriate presupposition.’
      • ‘Using Clendinnen's private lives to preface this very public one is a tactic meant to stay the hand of presupposition and the stereotypes it holds.’
      • ‘While analogy is not a tainted operation in and of itself, automatic analogy is the means by which presupposition comes to dictate the reading of the text.’
      • ‘I am here reading ‘supposition’ as Austen's thematic version of presupposition, since the latter remains a linguistically specific term.’
      • ‘The problem of determining the alternatives is thereby reduced to the problem of determining presupposition in context: the rules for computing alternatives are the same rules that govern the derivation of presupposition.’
      • ‘The link must be a matter of investigation rather than of presupposition.’
      • ‘The entire novel is positioned on the threshold of turning inside out through Austen's use of negatives and their role in relation to presupposition and to the nature of the novel's parodic voice.’
      • ‘Thus, compound negatives do not merely echo this thematized activity and its attendant dilemmas; instead, they create and undo presupposition.’
      • ‘Nevertheless, parody remains within the economy of presupposition by its genre's definition.’
      • ‘Russell, on the other hand, makes no distinction between assertion and presupposition.’
      • ‘Implicature is concerned with the various inferences we can make without actually being told, and includes presupposition.’
      • ‘Negative constructions have an overdetermined role with respect to presupposition.’
      • ‘The treatment of presupposition is thus generalized and integrated into the discourse update procedure.’
      • ‘The disjunction that has been caused derives from presupposition alone, assisted by Henry, its agent.’
      supposition, presupposition, presumption, premise, belief, expectation, conjecture, speculation, surmise, guess, theory, hypothesis, postulation, conclusion, deduction, inference, thought, suspicion, notion, impression, fancy
      View synonyms

Origin

Mid 16th century from medieval Latin praesuppositio(n-), from the verb praesupponere (see presuppose).

Pronunciation

presupposition

/ˌpriːsʌpəˈzɪʃ(ə)n/