Definition of presupposition in US English:

presupposition

noun

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

    ‘images that challenge presuppositions about feminine handiwork’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Discourse ethics has an a priori foundation: the presuppositions of discourse or argument.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Moreover, the sceptical argument we have been considering has its own presuppositions, which it claims to know.’
    • ‘Kant took himself to be delimiting the a priori presuppositions of experience, and of empirical science.’
    • ‘First, often the very questions which challenge the presuppositions of a given problem are those which on their face seem most naïve.’
    • ‘It's not surprising that critics celebrate novels which reflect their own prejudices and presuppositions.’
    • ‘The argument explores, therefore, the presuppositions of this self-consciousness.’
    • ‘Rawls has since tried to eliminate the universalist presuppositions from his theory.’
    • ‘Sense is always presupposed as soon as I begin to speak; I would not be able to begin without this presupposition.’
    • ‘And, a third embedded presupposition was that the client could place herself on such a scale.’
    • ‘At every turn the novel's implied reader is encouraged to read using a priori expectations, or presuppositions.’
    • ‘However, it is by no means necessary to a theory of evolution that it embodies any presupposition of increasing or decreasing complexity.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘We are permitted, defeasibly, to adopt the usual and mutually expected presuppositions of those around us.’
    • ‘The Christian idea of humanity is one such presupposition, and in our country, it is the culturally dominant one.’
    • ‘My first argument: that no finite set of presuppositions can account for the practically uncountable number of human perspectives.’
    • ‘This is, therefore, an absolutely necessary need and justifies its presupposition not merely as an allowable hypothesis but as a practical postulate.’
    • ‘The argument, he claims is sound, given the six presuppositions.’
    • ‘I have taken that presupposition for granted for forty years.’
    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. 1.1 The action or state of presupposing or being presupposed.
      • ‘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 treatment of presupposition is thus generalized and integrated into the discourse update procedure.’
      • ‘The link must be a matter of investigation rather than of presupposition.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Negative constructions have an overdetermined role with respect to presupposition.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Notice that the therapist did not explain or justify this presupposition in a preamble but simply embedded it in the question.’
      • ‘Nevertheless, parody remains within the economy of presupposition by its genre's definition.’
      • ‘The disjunction that has been caused derives from presupposition alone, assisted by Henry, its agent.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I am here reading ‘supposition’ as Austen's thematic version of presupposition, since the latter remains a linguistically specific term.’
      • ‘Thus, compound negatives do not merely echo this thematized activity and its attendant dilemmas; instead, they create and undo presupposition.’
      • ‘He has tutored Catherine in a form of intertextual ‘reading’ by analogy that forces likeness through automatic and inappropriate presupposition.’
      supposition, 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

/ˌprēˌsəpəˈziSH(ə)n//ˌpriˌsəpəˈzɪʃ(ə)n/