presuppose

presuppose
presuppose, presume, assume, postulate, premise, posit are comparable when they mean to take something for granted or as true or existent especially as a basis for action or reasoning. Their corresponding nouns presupposition, presumption, assumption, postulate, premise, posit when they denote something that is taken for granted or is accepted as true or existent are distinguishable in general by the same implications and connotations as the verbs.
Presuppose and presupposition, the most inclusive of these words, need not imply dubiousness about what is taken for granted. At the one extreme they may suggest nothing more than a hazy or imperfectly realized belief that something exists or is true or an uncritical acceptance of some hypothesis, in either case casting doubt on what is taken for granted
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a lecturer who talks above the heads of his listeners presupposes too extensive a knowledge on their part

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a school of theology that presupposed the total depravity of human nature

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it presupposes an opposition between the end of the individual and that of the State, such as was entirely foreign to the Greek conception— Dickinson

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At the other extreme the terms may be used in reference to something that is taken for granted because it is the logically necessary antecedent of a thing known to be true or the truth of which is not presently in question
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an effect presupposes a cause

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so deliberate a murder presupposes a motive

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belief in the supernatural presupposes a belief in natural law— Inge

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Presume and presumption may imply conjecture
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I presume they are now in London

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but ordinarily they carry the implication that whatever is taken for granted is entitled to belief until it is disproved. Therefore one presumes only something for which there is justification in experience, or which has been shown to be sound in practice or in theory or which is the logical inference from such facts as are known
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until a man or an organization has been condemned by due process of law he or it must be presumed innocent— Hutchins

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the fact that a custom is ancient and is still revered creates a presumption in its favor

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it cannot be presumed that any clause in the constitution is intended to be without effect— John Marshall

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Assume and assumption stress the arbitrary acceptance as true of something which has not yet been proved or demonstrated or about which there is ground for a difference of opinion
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some debaters weaken their case by assuming too much

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for the sake of argument let us assume that the accident occurred as is contended

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I know of nothing more false in science or more actively poisonous in politics . . . than the assumption that we belong as a race to the Teutonic family— Quiller-Couch

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I . . . assume that one purpose of the purchase was to suppress competition— Justice Holmes

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she was amazed and at a loss. She had assumed that Elfine's family would be overjoyed at their offspring's luck— Gibbons

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Postulate, either as verb or noun, differs from assume or assumption in being more restricted in its application and more exact in its implications. One can assume or make an assumption at any point in a course of reasoning, but one postulates something or lays down a proposition as a postulate only as the groundwork for a single argument or for a chain of reasoning or for a system of thought. Postulate, therefore, has reference to one of the underlying assumptions, which are accepted as true but acknowledged as indemonstrable and without which thought or action or artistic representation is impossible because of the limitations of human knowledge or of human reason or of art
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the ordinary man always postulates the reality of time and of space

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the dramatist postulates certain conventions which it is necessary for the audience to accept

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belief in the uniformity of nature, which is said to be a postulate of science— Russell

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the prevailing theological system is one which postulates the reality of guidance by a personal God— Huxley

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what I'm postulating in all this ... is that the unconscious, you see, has an enormous teleological sense— Mailer

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Premise is often used as though it were identical in meaning with postulate. Premise, the noun, in logic denotes a proposition, or one of the two propositions in a syllogism, from which an inference is drawn. In more general use it may refer to a proposition which is the starting point in an argument. But a premise is not a proposition that is frankly an assumption, as a postulate often is; it may have been previously demonstrated or it may be admitted as true or axiomatic, but it is always advanced as true and not as assumed
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his listeners could not assent to his conclusion because they doubted the truth of his premises

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begin with a simple statement which is the premise for all that I have to say— F. C. James

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Premise, the verb, means to lay down as a premise or to base on or introduce by a premise or other pertinent matter and usually refers to the broader rather than to the technical meaning of the noun
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he premised his argument on a proposition which all but a few of his readers accept as true

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it was quickly evident that the decision was not premised upon any abhorrence of the test oath technique— New Republic

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these observations are premised solely for the purpose of rendering more intelligible those which apply more directly to the particular case under consideration— John Marshall

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Posit, as noun and verb, comes close to postulate in implying the laying down of a proposition as a base for an argument, a line of reasoning, or a system of thought, but it may differ in suggesting subjective and arbitrary grounds rather than, as postulate regularly does, objective and rational grounds for selection of the proposition
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if she needs salvation, she will posit a savior— Santayana

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he did not posit a world of wormless apples to set off the fruit he reported in such wonderful detail— Grattan

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materialism at that time posited the premise that character was the product of environment, and this was the basis for Zola's naturalism— Farrell

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but even when it connotes actual falsity it remains very close to postulate
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such posits or postulated entities are myths from the standpoint of the level below them, the phenomenalistic level— Hofstadter

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kill or be killed, the sergeants cried, discriminating Die from Live, and spoke the truth. And also lied, posited false alternative— Gibson

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Analogous words: surmise, Conjecture, guess: *infer, deduce, gather, judge

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

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  • présupposé — présupposé, ée [ presypoze ] adj. et n. m. • v. 1960; de présupposer 1 ♦ Littér. Supposé d avance. 2 ♦ N. m. Ce qui est supposé et non exposé dans un énoncé. ⇒ implication, présupposition. Les présupposés d un dialogue. ● présupposé nom masculin… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • présupposé — présupposé, ée (pré su pô zé, zée) part. passé. Un principe présupposé.    Absolument. Cela présupposé, cela étant présupposé. •   Et présupposé qu elle le désire, il vaut mieux contenter d abord sa curiosité que de lasser sa patience dans une… …   Dictionnaire de la Langue Française d'Émile Littré

  • presuppose — I verb assume, be biased, be inclined to think, be jaundiced, be prejudiced, believe, conjecture, count upon, decide beforehand, decide in advance, deduce, deem, determine beforehand, determine in advance, divine, draw an inference, estimate,… …   Law dictionary

  • Presuppose — Pre sup*pose , v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Presupposed}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Presupposing}.] [Pref. pre + suppose: cf. F. pr[ e]supposer.] To suppose beforehand; to imply as antecedent; to take for granted; to assume; as, creation presupposes a creator.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • presuppose — (v.) mid 15c., from O.Fr. presupposer (14c.), from M.L. praesupponere; see PRE (Cf. pre ) + SUPPOSE (Cf. suppose). Related: Presupposed; presupposing …   Etymology dictionary

  • presupposé — Presupposé, [presuppos]ée. part …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • presuppose — ► VERB 1) require as a precondition of possibility or coherence. 2) tacitly assume to be the case. DERIVATIVES presupposition noun …   English terms dictionary

  • presuppose — [prē΄sə pōz′] vt. presupposed, presupposing [ME presupposen < MFr presupposer, altered (based on poser, to place) < ML praesupponere, pp. praesuppositus: see PRE & SUPPOSE] 1. to suppose or assume beforehand; take for granted 2. to require… …   English World dictionary

  • presuppose — UK [ˌpriːsəˈpəʊz] / US [ˌprɪsəˈpoʊz] verb [transitive] Word forms presuppose : present tense I/you/we/they presuppose he/she/it presupposes present participle presupposing past tense presupposed past participle presupposed formal if one thing… …   English dictionary

  • Présupposé — Présupposition La présupposition se définit en linguistique comme l ensemble des informations implicites d un énoncé, qui peuvent s en déduire mais n y sont pas formellement exposées. Par exemple, la phrase « Jean a cessé de fumer »… …   Wikipédia en Français

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