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DOI: 10.4324/9780415249126-X029-1
Version: v1,  Published online: 1998
Retrieved May 21, 2024, from

Article Summary

There are various senses in which one statement may be said to ‘presuppose’ another, senses which are in permanent danger of being confused. Prominent among them are Strawsonian presupposition, a relation which obtains between statements when the falsity of one deprives the other of truth-value (for example, ‘There was such a person as Kepler’ is a Strawsonian presupposition of ‘Kepler died in misery’); semantic presupposition, which obtains between a statement and a particular use of a sentence type, when the falsity of the statement means that that use will not after all constitute the making of a statement (for example, ‘The name “Kepler” has a bearer’ is a semantic presupposition of ‘Kepler died in misery’); and pragmatic presupposition, a broader notion exemplified by the legitimate presumption that accepting or denying the statement ‘Fred knows that the earth moves’ means accepting ‘The earth moves’.

Citing this article:
Rumfitt, Ian. Presupposition, 1998, doi:10.4324/9780415249126-X029-1. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Taylor and Francis,
Copyright © 1998-2024 Routledge.

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