World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Premise

Article Id: WHEBN0007993337
Reproduction Date:

Title: Premise  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Deductive reasoning, Relevance, Inductive reasoning, Reference desk/Archives/Humanities/2015 February 13, Rigour
Collection: Arguments, Sentences by Type, Term Logic
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Publication
Date:
 

Premise

A premise or premiss[1] is a statement that an argument claims will induce or justify a conclusion.[3] In other words: a premise is an assumption that something is true. In logic, an argument requires a set of (at least) two declarative sentences (or "propositions") known as the premises or premisses along with another declarative sentence (or "proposition") known as the conclusion. This structure of two premises and one conclusion forms the basic argumentative structure. More complex arguments can use a series of rules to connect several premises to one conclusion, or to derive a number of conclusions from the original premises which then act as premises for additional conclusions. An example of this is the use of the rules of inference found within symbolic logic.

Aristotle held that any logical argument could be reduced to two premises and a conclusion.[4] Premises are sometimes left unstated in which case they are called missing premises, for example:

Socrates is mortal because all men are mortal.

It is evident that a tacitly understood claim is that Socrates is a man. The fully expressed reasoning is thus:

Because all men are mortal and Socrates is a man, Socrates is mortal.

In this example, the independent clauses preceding the comma (namely, "all men are mortal" and "Socrates is a man") are the premises, while "Socrates is mortal" is the conclusion.

The proof of a conclusion depends on both the truth of the premises and the validity of the argument.

Notes

  1. ^ In logic, premise and premiss are regarded as variant spellings of the same word, premise being the more common spelling.[1] Charles Sanders Peirce (1839–1914) argued that premise and premiss are two distinct words, writing "As to the word premiss,—in Latin of the thirteenth Century praemissa,—owing to its being so often use in the plural, it has become widely confounded with a totally different word of legal provenance, the 'premises,' that is, the items of an inventory, etc., and hence buildings enumerated in a deed or lease. It is entirely contrary to good English usage to spell premiss, 'premise,' and this spelling...simply betrays ignorance of the history of logic."[2]

References

  1. ^ Room, Adrian, ed. (2000). Dictionary of Confusable Words. New York, NY: Routledge. p. 177.  
  2. ^ Peirce Edition Project, ed. (1998). The Essential Peirce: Selected Philosophical Writings 2. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press. p. 294.  
  3. ^ "Argument: a sequence of statements such that some of them (the premises) purport to give reasons to accept another of them, the conclusion" : The Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy, 2nd Edition (Cambridge University Press), editor Robert Audi, 43.
  4. ^ p216, Jan Gullberg, Mathematics from the birth of numbers, W. W. Norton & Company; ISBN 0-393-04002-X ISBN 978-0393040029

External links

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 


Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.