AskDefine | Define premiss

Dictionary Definition

premiss n : a statement that is assumed to be true and from which a conclusion can be drawn; "on the assumption that he has been injured we can infer that he will not to play" [syn: premise, assumption] v : take something as preexisting and given [syn: premise]

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. alternative spelling of premise

Extensive Definition

In discourse and logic, a premise is a claim that is a reason (or element of a set of reasons) for, or objection against, some other claim. In other words, it is a statement presumed true within the context of an argument toward a conclusion. Premises are sometimes stated explicitly by way of disambiguation or for emphasis, but more often they are left tacitly understood as being obvious or self-evident ("it goes without saying"), or not conducive to succinct discourse. For example, in the argument
Socrates is mortal, since all men are
it is evident that a tacitly understood claim is that Socrates is a man. The fully expressed reasoning is thus:
Since all men are mortal and Socrates is a man, it follows that Socrates is mortal.
In this example, the first two 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.
In the context of ordinary argumentation, the rational acceptability of a disputed conclusion depends on both the truth of the premises and the soundness of the reasoning from the premises to the conclusion.
premiss in Macedonian: Премиса
premiss in Polish: Przesłanka
premiss in German: Prämisse
premiss in Finnish: Premissi
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