proposition


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proposition

(prop-uh-zish'en)
A statement about a concept or about the relationship between concepts. A proposition may be an assumption, a premise, a theorem, or a hypothesis.
See: assumption; hypothesis; premise; theorem
References in classic literature ?
It may be said that the tactile images are merely present, without any accompanying belief; but I think this view, though sometimes correct, derives its plausibility as a general proposition from our thinking of explicit conscious belief only.
It is suggested, by the theory we are considering, that this difference of effects constitutes what is meant by saying that in the second case I believe the proposition suggested, while in the first case I do not.
It is clear that a proposition can be either believed or merely considered, and that the content is the same in both cases.
The state of mind in which we merely consider a proposition, without believing or disbelieving it, will then appear as a sophisticated product, the result of some rival force adding to the image-proposition a positive feeling which may be called suspense or non-belief--a feeling which may be compared to that of a man about to run a race waiting for the signal.
If the mere co-existence of the content and the belief-feeling sufficed, whenever we were having (say) a memory-feeling we should be remembering any proposition which came into our minds at the same time.
We may sum up our analysis, in the case of bare assent to a proposition not expressed in words, as follows: (a) We have a proposition, consisting of interrelated images, and possibly partly of sensations; (b) we have the feeling of assent, which is presumably a complex sensation demanding analysis; (c) we have a relation, actually subsisting, between the assent and the proposition, such as is expressed by saying that the proposition in question is what is assented to.
There is no way of distinguishing, in words, between a memory and an assent to a proposition about the past: "I ate my breakfast" and "Caesar conquered Gaul" have the same verbal form, though (assuming that I remember my breakfast) they express occurrences which are psychologically very different.
Thus James says: "Everyone knows the difference between imagining a thing and believing in its existence, between supposing a proposition and acquiescing in its truth...IN ITS INNER NATURE, BELIEF, OR THE SENSE OF REALITY, IS A SORT OF FEELING MORE ALLIED TO THE EMOTIONS THAN.
I will venture to add that to me the convention mode seems preferable, in that it allows amendments to originate with the people themselves, instead of only permitting them to take or reject propositions originated by others not especially chosen for the purpose, and which might not be precisely such as they would wish to either accept or refuse.
The proposition alluded to was the one, already mentioned, for the establishment of an American Fur Company in the Atlantic States.
He always shied at propositions based on gentlemen's agreements, and a man who ventured his honor as a gentleman, in dealing with Daylight, inevitably was treated to an unpleasant time.
"A dam fool proposition," was Liverpool's judgment, when Charles had concluded.