[lit-ideas] I suppose, I presuppose

  • From: Jlsperanza@xxxxxxx
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Thu, 17 Oct 2013 11:44:35 -0400 (EDT)

Richard Henninge proposes a variant to Geary's statement.
Geary's statement:
"The supposition that presuppositions influence a writer's work is a common 
 one and, I suppose, it presupposes the supposition that presupposition is 
the  soul of all knowledge since nothing can be proven -- or so I presume." 
Henninge's variant proceeds by replacing each occurrence of Geary's  
'presuppose' by 'suppose' (and vice versa). The result:

The presupposition that suppositions influence a writer's work is a  common 
one and, I presume, it supposes the presupposition that supposition is  the 
soul of all knowledge since nothing can be evidenced--or so I suppose." 
One problem here is in the 'pose' (as in "Henninge proposes").
The Latins (or, rather, Romans) thought it translated Greek,  'thesis'.

Thus, anti-thesis, became 'contra-positio'.
You have to grant that 'pre-suppose' is LONGER than 'suppose' (cfr. Grice,  
"Be brief" -- a conversational maxim). I would go further and say that the  
_sense_ of 'presuppose' INCLUDES that (in a Fregean way) of 'suppose' (cfr. 
 'coffee-maker' which includes the sense of 'coffee').
The 'sup-' in 'suppose' is possibly otiose, in that one does say, 'he posed 
 an interesting question'. The idea that you do this in a covert way 
('under',  Roman: 'sub') is gratuitous.

There is a temporal sense in 'prae-' (as in 'prae-sub-positio') but  this 
temporal sense can be other than temporal, as when the Romans called the  
front garden (as opposed to their back garden), 'prae'. "Prae" is what _is_  
before in more than just a temporal sense.
When L. Helm uses 'presupposition' he is thinking Collingwood. Or not of  
For Collingwood, the KEYWORD in his metaphysics is 'presupposition', since  
he saw that since a philosopher cannot do science (he was an amateur 
British  Roman archaeologist) he can at least study the presuppositions (of 
or  that). Helm extends the Collingwoodian sense of 'presupposition' to 
wonder if  Carroll applies as a 'minor' or 'great' figure in what Leavis calls 
'the  tradition'. 
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