The preposition “on” in philosophy

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When listening to philosophical debate, the preposition “on” is frequently used referring to a principal of some sort. I’ve never heard this preposition used this way in any other parlance or vernacular. What does “on” mean in the field of philosophy and why do they use it?

Examples:

“Moral absolutes cannot exist *on atheism.*”

“*On Dr. Craig’s view*, their actions are justified.”

“*On solution number 3*, hard solipsism is irrelevant.”

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3 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

Modern Philosophy tries to be as assumption-free as possible. Therefore if a philosopher is discussing something that is true _given some assumption is true_ they want to make it very explicit that this assumption was made. Using a simple preposition for this seems like a neat way to express this idea shorter.

In everyday life we usually take a lot of implicit assumptions for granted. We rarely reflect on what assumptions we make. Therefore we don’t need this linguistic construct that much.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Many Roman philisophers titled their works in Latin starting with the prefix “de”, which was translated to “on” when though it means “about”.

Anonymous 0 Comments

I always have viewed this as a shortened version of “on the basis Of” as a way of referencing the underlyng assumption or condition of a proposition.