In philosophy, a sentence which asserts incomplete truth conditions for a proposition may be regarded as a truism. An example of such a sentence would be "Under appropriate conditions, the sun rises." Without contextual support – a statement of what those appropriate conditions are – the sentence is true but incontestable. A statement which is true by definition (for example, the Lapalissade "If he were not dead, he would still be alive") would also be considered a truism. This is quite similar to a tautology in which the conclusion of a statement is essentially equivalent to its premise, a statement that is "true by virtue of its logical form alone".
The word may also be used with a different sense in rhetoric, to disguise the fact that a proposition is really just an opinion. Similarly, stating an accepted truth about life in general can also be called a truism.
- "Definition: truism". http://www.websters-online-dictionary.org/: Webster's Online Dictionary. Retrieved 2010-03-10.
Noun Base (truism)