Religion Past and Present

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[German Version]

A postulate is an unproved premise (the possibility of a proof being left open) for thoughts and actions. The term goes back to the art of disputation in antiquity, where it denoted a statement made the basis of an argument without the need for the partner in dialogue to have recognized its truth (VII). According to Aristotle, a postulate is a principle assumed without proof but provable, which “conflicts with the opinion of the learner” (Arist. Poet. I, 10.76b 31–34; see also Top.). Probably the most famous postulates are those in Euclid’s Elements (Gk τὰ στοιχεῖα/tá stoic…

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Stolzenberg, Jürgen, “Postulate”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 21 May 2022 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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