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I am looking for a noun to describe something that is self-evident. I don't think I can say 'this is a self-evidency', but searching online and on this forum, I haven't found a proper alternative yet.

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Perhaps it would help to provide a context, an example of how you want to use this noun. –  oKtosiTe Feb 3 '12 at 10:20
    
The context in which I want to use it is this: 'The fact that all literature deals with it in such and such a way is a [self-evidency] –  Marieke Feb 3 '12 at 10:39
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Out of curiosity, why use the noun there? Dropping the indefinite article and just using self-evident seems perfectly natural. –  Dusty Feb 3 '12 at 13:04
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7 Answers 7

Given, as in "The fact that .... is a given".

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+1 This is a good choice. –  MετάEd Feb 3 '12 at 15:20
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I think given is the closest to what you described, but presupposition and tautology come to mind.

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+1 for alternatives –  MετάEd Feb 3 '12 at 15:21
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Obvious can itself be a noun. You can speak of ‘stating the obvious’, for example. But it’s not a countable noun, so you can’t precede it with the indefinite article.

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Would patent qualify? I wish it did, but as a noun, it has only a special meaning in law. –  Kris Feb 3 '12 at 10:25
    
@Kris: You're right. I've just checked. –  Barrie England Feb 3 '12 at 10:32
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Yeah, I want to precede it with an indefinite article, that's the problem... –  Marieke Feb 3 '12 at 10:41
    
@Marieke: Then I think you'll be unlucky. The concept is by its nature non-countable. –  Barrie England Feb 3 '12 at 11:10
    
It's the obvious answer. –  Marcus Adams Feb 3 '12 at 22:00
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According to Wiktionary, self-evidency is such a noun.

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Thanks :) I hadn't thought of that yet... –  Marieke Feb 3 '12 at 11:17
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Alas, Wiktionary says (and my ear agrees) that "self-evidency" is always uncountable and describes a quality, not an item. That is, you can speak of "the self-evidency of" something, but speaking of something as "a self-evidency" would be an unusual usage at best. –  Ilmari Karonen Feb 3 '12 at 12:45
    
I do not doubt that it is a valid construction, but it seems awkward to my American ears. –  MετάEd Feb 3 '12 at 15:24
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In the example sentence you gave, if I absolutely had to use a noun, I'd probably go for a noun phrase like "self-evident fact", and preferably change the beginning to avoid the repetition of "fact":

"That all literature deals with it in such and such a way is a self-evident fact."

But really, why can't you just say:

"The fact that all literature deals with it in such and such a way is self-evident."

(I was originally going to suggest "triviality", but it doesn't really fit the context you specified. It would work in something like "We need not concern ourselves with such trivialities.")

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The word truism expresses the idea you are looking for, and can be used with an indefinite article.

The fact that all literature deals with it in such and such a way is a truism.

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I don't think this is quite the same. I thought of "tautology", too, and rejected it for the same reason. In each case, the meaning is "this is self-evident", whereas in the example, the desired meaning is "the large body of easily-available evidence makes this obvious". –  Ed Staub Feb 3 '12 at 15:45
    
Should the question be edited, then? A truism (dictionary.reference.com/browse/truism) is "a self-evident, obvious truth." That is, more than any other proposed word, an exact answer to the question, which asks for a synonym to "self-evidency" or a word that means "something that is self-evident." –  corvec Feb 3 '12 at 17:37
    
See also wcdebate.com/1parli/29truism.htm which explains in detail the difference between a truism and a tautology. –  corvec Feb 3 '12 at 17:42
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It would be better to know the context but still you can check axiomatic and axiom

Edit 1: Possible to say

The fact that all literature deals with it in such and such a way is the proof itself.

You could also use "obvious proof", "valid proof" e.t.c

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The context in which I want to use it is this: 'The fact that all literature deals with it in such and such a way is a [self-evidency] –  Marieke Feb 3 '12 at 10:42
    
@Marieke, see my edit please. (I, by mistake, edited your question) –  Mustafa Feb 3 '12 at 11:21
    
By mistake, I edited question instead of my answer, could moderators delete the edited part in OP's question? –  Mustafa Feb 3 '12 at 11:23
    
+1 This would fit with the indefinite article: "… is an axiom". –  MετάEd Feb 3 '12 at 15:23
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protected by RegDwigнt Feb 3 '12 at 15:32

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