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I cannot find an antonym for to suggest with the force of to suggest that p is false if to suggest is used with the force of to suggest that p is true. The context is a sentence that looks approximately like:

The proposition that proper names have senses is suggested by P. The proposition that proper names are definitionally equivalent to definite descriptions is [...] by Q.

Where P and Q are lists of reasons that aren't important here. The meaning of the passage should be equivalent to the following:

The truth of the proposition that proper names have senses is suggests by P. The falsity of the proposition that proper names are definitionally equivalent to definite descriptions is suggested by Q.

I recall having attempted to find a suitable word to replace [...] in the first set of sentences before. However, I was unsuccessful and rephrased the passage. Even if the passage would work best rephrased, such a word would be useful For reference, the context is an introduction to a discussion of the problems raised by P and Q.

  • Many of the answers so far are for words that respond to the first claim (rebut, contradict, challenge, etc). Is that what you're looking for, or are you looking for a stand-alone "asserts is not true" word? – Monica Cellio Jan 27 '12 at 15:55
  • Or are you looking for something less forceful? Something that corresponds to contradict as suggest corresponds to assert? – JeffSahol Jan 27 '12 at 17:38
5

The proposition that proper names are definitionally equivalent to definite descriptions is belied by Q.

From MacMillan:

belie, verb : to seem to show that a promise, hope, statement, etc. is not true

5

The word that exactly fits your requirements is impugn. From NOAD:

impugn verb [ with obj. ]
dispute the truth, validity, or honesty of (a statement or motive); call into question: the father does not impugn her capacity as a good mother.

  • 2
    But note that "impugn" is a very harsh word. If you impugn someone's argument, you are saying that he is lying or acting in bad faith, not just that you disagree with him. If you are talking about a scholarly debate, you wouldn't normally say that Dr Jones "impugned" Dr Smith's argument unless you really wanted to convey the idea that they are engaged in a vicious feud. – Jay Jan 27 '12 at 16:47
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Some choices would be "contradict" or "deny". There are a slew of synonyms at the second link, by the way.

If you mean something less forceful: "dispute" (2nd meaning here) or "bring into question". Or, a bit of a stretch for your context, "vitiate".

1

You could use "suggest" in both cases. It is quite reasonable to say, for example, "The fingerprint evidence suggests that the suspect is guilty. But his alibi suggests that he is not guilty." Similarly if you are talking about people rather than ideas: "Al suggests that the theory is true, but Bob suggests that it is not."

Other possibilities: "Rebuts" means "is or gives arguments against". So you could say, "The fingerprint evidence suggests that the suspect is guilty. But his alibi rebuts this."

"Refutes" means to prove that it is false. This would be stronger than a suggestion against. If you say that you refuted the theory, then there's no more suggestion, it's done.

"Counters" is another word for argues against. Like "Charlie says that cold fusion is possible because [whatever], but Debbie counters this with [something else]."

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