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When referencing a perspective, I have always thought that "in this view, ...". However, I have discovered that "on this view, ..." is very common. I find this very odd! It sounds plain wrong to me (English is my second language).

Can someone explain why this is correct? Are both correct? Is only "on this view" correct?

Some context: It seems "on this view" is used often in philosophy. "Take, for example, the proposition that you will have lunch tomorrow. On this view, that proposition either has no truth value right now, or else has the value indeterminate." [Source] Why not use "in this view" here?

This discussion on Reddit doesn't give a conclusive answer.

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  • You have to see what precedes /on this view/. As I said below, /to have an opinion on this view/ is great because it is the word opinion that gives rise to the on. Without a conditioning antecedent (nothing before it), "in this view" would be the norm.
    – Lambie
    Jan 2, 2017 at 14:29

2 Answers 2

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View can have the meaning of "way/method/basis of understanding something." When you accept such a view, it will affect what you consider true/false and how you perceive things.

When you are in a view, you are part of and affected by the view. The view will affect what you consider true/false/real/unreal, etc.

On is the a preposition used to communicate the topic of an item, so on a view communicates more that you are talking about the view or considering the view as a topic, but not necessarily using that view to determine what is true/false/real/unreal, etc.


Example:

I don't have an opinion on his view.

You don't have an opinion about the way he understands something.

I don't have an opinion in his view.

He believes you don't have an opinion - since he is "in" his view.

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  • Can you provide some sample usages that illustrate this distinction...because I'm a native speaker who has never said on this view.
    – GoDucks
    Jan 6, 2016 at 15:35
  • The question asks about the phrase “on this view,” which is very different than “on his view.”
    – Will
    Feb 8, 2016 at 16:19
  • Still doesn't change things - if "view" equals or mostly equals "topic" then on works to say what the current topic/view is or to identify the topic/view we are talking about - e.g. "On this view, X is true" vs. "In this view, X is true."
    – LawrenceC
    Feb 8, 2016 at 16:30
  • This is correct: To have an opinion ON something. Ergo, in this specific case / an opinion on his view/ is fine. And /I don't have an opinion in his view/ needs punctuation: I don't have an opinion, in his view. or /In his view, I don't have an opinion/. The question was about on this view but the OP may not realize that in some case the "on this view" is conditioned by the antecedent.
    – Lambie
    Jan 2, 2017 at 14:26
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In this case on means according to

So your example would be:

According to this view, that proposition either has no truth value right now...

It's stating a consequence of accepting the view/idea being expressed.

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  • You have interpreted on to mean according to, but can you supply some real world examples? Because as a native speaker this usage is unfamiliar to me.
    – GoDucks
    Jan 6, 2016 at 15:37
  • @GoDucks On this view is quite common in academic prose--you can find lots of instances in Google Books. It's parallel to "On this assumption", "on this theory", "on this principle", where on designates the ground on which you act. Jul 4, 2016 at 21:09

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