Ante animus (“before the mind” in Latin), more commonly referred to as assuming the intent or assuming the position, is any assumption or presupposition where the intention of another is assumed without any definitive proof. Often these assumptions are then used to form conclusions. Because these assumptions are based on no actual evidence, the likelihood of them being incorrect is high, which subsequently increases the likelihood of our own conclusions being false. This is very closely related to the Hostile Attribution Bias.
This is an important concept in Loricism (and the term is unique to Loricism), because of its prevalence in society. Assuming the intent is common in interpersonal communication, and is almost always a waste of time and energy, for all parties involved. In many ways, it runs counter to the ideas of Communicatio Ratio, or rational communication, the goal of which is to work toward the Idea of Best Ideas.
- Someone states that they do not like Donald Trump, so others assume they must be a Democrat.
- Similar to the above example, someone expresses disagreement with an idea, so the assumption is that they espouse the opposite view.
- Someone expresses as desire for a better system of firearms background checks, so others assume the person intends to ban all firearms.