Circular ReasoningLogic that refers to itself in a circular way that renders it invalid or useless. This is common in definitions whereby a term is defined with itself such that zero information is conveyed.
Management is the act of managing.
Synonym SubstitutionCircular reasoning is often thinly disguised with synonyms. This is also common in definitions whereby a word is explained with a close synonym.
A nation is a state, government or society.
Assuming the ConclusionProving something by restating it in a slightly rephrased way.
Green is a good color because it's the best color.
Not Even WrongNot even wrong is a statement that makes so sense such that it is difficult to counter in argument. These often beg a question by referring to some element of the question in an irrational way.
Green is a good color because it's a color.
Trick QuestionBegging the question isn't always an answer to a question but can be embedded in a question itself. For example, a double barreled question that makes an unsupported assumption but then asks for an answer unrelated to this assumption. This is designed to trick an opponent into confirming the unsupported assumption.
Did you finish your work or did your incompetence get in the way?In the example above, if you answer in the affirmative, that you finished your work, it sounds like you are also confirming that you are incompetent. The correct way to answer is to attack the invalid assumption and to defer your answer to the rest of the question.
Contemporary UsageThe term begging the question originates with Aristotle with a phrase from Topics, one of Aristotle's six works on logic. The phrase can be literally translated "asking for the initial thing." In the context of logic, this is interpreted as in the examples above. However, in contemporary language is it common to use begging the question to indicate a statement that triggers a question in everyone's mind.
All 330 students in the class dropped the class in the first week. This begs the question, is the professor good at teaching?
|Overview: Begging The Question|