begging the question

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begging the question (uncountable)

  1. A logical fallacy in which a premise of an argument contains a direct or indirect assumption that the conclusion is true; offering a circular argument; circular reasoning.
    It is an instance of begging the question to argue that God can only do good deeds because God is good.


begging the question

  1. (informal) Present participle of beg the question.

Usage notes[edit]

In common usage begging the question is synonymous with circular argument; in formal usage, these are distinct.

In common usage begging the question is synonymous with "raising the question"; in all usages, these are distinct.

"Andrew Parker, the new director general of MI5, should be slower to employ this foolish, self-serving rhetoric, which naively begs a perfectly legitimate question: how should we ensure that those privileged to be granted special powers to intrude into everything that is private, serve a real public interest, rather than the dangerously false god of securitisation for its own sake?"

Quoted from The Guardian of October 15, 2013.


Derived terms[edit]