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Begs the question???

Reader comment on item: Profs Who Hate America
in response to reader comment: The truth of the matter please?

Submitted by Gueppe Barre (United States), May 11, 2007 at 23:19

Norman -

You have misused the concept of "begging the question" in your comments. You are not alone; I have heard various news reporters make the same mistake - I don't know why someone doesn't correct them, perhaps because it sounds neat to them, or, shall I say, to their copy writers.

Begging the question is an argumentative fallacy in which the conclusion of the argument is used as the premise, typically with the wording rearranged as to not reveal its use. "Circular reasoning" is a simple form of petitio principii, or begging the question.

A more appropriate way of stating this would be, "This brings up the question...", or, "This leads to the question."

For the sake of good argument and debate,

Gueppe Barre


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