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Begging the question

3 replies

somebloke123 · 07/09/2012 15:20

It irritates me that, this term is used as if it's the same as "raise" or "prompt" the question. It isn't.

"Begging the question", if I understand correctly, means to advance an argument on the basis of a premise that is essentially the same as the argument itself, or at least just as much in need of justification.

So if you say, "I know he is telling the truth, because I know he doesn't lie" that's begging the question.

It's a useful, if a bit quirky, phrase whose usefulness will be lost if this sloppy usage continues.

OP posts:
LadyClariceCannockMonty · 08/09/2012 11:27

I agree! It pisses me right off.

WMittens · 08/09/2012 22:20

I did not know that - I've always seen it (and maybe used it) used to mean 'raise the question'.

MirandaGoshawk · 22/09/2012 22:50

Oh Somebloke, the world is divided between that tiny minority who know that 'begging the question' is to assume a point is proved, and the rest of the world who use it to 'raise a question'. Even people like John Humphries say it incorrectly. So when I saw it used properly on MN a while back it gave me much joy. Smile

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