Fallacies from Chapter 3 - 5469
Begging the Question #1
Empty answer (different words - same meaning)
Give a restated conclusion as a premise for the conclusion
A because A*
because, the reason for
How to Explain
State which words have the same meaning
I failed the test because I didn't pass it.
1. When someone asks a question and someone else gives an answer that rewords the words asked in the question with different words, then we say the question was not answered or that the question 'goes begging' for an answer.
2. Begging the question sometimes works, even though it shouldn't, because some answer is given and the listener does not question it.
3. It's tempting to beg the question when we can't think of a good answer and we feel pressure to say something. Some questions are embarrassing to answer, but occasionally it's ok to say that we don't know or that we just don't wish to answer it. It's impossible to give an answer to every question that may be asked.
4. Sometimes a person knows the answer and intentionally begs the question in order to mislead or deceive us.
5. Begging the question is particularly hard to see in long arguments, due to forgetfulness.
6. It should be noted that many times begging the question occurs without an explicit question being asked, although the question is implied.
For example: 'I am well because I am not ill' implies the question: 'Are you well?'. This is an obvious case of begging the question.
7. Begging the question on the Internet
1. You want to know why I failed the test? I failed the test because I didn't pass it.
Analysis: 'failed the test' and 'didn't pass it' mean the same thing.
2. I hate soccer because it's a sport I just don't like.
Analysis: 'hate' and 'don't like' are close to being the same thing, that is, no real reason was offered.
3. I was late because I didn't get there in time.
Analysis: 'late' and 'didn't get there in time' mean the same thing.
4. Women should not be permitted to join men's clubs because the clubs are for men only.
Analysis: does not give a good reason why women should not be permitted to join men's clubs.
5. What gives opium its sleep inducing power? It possesses a dormative quality.
Analysis: 'sleep inducing' and 'dormative' mean the same thing.
6. If itís on TV, it has to be a good show, because only good shows get on TV.
Analysis: This one is a little tricky, until you realize that 'If itís on TV, it has to be a good show' has the same meaning as 'only good shows get on TV'.
7. You want to know why I was late? Well, I was late because I had a flat tire and it took 3 hours to get it fixed.
Analysis: No apparent fallacy and NOT begging the question. In this case a good reason was given.
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Last updated: 15:36 on 30 January 2013
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