Re: What "beg the question" means

Subject: Re: What "beg the question" means
From: Susan Alice Wheeler <swheeler -at- FLUTE -dot- AIX -dot- CALPOLY -dot- EDU>
Date: Fri, 10 Feb 1995 11:14:13 -0800

Actually, "begging the question" generally falls into two categories:

1. those arguments that simply restate, as a premise, the author's
conclusion (ex: Students like pizza because it's their favorite food.);

2. those arguments that attempt to support the conclusion with
premises (expressed or implied) that are as much in need of proof as the
conclusion itself (ex: The erosion of traditional male leadership
has lead to an increase in divorce because men no longer possess
leadership roles.).

On Thu, 9 Feb 1995, Richard Lippincott wrote:

> >"Beg the question" means "evade the question" or "sidestep the
> >question" -- not "ask for the question to be answered."

> I thought "beg the question" means to evade answering by essentially
> asking the question in another form. It's been a long time since my
> Logic 101, but as I recall in a logical argument, if you respond to
> a question by simply rephrasing the questing and firing it back, you've
> "begged the question" and the argument is invalid.

> Example:

> Q: Should red-heads be denied the opportunity to serve in the military?
> A: Is there anything about red-heads that would make them unfit for service?

> I think that's begging the question.

> Rick Lippincott
> Eaton Semiconductor
> Beverly, Ma
> rlippinc -at- bev -dot- etn -dot- com


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