General Question

timothykinney's avatar

What does it mean to "Beg the Question"?

Asked by timothykinney (2743points) August 16th, 2008

I hear this term from time to time, but I’ve never heard a satisfactory explanation of what it means.

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8 Answers

AstroChuck's avatar

Do you mean beg to question?

timothykinney's avatar

I’m not sure what that means, Astrochuck. I have always heard “begging the question”.

ezraglenn's avatar

“Begging the Question” is a logical fallacy in which the proposition to be proved is assumed implicitly or explicitly in one of the premises.

If one argues:
All intentional acts of killing human beings are morally wrong. The death penalty is an intentional act of killing a human being, therefore the death penalty is morally wrong.
They “proving” their argument with another assumption. Morality is not factual, everyone has different morals. You cannot assert that killing is wrong without somehow proving it is, which is impossible.

It is also known as circular reasoning.

sumul's avatar

It’s worth mentioning that people commonly use the phrase to mean something like “makes me wonder.” If you interpret the phrase literally, it’s easy to see why this usage has arisen, despite the phrase having been specifically established to describe the logical fallacy of circular reasoning.

Language is always adapting. This is a case in which misuse became so rampant that the phrase took on another meaning.

Wikipedia for more. :-)

pathfinder's avatar

Begging the question,explenation of low level perhaps.I mean if the prersone get involve about something and you uncover his or her character witch is uncommon then brain start working.Existe many ways of this phrase but this depend what is going on.Haw seriouse looks that character of that some one like.In low valueable situation of Phrase Begging the guestion it is mean that the some one want to get for him or her self yust basic stuff but in higher valueable situation it is mean that that one is more then he looks like and want to get for him or her self not yust basic stuff.So First example puting the persone on low side and the second example puting the persone on higher side.So totaly it goes about thinking and character…......

nina's avatar

To invite the question.

aidje's avatar

That’s actually a common misuse of the phrase. But it is true that it is most often what people mean when they say it.

Val123's avatar

It means, to me, that a statement or fact is given, but there is something about it that doesn’t ring quite true, or correct. It “begs the question” of whatever it is that’s off.

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