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begging the question

Subject: Philosophy

The procedure of assuming what is at issue in an argument. Although the charge is commonly made, there is no logical definition of those kinds of argument that beg the question. In the ...

beg the question

beg the question   Reference library

Garner’s Modern English Usage (4 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2016
Subject:
Language reference, Usage and Grammar Guides
Length:
336 words

... the question . This phrase has not traditionally meant “to invite an obvious follow-up question,” as some mistakenly believe. The strict meaning of beg the question is “to base a conclusion on an assumption that is as much in need of proof or demonstration as the conclusion itself.” The formal name for this logical fallacy is petitio principii . Following are two classic examples and a third from a book review: • “Reasonable people are those who think and reason intelligently.” (This statement begs the question, What does it mean to think and reason...

beg the question

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Fowler’s Concise Dictionary of Modern English Usage (3 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2015
Subject:
Language reference, Usage and Grammar Guides
Length:
149 words

... the question means, strictly speaking, to question an unproved assumption that is used as the basis for an argument. For example, to ask ‘why do you listen to that rubbish?’ begs the question when the quality of the music is the point at issue. In general use, beg the question has come to mean (1) ‘bring a question to mind’ (e.g. I am not saying these drivers should be prosecuted, but if the new rules are not enforced, it begs the question what is the point of it? — Northern Echo , 2007 ) and (2) ‘avoid a straightforward answer’ (e.g. He simply begged...

beg the question

beg the question   Reference library

Fowler’s Dictionary of Modern English Usage (4 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2015
Subject:
Language reference, Usage and Grammar Guides
Length:
247 words

...beg the question . 1 In strict use, the English equivalent of Latin petitio principii , used in logic to mean the ‘fallacy of founding a conclusion on a basis that as much needs to be proved as the conclusion itself’ (Fowler, 1926 ). Gowers ( 1965 ) cited as an example, capital punishment is necessary because without it murders would increase. 2 In general use, the phrase has come to mean one of two things: ( a ) ‘to bring a question to mind’ (e.g. I am not saying these drivers should be prosecuted, but if the new rules are not enforced, it begs the...

beg the question

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The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2006

... the question assume the truth of an argument or proposition to be proved, without arguing it. The original meaning belongs to the field of logic and is a translation of Latin petitio principii , literally meaning ‘laying claim to a principle’, i.e. assuming something that ought to be proved...

begging the question

begging the question   Quick reference

A Dictionary of Philosophy (3 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2016
Subject:
Philosophy
Length:
104 words

... the question The procedure of assuming what is at issue in an argument. Although the charge is commonly made, there is no logical definition of those kinds of argument that beg the question. In the widest sense, any valid argument might be thought to beg the question, since its premises already ‘contain’ its conclusion. Yet valid arguments can and do move reasonable people to accept their conclusions. The best definition is that an argument begs the question if it contains a definite premise or move that would not be accepted by any reasonable person...

begging the question

begging the question   Reference library

Christopher Kirwan

The Oxford Companion to Philosophy (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2005
Subject:
Philosophy
Length:
120 words

... the question , or petitio principii . Literally, requesting what is sought, or at issue. So, requesting an opponent to grant what the opponent seeks a proof of. So, by extension, assuming what is to be proved. A traditional fallacy . Assuming has to be distinguished from entailing, or all valid proofs would beg the question (as J. S. Mill thought). But the boundary is sometimes hazy: for example, does an argument of the form ‘Even if not P , Q ; so at any rate Q ’ assume ‘ Q ’? (The expression is sometimes misused: it does not mean ‘ raise the...

beg the question

beg the question  

Reference type:
Overview Page
Assume the truth of an argument or proposition to be proved, without arguing it. The original meaning belongs to the field of logic and is a translation of Latin petitio principii, literally meaning ...
begging the question

begging the question   Reference library

The Oxford Dictionary of American Usage and Style

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2002

... the question does not mean “evading the issue” or “inviting the obvious questions,” as some mistakenly believe. The proper meaning of begging the question is “basing a conclusion on an assumption that is as much in need of proof or demonstration as the conclusion itself.” One might beg the question by saying, for example, that life begins at conception, which is defined as the beginning of...

begging the question

begging the question  

Reference type:
Overview Page
Subject:
Philosophy
The procedure of assuming what is at issue in an argument. Although the charge is commonly made, there is no logical definition of those kinds of argument that beg the question. In the widest sense, ...
Measure for Measure

Measure for Measure   Reference library

Sonia Massai and Anthony Davies

The Oxford Companion to Shakespeare (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2015
Subject:
Literature, Shakespeare studies and criticism, Performing arts, Theatre
Length:
2,564 words
Publisher:
Oxford University Press

...Angelo accuses Mariana of lying and the Duke pretends to side with him. Friar Peter asks that another witness be brought before the Duke. The Duke exits and re-enters wearing his disguise as a friar. When Lucio accidentally unmasks him, Angelo finally realizes that the Duke has known the truth all along. He begs to be executed but the Duke orders him to marry Mariana in order to restore her reputation, ordering his execution immediately after the ceremony. Mariana pleads for his life and asks Isabella to do the same. Isabella argues that Angelo should be...

The Merchant of Venice

The Merchant of Venice   Reference library

Michael Dobson, Will Sharpe, and Anthony Davies

The Oxford Companion to Shakespeare (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2015
Subject:
Literature, Shakespeare studies and criticism, Performing arts, Theatre
Length:
3,171 words
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
Illustration(s):
1

...to have obtained it in bed from the lawyer before revealing her deception. Portia further gives Antonio news that three of his argosies have arrived safely, and gives Lorenzo the deed by which Shylock has made him his heir. Artistic features: Combining the logics of both the fairy tale and the financial market place—or perhaps revealing their secret kinship— The Merchant of Venice is one of Shakespeare’s most tightly structured comedies, both narratively and thematically. The questions raised by the lead casket’s motto, ‘Who chooseth me must give and...

The Future of Culture in Egypt

The Future of Culture in Egypt   Reference library

Tāhā Husayn

Islam in Transition: Muslim Perspectives (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2022
Subject:
Religion
Length:
2,262 words
Publisher:
Oxford University Press

...before the time of Ismā‘īl. The crisis, in my opinion, will not end soon, but will continue until the struggle between the old and the new reaches a state of balance. The available evidence indicates, however, that the institution is proceeding very rapidly in the direction of the new. Indeed, if God were to resurrect the Azhar scholars who lived at the beginning of the modern era, they would beg Him in all sincerity to return them to their graves so that they would not have to look upon the great innovations that have already been introduced into the...

The Downhill Path and Defense, Not Surrender

The Downhill Path and Defense, Not Surrender   Reference library

Rusmir Mahmutćehajić

Liberal Islam: A Sourcebook

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2022
Subject:
Religion
Length:
3,835 words
Publisher:
Oxford University Press

...the most distant; they should be fed false hopes and prevented from looking ahead and being concerned about their future. Wherever our enemies have put their plan into action, they have done an effective job of destroying Bosnia and her Muslims. Our answer to their plan should be to reverse the sequence: first our own duty, then that of the world; first think of the traitors and the criminals in our midst, and only then of the enemy without; first organize ourselves, and only then disorganize our enemies; first use up our own resources and only then beg for...

Twelfth Night

Twelfth Night   Reference library

Michael Dobson and Anthony Davies

The Oxford Companion to Shakespeare (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2015
Subject:
Literature, Shakespeare studies and criticism, Performing arts, Theatre
Length:
3,487 words
Publisher:
Oxford University Press

...a priest to be married. 5.1 Feste refuses to let Fabian see the letter he has promised to give Olivia from Malvolio, and begs money from Orsino, who arrives with Viola and other attendants. Antonio is brought before them: Orsino remembers his valour despite regarding him as a pirate, but counters his renewed accusations of falsehood against Viola by witnessing that Viola has been at his court for the last three months rather than in Antonio’s company as he alleges. This discussion is cut short by the arrival of Olivia. Orsino says he knows his rightful place in...

The Poor

The Poor   Quick reference

David Hey

The Oxford Companion to Local and Family History (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2009
Subject:
History, Local and Family History
Length:
5,036 words
Publisher:
Oxford University Press

...to go round the parish begging. Another way in which neighbours contributed in the 17th century was through a communal ‘ale’, which raised funds for a necessitous neighbour. For example, Adam Eyre, the diarist of Hazlehead Hall on the edge of the Pennines, was ‘bidden to an ale’ on 1 June 1647 , which raised £1 9 s. 6 d. for Anthony Crosland. But generosity to the ‘deserving’ poor was matched by hostility towards ‘idle beggars’ and poor incomers who tried to gain a legal settlement in the parish and thus became a burden on the rates. The ‘deserving’ poor...

All’s Well That Ends Well

All’s Well That Ends Well   Reference library

Michael Dobson, Will Sharpe, and Anthony Davies

The Oxford Companion to Shakespeare (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2015
Subject:
Literature, Shakespeare studies and criticism, Performing arts, Theatre
Length:
2,814 words
Publisher:
Oxford University Press

...the King has already approved. 5.1 Hearing that the King has left Marseille for Roussillon, Helen and her two companions proceed thither. 5.2 Paroles begs to be received by Lafeu, who has already heard of his exposure and agrees to employ him as a fool. 5.3 The Countess, Lafeu, and the King, though lamenting the supposedly dead Helen, receive a pardoned Bertram, who claims that he disdained Helen only because already in love with Lafeu’s daughter, for whom, with the King’s approval, he produces an engagement ring. The ring, however, is one given him in the...

Job

Job   Reference library

James L. Crenshaw and James L. Crenshaw

The Oxford Bible Commentary

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2022
Subject:
Religion
Length:
28,334 words
Publisher:
Oxford University Press

...Job as a creature of violence. YHWH begins the description by posing rhetorical questions to Job that illustrate the absurdity of attempting to control this terrifying creature, visualized as part crocodile and part mythical monster ( 41:1–12 ) (MT 40:25–41:4 ). The images for hunting and fishing are not entirely clear, but the practice of controlling captured slaves by inserting a cord through the nose or cheek is mentioned in the Bible (e.g. 2 Kings 19:28; Isa 37:29 ). The idea of this powerful creature begging for mercy, or submitting to girls' play, or...

Folklore, Customs, and Civic Ritual

Folklore, Customs, and Civic Ritual   Quick reference

Charles Phythian-Adams

The Oxford Companion to Local and Family History (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2009
Subject:
History, Local and Family History
Length:
6,037 words
Publisher:
Oxford University Press

... outlawry , excommunication , ‘discommoning’ from the freedom of a city, or even wife‐selling . To avoid expulsion when it was threatened or to earn readmission to society therefore involved a range of exaggerated rituals: from the body language customarily expected in public when someone cravenly begged for their life, through the humiliating performance of exemplary penance , to the manner of openly witnessed punishment. It is these considerations that lend significance to the oath‐swearings that attended nearly all public rites of passage from one social...

Language

Language   Reference library

An Oxford Companion to the Romantic Age

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2009
Subject:
History, modern history (1700 to 1945), Literature
Length:
5,614 words
Publisher:
Oxford University Press

...was the product not of what ought to apply rationally, so-called ‘analogy’, but of customary practice. However, this emphasis begged the question of exactly whose practice was designated as customary, just as Locke's theory of government raised the issue of exactly whose consent was necessary for constitutional rule. Locke's discussion of ‘common usage’ made it possible to argue that the usage of the vulgar could have no part in determining common standards. The importance of ‘common usage’, based on the authority of Locke, frequently coalesced with the idea...

Mark

Mark   Reference library

C. M. Tuckett and C. M. Tuckett

The Oxford Bible Commentary

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2022
Subject:
Religion
Length:
44,701 words
Publisher:
Oxford University Press

...question by Mark's Jesus by the end of this section. ( 7:24–30 ) The Syro-Phoenician Woman It is surely no coincidence that Mark follows the controversy with the Pharisees, where Jesus has implicitly claimed to pull down the barriers separating Jews and Gentiles, by showing Jesus explicitly crossing those barriers himself. Jesus goes to the region of Tyre, i.e. to an area which was at least partly non- Jewish. There he meets a Syro-Phoenician woman who is explicitly said to be a Gentile (lit. ‘Greek’, v. 26 ). The woman begs Jesus to heal her daughter. The...

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