Begging the question

Logic founded on unproven premises / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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In classical rhetoric and logic, begging the question or assuming the conclusion (Latin: petitio principii) is an informal fallacy that occurs when an argument's premises assume the truth of the conclusion. A question-begging inference is valid, in the sense that the conclusion is as true as the premise, but it is not a valid argument.[1]

For example, the statement that "wool sweaters are superior to nylon jackets because wool sweaters have higher wool content" begs the question because this statement assumes that higher wool content implies being a superior material.[2] Begging the question is a type of circular reasoning, and often occurs in an indirect way such that the fallacy's presence is hidden, or at least not easily apparent.[3]

The phrase "begs the question" is also commonly used to mean "prompts a question" or "raises a question".[4]