Circular Reasoning

A valid deductive argument has a conclusion that follows logically from the premises. It does not infer or assume anything from the premises, but relies only on the information contained within them. In the fallacy of circular reasoning, often called begging the question, you assume as truth the premise you are supposed to be proving. In all valid deductions, the conclusion (what you are trying to prove) follows two premises. In an invalid argument using circular reasoning, the conclusion follows a single premise. In other words, the premise that is supposed to prove the truth of the conclusion is simply the conclusion restated with a slight variation. Circular reasoning looks like this: A is B, therefore A is B.

When a premise is left out, there is no argument. The person making the claim is simply telling to you believe that what he is telling you is true.

Examples

1. "I told you to clean your room!" "Why?" "Because I said so!"

2. "Why do you think the Yankees are the best team in baseball?" "Because they are."

How could these examples go from being invalid to valid, logical arguments? They need to add a second premise that supports, or gives reason for, the conclusion. Example 1 might add: "Your room is so messy that you can't find anything in it," or, "All of your laundry is on the floor, and it won't get washed until you clean it up and put it in the washer." Example 2 could add: "They have won the World Series 26 times in the last 39 appearances," or, "They are the only team to sweep the World Series ten times."

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Baseball For Boys

Baseball For Boys

Since World War II, there has been a tremendous change in the makeup and direction of kid baseball, as it is called. Adults, showing an unprecedented interest in the activity, have initiated and developed programs in thousands of towns across the United States programs that providebr wholesome recreation for millions of youngsters and are often a source of pride and joy to the community in which they exist.

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Responses

  • evan
    Is circular reasoning critical thinking?
    5 years ago

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