Begging the Question
(petitio principii)


    The truth of the conclusion is assumed by the premises. Often, the conclusion is simply restated in the premises in a slightly different form. In more difficult cases, the premise is a consequence of the conclusion.
  1. Since I'm not lying, it follows that I'm telling the truth.
  2. We know that God exists, since the Bible says God exists. What the Bible says must be true, since God wrote it and God never lies. (Here, we must agree that God exists in order to believe that God wrote the Bible.)
    Show that in order to believe that the premises are true we must already agree that the conclusion is true.
    Barker: 159, Cedarblom and Paulsen: 144, Copi and Cohen: 102, Davis: 33

06 October 1995