beg the question


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beg the question

 
1. to carry on a false argument where one assumes as proved the very point that is being argued, or more loosely, to evade the issue at hand. (Essentially a criticism of someone's line of argument.) Stop arguing in circles. You're begging the question. A: Why do two lines that are equidistant from one another never meet? B: Because they are parallel. A: You are begging the question.
2. to invite the (following) question. (This reinterpretation of beg the question is incorrect but is currently in widespread use.) His complaints beg the question: Didn't he cause all of his problems himself?
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beg the question

1. to cause a particular question to be asked Cyber adventurers can even climb a mountain, which begs the question of how can someone at a keyboard take a hike?
2. to fail to answer a particular question Everyone agrees we have to cut spending, but this proposal begs the question, What do we cut?
See also: beg, question

beg the question

 
1. if a statement or situation begs the question, it causes you to ask a particular question It's all very well talking about extra staff but it rather begs the question of how we're going to pay for them.
2. (formal) if something that someone says begs the question, it suggests that something is true which might in fact be false We're assuming, are we, that Anthony will still be in charge this time next year? That rather begs the question, doesn't it?
See also: beg, question

beg the question

Take for granted or assume the truth of the very thing being questioned. For example, Shopping now for a dress to wear to the ceremony is really begging the question-she hasn't been invited yet . This phrase, whose roots are in Aristotle's writings on logic, came into English in the late 1500s. In the 1990s, however, people sometimes used the phrase as a synonym of "ask the question" (as in The article begs the question: "What are we afraid of?").
See also: beg, question

beg the question

1. To assume to be true what one is purporting to prove in an argument.
2. To call to mind a question in a discussion; invite or provoke a question.
See also: beg, question

beg the question

To assume the question in your answer. For example, if the question is “Should marijuana use be criminalized?” to reply “Yes, because if it isn't, then lots of criminals will be roaming the streets” is to beg the question. That is, the answer assumes that pot users are criminals when that's the precise question under debate. Although the phrase is now widely heard as a synonym for raising or asking a question, its original meaning is still used by the dwindling band of educated speakers.
See also: beg, question
References in periodicals archive ?
Recent disclosures that unscrupulous health equipment suppliers stole hundreds of millions of dollars from the California Medi-Cal program are seen by seniors as obscene and beg the question, ``Who is minding the store?
Report Beg the Question, "How Far Have We Really Come?
The delays in getting through to 911 continues to beg the question why is Bell Atlantic trying to break into long distance service when they cant allow the consumer to call a squad car or an EMS truck.
Except for his early scholarly work and perhaps the volume on exorcism, most of the remaining volumes beg the questions, "What is fact?