Difference Between Begging The Question and Circular Reasoning

By: | Updated: Aug-13, 2022
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Logic is an important part of the debate and to know what is meant by the terms that are used, it is essential to know the difference between begging the question and circular reasoning. The beggar’s fallacy occurs when a person states that a premise has already been proven without providing proof of the original premise. Circular reasoning occurs when a person tries to prove a conclusion by using the same logic used to establish the conclusion.

Summary Table

Begging the Question Circular Reasoning
The premise that is being questioned is assumed without any proof The premises are not questioned
The argument is based on one assumption The argument is based on more than one assumption
Providing a proof of the original premise You are not proving the original premise, but you are still trying to prove the conclusion

Difference Between Begging The Question and Circular Reasoning

In this article, we will define the terms and discuss their differences.

What is Begging The Question?

Begging the question is defined as a fallacy in which a person asserts that the conclusion of an argument is true by virtue of the premise of the argument. A logical flaw occurs when someone attempts to prove that something is true without actually proving it. The fallacy occurs when a person attempts to prove a conclusion by using the same logic used to establish the conclusion.

What is Circular Reasoning?

Circular reasoning is an informal fallacy that occurs when a person tries to prove a conclusion by using the same logic used to establish the conclusion. The following example will help you understand what circular reasoning is.

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Let’s say that the candidate has been elected to office and the president of the local chamber of commerce sends a letter to all his members congratulating him on his election. If you read this letter, you will find in it that the president of the chamber has stated that all the members are very happy with his work. You then decide to send your own letter congratulating him on his election. In your letter, you will find that you have said that all the members are very happy with his work. This is circular reasoning because you have used the same language to state your conclusion as well as the premise on which it is based.

The Similarities Between Begging The Question and Circular Reasoning

The main similarity between begging the question and circular reasoning is that both arguments do not make sense to the audience. When a person tries to prove a conclusion using the same logic used to establish the conclusion, it is called begging the question. When a person tries to prove an argument by using logic that does not support the conclusion, it is called circular reasoning.

Begging The Question VS Circular Reasoning

Here are the differences between begging the question and circular reasoning:

The premise

If the premise that is being questioned is assumed without any proof, then it will be termed as begging the question. If the premises are not questioned, then it will be called circular reasoning.

What is the argument based on?

If the argument is based on one assumption, then it will be termed as begging the question. If the argument is based on more than one assumption, then it will be called circular reasoning.

The method

Begging the question is to try to prove a premise by providing a proof of the original premise. The reason behind this is that it is not enough to prove the original premise, you have to prove the conclusion as well.

Circular reasoning is to prove a conclusion by using the same logic used to establish the conclusion. This means that you are not proving the original premise, but you are still trying to prove the conclusion.

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