, Volume 18, Issue 3, pp 325–329 | Cite as

Running in Circles about Begging the Question

  • D. A. Truncellito


In a published exchange, Richard Robinson and Roy A. Sorenson debate the matter of whether begging the question is a fallacy; Robinson thinks it is not, but Sorenson argues that it is. Norman Ten attempts to resolve this debate by making a distinction between begging the question and fallaciously begging the question. While Teng is right to note that Robinson and Sorenson are talking past each other, he incorrectly diagnoses the source of this miscommunication. In this paper, then, I offer what I take to be a more illuminating distinction “3; viz. that between logical and rhetorical fallacies “3; and employ that distinction to resolve the debate.

circular arguments fallacies question-begging 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Robinson, R.: 1971, “Begging the Question”, Analysis 31(4), 113-117.Google Scholar
  2. Sorenson, R. A.: 1991, “P, Therefore P′ Without Circularity”, Journal of Philosophy 88, 245-266.Google Scholar
  3. Sorenson, R. A.: 1996, “Unbegging Questions”, Analysis 56(1), 51-55.Google Scholar
  4. Teng, N. Y.: 1997, “Sorenson on Begging the Question”, Analysis 57(3): 220-222.Google Scholar
  5. Walton, D. N.: 1989, Question-Reply Argumentation (Westport, CT: Greenwood).Google Scholar
  6. Walton, D. N.: 1991, Begging the Question:Circular Reasoning as a Tactic of Argumentation (Westport, CT: Greenwood).Google Scholar
  7. Walton, D. N.: 1995, A Pragmatic Theory of Fallacy (Tuscaloosa, AL: University of Alabama).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. A. Truncellito
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyGeorge Washington University

Personalised recommendations