petitio principii or begging the question

What is the basis for reason? And mathematics?

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Skip
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Re: petitio principii or begging the question

Post by Skip » Thu Jun 15, 2017 3:58 pm

I like the A+ explanation.

Duszek, you may find it easier to deal with the examples by taking out "because", stripping away the implications, and reducing each situation to the actual statements being made.

He is lovable. I love him.

What was the question? (You can't beg one, unless you can ask it.) Two statements are made that mean [almost - I could quibble] the same thing. Neither causes the other nor explains anything nor leads to any further conclusion.

1. I am passive. (This explains nothing. Active people, even aggressive people, can love someone.)
2. and I do what I cannot resist. (Who doesn't? )
3. I love a lovable person and cannot help it.
This makes sense, but doesn't convey any information beyond the statement "I love him". We have no common definition of "lovable" the way we had a legal definition of "murder": though there may be large areas of overlap, each of us finds a slightly different set of traits "lovable".
More: Of course you can't help it - love isn't an action one can choose to carry out, but a state of mind that befalls us. So, statements 2. and 3. are true of anyone in love, without explaining why they love whom they love. Statement 1. was simply irrelevant.
In 2. [He is lovable because i love him] the beloved can become lovable because under the loving influence he becomes gentle and attractive.
This makes sense too.
This one can be an actual argument: it does contain cause-effect relationships. You have introduced a change .
1. He was a mean, slovenly SOB.
2. I loved him anyway.
3. Now, he is gentle and well-groomed.
4. Now, other people love him, too.
Therefore: My love made him lovable.

By the way, the converse of a circular argument is not necessarily equivalent, especially when the = is a "because" word. In your example: "I love him because he is lovable" [@& = &@], is nothing more than a circular way of saying "I find that person lovable.", wherein 'because' is meaningless.
However, "He is lovable because I love him." [&@ < $&@] is a much bigger claim: that my influence affected a change in the other person, wherein 'because' is an active agent.

Whenever you want to assess an argument, watch for two things: the smuggled-in Plus that Londoner referred to (in this example, the change from some previous state to lovability) and the false "because", which doesn't really show how one thing made another thing happen. Advertisers, spin doctors and propagandists use these tricks all the time. A statement "makes sense" but its claims don't stand up to critical scrutiny.

ETA This just in.
A: Why do you want this doll ?
B: Because it´s the hottest one.

Would you consider B´s answer as a logical one ?
Sure. She's not making an argument; she's merely answering a limited question.
B is not specific whether she is a conformist or whether the advitisement convinced her.
She wasn't asked for those particulars. We can infer them from her answer, but we should not rush to a conclusion on insufficient evidence. It might be that her niece - under the influence of advertising or envy begged her for the doll and B is giving in to personal affection, rather than trendiness.
We can make it plural:

Pericles asks the Greeks gathered in the agora:
Why do you want this toy ?
They answer in a choir: because it is the hottest one.
That's a whole different story. Someone commanded or conducted them in that response. At face value, the inference would be: many dolls have some kind of heat source within them, but this one burns at the highest temperature. We might also extrapolate that the nights are cold, the Greeks are all single and they need something hot to snuggle up to. But none of that is stated. Nothing is explained.
(Also Spartans like it, and Phenicians and Persians and Macedonians.)
I should think this would put the Athenians off it. They must be very cold!

duszek
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Re: petitio principii or begging the question

Post by duszek » Thu Jun 15, 2017 6:31 pm

Yes, I agree.

So could we say that a statement that begs the question is an incomplete one ?
One that is not explicit enough to be considered a valid argument ?
One that the speaker needs to make more profound by doing further analytic work ?

So the girl asking for the hottest dall should take time and discover the inner motives of her desire.
"I want a doll that everybody wants too because I wish to fit into my peer group."

Small and immature people would make question begging statements rather often.

Skip
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Re: petitio principii or begging the question

Post by Skip » Thu Jun 15, 2017 8:16 pm

duszek wrote:
Thu Jun 15, 2017 6:31 pm
Yes, I agree.

So could we say that a statement that begs the question is an incomplete one ?
One that is not explicit enough to be considered a valid argument ?
A statement doesn't need to make a case, nor be complete or verifiably factual. It can be opinion, personal taste, an observation, a poetic metaphor, or a lie. They would all qualify as a statement.
An argument is intended to convince the hearer of some thesis. It has necessary components: premise(s) and conclusion. The conclusion must be supported by the premise(s) in order to be a valid argument.
Incompleteness is not one of the classic fallacies; I suppose because an incomplete argument would just be a statement or statements;
that is, no argument at all. Fallacies are flaws in arguments that are constructed in the usual form.
Such an argument may be complete - that is, have all the components - but invalid because of a fallacy.
The fallacy "begging the question" is the same as "circular logic", where the supporting evidence is the same as the conclusion - like trying to punch yourself in the nose with your nose. (No, you don't get to use a wall!! That's an example of our notorious A+ cheat.)
So the girl asking for the hottest dall should take time and discover the inner motives of her desire.
"I want a doll that everybody wants too because I wish to fit into my peer group."
That's still only a statement; an expression of personal desire, which doesn't need validation.
However, if she were asked to make a case; if she had to convince the aunt to buy that doll for her,
she would need to construct an argument.
The question: "Why should I fork out $39.99 for a toy? "
The argument:
"Cause all the in girls in my class already got one and they throw, like, Barbie beach parties 'n' only invite the ones who have a Beach Barbie with all the ack..acks... the stuff that goes with her, like umbrella 'n' volleyball and you all eat ice cream and it's so fun 'n' if you're invited you get to be, like one of the in girls 'n' sit at the Heathers table at lunch 'n' everything, an I really, really, reeeely wanna be one, and you're the bestest aunt in the whole entire world, so, will you? Pul-leeez?"
P1. The popular girls in my class own Beach Barbie dolls.
P2. Barbie-base theme parties are coveted pastime.
P3. Ownership of a Beach Barbie and its accessories is prerequisite to an invitation to such parties.
P4. the parties involve ingesting frozen dairy products.
P5. A side-effect of Beach Barbie ownership is entree to the popular girls' table in the school lunchroom.
P6. I ardently desire to become a popular girl.
P7. I count on your sympathy and support in this ambition.
C: Therefore, you should buy the doll for me.

It might not work, but it's a well-constructed argument.
The circular, or question begging version might be:
I want you to buy me a Beach Barbie 'cause it would make me happy, 'cause I really want it and not having it is making me unhappy.

Small and immature people would make question begging statements rather often.
They do their share of begging, just like love-sick adolescents and middle-aged executives who need a promotion to meet the mortgage.
But they're also quite often capable to of constructing a persuasive argument - with or without fallacies.

Impenitent
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Re: petitio principii or begging the question

Post by Impenitent » Sat Jun 17, 2017 8:43 pm

begging the question?

the sun will rise in the morning...

because it has always done so?

-Imp

surreptitious57
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Re: petitio principii or begging the question

Post by surreptitious57 » Sat Jun 17, 2017 8:56 pm

The Sun only appears to rise from our frame of reference here on Earth but in reality it does not rise at all. What ensures its continued
existence is the hydrogen it still has to convert into helium. When that finally runs out it will turn red giant then slowly proceed to die

Skip
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Re: petitio principii or begging the question

Post by Skip » Sat Jun 17, 2017 11:28 pm

Impenitent wrote:
Sat Jun 17, 2017 8:43 pm
begging the question?

the sun will rise in the morning...

because it has always done so?

-Imp
The example does not specify a point of view.
If the question is: Why do you expect the sun to rise in the morning, "because it has always done so" makes sense: you are drawing an inference from past observation.
However, from an impersonal point of view, the question would be: Why does the sun rise in the morning?
and you say: having always risen in the morning causes the sun to rise in the morning,
then you are begging the question.

Philosophy Explorer
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Re: petitio principii or begging the question

Post by Philosophy Explorer » Sun Jun 18, 2017 2:25 am

Skip wrote:
Sat Jun 17, 2017 11:28 pm
Impenitent wrote:
Sat Jun 17, 2017 8:43 pm
begging the question?

the sun will rise in the morning...

because it has always done so?

-Imp
The example does not specify a point of view.
If the question is: Why do you expect the sun to rise in the morning, "because it has always done so" makes sense: you are drawing an inference from past observation.
However, from an impersonal point of view, the question would be: Why does the sun rise in the morning?
and you say: having always risen in the morning causes the sun to rise in the morning,
then you are begging the question.
Let me take this a step further. Saying the sun has always risen sounds strange to me because I can ask what is it the sun has always risen in terms of? Another sun? What is the basis for saying the sun has always risen? How do we know?

PhilX

Skip
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Re: petitio principii or begging the question

Post by Skip » Sun Jun 18, 2017 2:52 am

Philosophy Explorer wrote:
Sun Jun 18, 2017 2:25 am
Let me take this a step further. Saying the sun has always risen sounds strange to me because I can ask what is it the sun has always risen in terms of? Another sun? What is the basis for saying the sun has always risen? How do we know?

PhilX
You can ask all the questions you want. Any one of them could serve as an example, if you then supplied the argumentation that
demonstrates the fallacy of circularity, tautology or begging the question.

duszek
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Re: petitio principii or begging the question

Post by duszek » Sun Jun 18, 2017 9:44 am

"A want a cat because cats are cute."

Question begging or not question begging ?

There might be people who loath cats and want one for a confrontation therapy.

Someone who says that someone is begging the question could be an unimaginative person or an arrogant p****.

And:
Sometimes people ask for further explanations although it is none of their business. So givning a pseudo-reason is a way out of the dilemma without hurting the asker´s feelings too much.

Skip
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Re: petitio principii or begging the question

Post by Skip » Sun Jun 18, 2017 3:40 pm

duszek wrote:
Sun Jun 18, 2017 9:44 am
"A want a cat because cats are cute."

Question begging or not question begging ?
Statement; expression of personal aesthetic judgment and desire.
This doesn't require logical support, any more than just plain "A want a cat." does.
To turn it into an argument, you'd need to make a case that convinces another person. Change the question to something that needs justification, e.g.
Why is it good to have cats?
Why should I let A bring a cat into the house?
There might be people who loath cats and want one for a confrontation therapy.
Or for dinner. But those people are not mentioned in the statement as presented, so they're irrelevant.
Someone who says that someone is begging the question could be an unimaginative person or an arrogant p****.
That wouldn't make them factually or logically wrong.
Saying: "A, F, R therefore Q; fill in the blanks." doesn't amount to a convincing argument.

And:
Sometimes people ask for further explanations although it is none of their business. So givning a pseudo-reason is a way out of the dilemma without hurting the asker´s feelings too much.
Okay, sure.
Does this have anything at all to do with fallacies of logic?

You keep mixing two different things together. The rules of logic are not applicable to biographical information, expressions of personal preference, jokes, observations and small-talk.
"Begging the question" is one of the classic fallacies in rhetoric: it is one of the tricks in persuasive argument , not conversation.
http://www.theskepticsguide.org/resourc ... -fallacies
The term “begging the question” is often misused to mean “raises the question,” (and common use will likely change, or at least add this new, definition). However, the intended meaning is to assume a conclusion in one’s question.

duszek
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Re: petitio principii or begging the question

Post by duszek » Mon Jun 19, 2017 5:20 pm

Therefore, inspired by our sense of logic, we beg for giving us the general rule or principle behind a statement of facts.

Cats are sneaky.

1. Because that´s their nature.
2. Because their ancestors had to hunt preys that had good hearing and sight.

1. does not give any substantial general principle, 2. does so.

1. indulges in question-begging, 2. gives a satisfactory explanation.

The syllogism:
Animals that have to hunt preys with good hearing and sight become sneaky.
Cats´ancestors had to hunt preys with good hearing and sight.
Cats are sneaky.

This is a short-cut version, I skipped some syllogisms to make things simpler.

Barbara, I would say. Or Darii ?

Skip
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Re: petitio principii or begging the question

Post by Skip » Mon Jun 19, 2017 9:29 pm

By Barbara, I think she's got it!
Who's Darii?

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