Circular reasoning


Circular reasoning

Circular reasoning is a formal logical fallacy in which the proposition to be proved is assumed implicitly or explicitly in one of the premises. For example:

"Only an untrustworthy person would run for office. The fact that politicians are untrustworthy is proof of this."

Such an argument is fallacious, because it relies upon its own proposition — "politicians are untrustworthy" — in order to support its central premise. Essentially, the argument assumes that its central point is already proven, and uses this in support of itself.

Circular reasoning is different from the informal logical fallacy "begging the question", as it is fallacious due to a flawed logical structure and not the individual falsity of an unstated hidden co-premise as begging the question is.

See also


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  • Circular instruments — Circular Cir cu*lar, a. [L. circularis, fr. circulus circle: cf. F. circulaire. See {Circle}.] [1913 Webster] 1. In the form of, or bounded by, a circle; round. [1913 Webster] 2. repeating itself; ending in itself; reverting to the point of… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Circular lines — Circular Cir cu*lar, a. [L. circularis, fr. circulus circle: cf. F. circulaire. See {Circle}.] [1913 Webster] 1. In the form of, or bounded by, a circle; round. [1913 Webster] 2. repeating itself; ending in itself; reverting to the point of… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English


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