Begging the Question: Circular Reasoning as a Tactic of Argumentation


This book offers a new theory of begging the question as an informal fallacy, within a pragmatic framework of reasoned dialogue as a normative theory of critical argumentation. The fallacy of begging the question is analyzed as a systematic tactic to evade fulfillment of a legitimate burden of proof by the proponent of an argument. The technique uses a circular structure of argument to block the further progress of dialogue and, in particular, the capability of the respondent to ask legitimate critical questions in reply to the argument. To support his analysis, Walton provides a chapter on the concept of burden of proof in argument, and there are chapters on the use of argument diagramming as a technique of argument reconstruction.

Additional information

Publisher: Place of publication:
  • New York
Publication year:
  • 1991


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