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2013-07-08: Women Only Space 4
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merest



Joined: 15 May 2011
Posts: 325

PostPosted: Tue Jul 09, 2013 11:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dogen wrote:
merest wrote:
ShadowCell wrote:
in other words everyone else came to play baseball and you showed up with your chess set and your croquet mallet and your little plastic submarine piece from "Battleship" and then you can't figure out why no one is playing Rothide-rules Calvinball


That sort of begs the question, doesn't it? Unless you are making a joke, in which case, carry on.

that doesn't mean what you seem to think it means.

aside from sounding pretentious, I don't know much about you... do you often use logical terms incorrectly? are we gonna have a problem here?


I don't know much about you, either, but would deem it impolite to make inferences. I can justify my use of 'begging the question' here quite well, but after the last thread am reluctant to be put onto the defensive, for I noticed how it got circuitous. Note, however, that begging the question has an informal sense that some authorities (for example, the authors of The American Heritage Guide to Contemporary Usage and Style) consider perfectly acceptable.
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Monkey Mcdermott



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
Posts: 3316

PostPosted: Tue Jul 09, 2013 3:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

merest wrote:
Dogen wrote:
merest wrote:
ShadowCell wrote:
in other words everyone else came to play baseball and you showed up with your chess set and your croquet mallet and your little plastic submarine piece from "Battleship" and then you can't figure out why no one is playing Rothide-rules Calvinball


That sort of begs the question, doesn't it? Unless you are making a joke, in which case, carry on.

that doesn't mean what you seem to think it means.

aside from sounding pretentious, I don't know much about you... do you often use logical terms incorrectly? are we gonna have a problem here?


I don't know much about you, either, but would deem it impolite to make inferences. I can justify my use of 'begging the question' here quite well, but after the last thread am reluctant to be put onto the defensive, for I noticed how it got circuitous. Note, however, that begging the question has an informal sense that some authorities (for example, the authors of The American Heritage Guide to Contemporary Usage and Style) consider perfectly acceptable.


You should trot on over to general discussion, i'm sure you and Thy Brilliance will be great friends.
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Dogen



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
Posts: 10793
Location: Bellingham, WA

PostPosted: Tue Jul 09, 2013 3:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Far be it from me to stoop to linguistic prescriptivism, although that particular phrase is pretty rough. Given its three possible meanings, two of which are almost opposites of each other (to avoid a question or to raise it), you might take the words of the American Heritage Guide to Contemporary Usage and Style (2005), who "consider it perfectly acceptable," by offering the advice: "The moral of this story is that no matter how you use this expression, its ambiguity will likely turn off a sizeable percentage of your audience. It is probably better to avoid the phrase entirely." But then, I just have a preference for unambiguity. You may not.

Don't worry about politeness. We don't.
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Samsally



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
Posts: 6502

PostPosted: Tue Jul 09, 2013 4:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I thought we were supposed to know the question that was being begged?

I'm so confused. I had no idea the phrase was so complicated.
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Mercian



Joined: 27 Feb 2013
Posts: 86

PostPosted: Tue Jul 09, 2013 6:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Samsally wrote:
I thought we were supposed to know the question that was being begged?

I'm so confused. I had no idea the phrase was so complicated.


This!
I always thought it was used like "this begs the question: what were the hyenas doing in the orphanage in the first place?"

I am so uneducated.
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ShadowCell



Joined: 03 Aug 2008
Posts: 6077
Location: California

PostPosted: Tue Jul 09, 2013 7:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

in ordinary speech, people use the phrase "begging the question" all the time. in logic, as an informal fallacy, it has a different meaning. Wiki has an article on how the "begging the question" fallacy works in logic. to use their example: the question being raised in the issue of same-sex marriage is whether marriage is between only a man and a woman. if an editorial says that same-sex marriage is wrong because marriage is between only a man and a woman, then that editorial has begged the question. that's because the question was about whether marriage is between a man and a woman; the editorial concluded that same-sex marriage is wrong by simply assuming an answer to that question without showing why we should accept that answer. so the question of whether marriage is between only a man and a woman remains.
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mouse



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
Posts: 17275
Location: under the bed

PostPosted: Tue Jul 09, 2013 9:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

the reason i dislike the current trend for using 'begs the question' to mean "demands that the question be asked" is because we already have equally efficient ways to say that - 'prompts the question', 'inspires the question' etc. while we don't have an efficient way to say "but your answer has avoided the question being asked, and i object to that". so i'd rather keep it the old way, especially since the new way really derives from people who never understood what the old usage meant, and just supplied their own.

like the people who write things like "give your imagination free reign" when the expression is actually "free REIN" and don't try to convince me it's ok because you are allowing your imagination to be in control of things when in fact you are giving your imagination the freedom to go where it will.

ahem.

also, the little girl with the big stick. SHE'S A LITTLE KID. little kids will do things like wave around toy light sabers (and real quarterstaffs they are learning to use) because a) they like them and want to show off their ability with them and b) they haven't necessarily learned that they are suggesting an over-reaction. she's not exactly a trained bouncer, and so she doesn't react like one - instead, she goes into the pose she has learned with the stick she always carries around. if she was fantasizing being a jedi knight, she would have struck a fencing pose with her light saber.
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Leohan



Joined: 27 Mar 2007
Posts: 1019

PostPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2013 12:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mouse wrote:
while we don't have an efficient way to say "but your answer has avoided the question being asked, and i object to that"

"Don't avoid the argument just because you can't defend it" is a good alternative in my opinion. "Stay on topic" works if you want fewer words.
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Usagi Miyamoto



Joined: 09 Jul 2006
Posts: 2225
Location: wish you were here

PostPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2013 12:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fighting the popular usage of "begging the question" is like fighting the tide. If few people understand it to mean "assuming the conclusion," it's tough to use the phrase and have it be understood correctly outside a specialized audience. I expect "begging the question" is on its way out as a term of art, and people will gravitate to something more readily understood like "using circular logic." "Evading the question" is another thing entirely.

Don't get me started about people who say "flaunt" when they mean "flout," though. Grrr.
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Mercian



Joined: 27 Feb 2013
Posts: 86

PostPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2013 1:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I have learned a new thing. Sinfest: more educational than GCSE English. Mind you, we didn't even learn grammar in English lessons.

Do the folks here all have an academic grounding in this sort of thing (not just English usage and abusage, but all the logical fallacy stuff), or have you educated yourselves?

Edited to add: Also - thank you for explaining the term without being condescending.
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stripeypants



Joined: 24 Feb 2013
Posts: 3429
Location: Land of the Grumpuses

PostPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2013 2:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I always thought 'begs the question' meant 'This brings us to another question we haven't yet thought to ask.' That's how I've heard it used most; did not realize it was supposed to label a fallacy.
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Dogen



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
Posts: 10793
Location: Bellingham, WA

PostPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2013 2:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The problem with losing the meaning of "begging the question" is that it's not strictly synonymous with circular reasoning, and there's no good alternative for begs that aren't circular (unless we want to start using latin, which I don't). Not that it means anything linguistically, since the common usage will be whatever it will be, and there's nothing we can do about it.

Mercian wrote:
Do the folks here all have an academic grounding in this sort of thing (not just English usage and abusage, but all the logical fallacy stuff), or have you educated yourselves?

Yes to both questions? During my undergrad I minored in philosophy, but I chose the minor because I already enjoyed learning about logic and etymology. ShadowCell has a big fancy philosophy degree, though I don't know if he took many logic courses to get it or just knows stuff the way I know stuff (reading for fun).

Quote:
Edited to add: Also - thank you for explaining the term without being condescending.

ShadowCell is a big softie.
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ShadowCell



Joined: 03 Aug 2008
Posts: 6077
Location: California

PostPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2013 4:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dogen wrote:
ShadowCell has a big fancy philosophy degree, though I don't know if he took many logic courses to get it or just knows stuff the way I know stuff (reading for fun).


i took a couple of symbolic logic courses that kicked my ass and aren't very useful for this sort of thing. the rest was learning it by practice in other courses, and reading it on my own.

besides which, it's important to know your fallacies if you're going to get into internet arguments all the time. especially internet arguments with people who are liable to lecture you about fallacies.
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Dogen



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
Posts: 10793
Location: Bellingham, WA

PostPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2013 4:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pfft, you never argue with me...

... that's who you meant, right?
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ShadowCell



Joined: 03 Aug 2008
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2013 4:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

and especially if you're going to get into internet arguments with people who are liable to lecture you incorrectly about fallacies

C:
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