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Circular Reasoning Fallacy

Also called “Begging the Question”

“You must go to bed at 9 pm because 9 pm is your bedtime.”

This argument is an example of circular reasoning because the conclusion is included in one of the premises. A premise is a statement from which a conclusion can be drawn.

Let’s separate the above argument into a premise and conclusion:

  • 9 pm is your bedtime. (premise)
  • Therefore, you must go to bed at 9 pm. (conclusion)

Since “9 pm is your bedtime” essentially means the same thing as “You must go to bed at 9 pm”, we can see that the conclusion is included in the premise.

The problem with circular arguments is that they assume what they’re trying to prove. People often use circular reasoning when they don’t have any justification for what they’re arguing.

Here are some other examples of circular reasoning:

“Our country is the best country because it is superior to all others.”

“Everything in this book is true. I know this because the book says that everything in it is true.”

Back to the Logical Fallacy Handbook


Courses

Fallacy Detectors Part 1

Develop the skills to tackle logical fallacies through a series of 10 science-fiction videos with activities. Recommended for ages 8-12.

US$15

Symbolic Logic for Teens Part 1

Learn how to make sense of complicated arguments with 14 video lessons and activities. Recommended for ages 13 and up.

US$15

Worksheets

Symbolic Logic Worksheets icon

Symbolic Logic Worksheets

Worksheets covering the basics of symbolic logic for children ages 12 and up.

US$5

Elementary School Worksheets and Lesson Plans icon

Elementary School Worksheets and Lesson Plans

These lesson plans and worksheets teach students in grades 2-5 about superstitions, different perspectives, facts and opinions, the false dilemma fallacy, and probability.

US$10

Middle School Worksheets and Lesson Plans icon

Middle School Worksheets and Lesson Plans

These lesson plans and worksheets teach students in grades 5-8 about false memories, confirmation bias, Occam's razor, the strawman fallacy, and pareidolia.

US$10

High School Worksheets and Lesson Plans icon

High School Worksheets and Lesson Plans

These lesson plans and worksheets teach students in grades 8-12 about critical thinking, the appeal to nature fallacy, correlation versus causation, the placebo effect, and weasel words.

US$10

Statistical Shenanigans Worksheets and Lesson Plans icon

Statistical Shenanigans Worksheets and Lesson Plans

These lesson plans and worksheets teach students in grades 9 and up the statistical principles they need to analyze data rationally.

US$10