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.”