Circular Argument

circular argument

[¦sər·kyə·lər ′är·gyə·mənt]
An argument that is not valid because it uses the theorem to be proved or a consequence of that theorem that is not proven.

Circular Argument


(Latin, circulus in demonstrando or petitio principi ) a logical fallacy in which a consequent of the hypothesis of an argument is used as one of its premises, that is, a proposition is used for whose proof the same hypothesis must be used as a premise. Besides those trivial cases where the premise coincides with the hypothesis or is a reformulation of it, “masked” circularities are possible, in which a premise is equivalent to the hypothesis but does not resemble it in formulation. A circular “proof” is not a proof of its hypothesis; however, as a derivation of the hypothesis from an equivalent premise, it may play an important methodological role, namely, in revealing the equivalence. Examples of this are the attempts to prove Euclid’s fifth, or parallel, postulate using the theorem that the sum of the angles of any triangle equals 180°; the theorem, in turn, is proved by means of the fifth postulate.


References in periodicals archive ?
Another result was to eradicate the circular argument that our enemies often used when opposing our rights: Gay marriage is illegal, therefore it is bad, therefore it should remain illegal.
Jewell's circular argument won't get us anywhere we need to go.
Keavy Martin presents a circular argument in her academically-heavy Stories in a New Skin: Approaches to Inuit Literature.
It's a bit of a circular argument without an easy answer.
How valid is the circular argument that while Laiki was technically insolvent, with capital adequacy ratios significantly below the minimum required by European directives (8%), the bank could be considered as solvent for ELA purposes merely due to the prospect of a financial assistance programme for Cyprus that would include a few billions for its recapitalisation while the reluctance of the Christofias' government to reach agreement with the international lenders was making such a prospect unrealistic?
Neil Addison, of the Thomas More Legal Centre, called this a circular argument and said only Parliament, not the regulator, had the right to change the Act.
This appears to me to be a circular argument, although he invokes the miracles of Jesus as supporting evidence for the reasonableness of Christianity.
It becomes a circular argument - they need profile to claim the award, but need awards, and recognition, to get the profile.
It's a somewhat circular argument to say that the cost of undocumented immigrants includes the cost of failing law enforcement efforts.
Such an approach to science leads to a circular argument in which some researchers argue that music discrimination predicts phonological skills, which in turn predicts reading ability and that reading ability implies phonological skills and so on.
They have to be creative and innovative with their sponsorship but it is a circular argument in that we have to have to get the broadcast and terrestrial television rights to make it attractive.
They have to be creative and innovative with their sponsorship, but it is a circular argument in that we have to have to get the broadcast and terrestrial television rights to make it attractive.