Episode 13: Beg the Question

What is the "true" meaning of "to beg the question?" Well, it depends on what you mean by "true." Today, "to beg the question" most commonly is used as a synonym for "to raise the question," but historically, "beg the question" had a very different meaning. It involved neither "begging" nor a "question," but rather, a philosophical fallacy of circular reasoning. The expression--or rather, the meaning of the expression--can be traced all the way back to Aristotle. Over the course of about two thousand years, a series of mistranslations and semantic corruptions have resulted in "beg the question's" modern "misusage."

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