Circular Reasoning: Definition and Useful Examples of Circular Reasoning Fallacy

What is circular reasoning fallacy? There are various types of fallacy in the English language and looking at them one by one can be a great way to understand them properly. In this article, we are going to be looking at one of the most commonly used fallacies – the circular reasoning fallacy. We will be finding out exactly what the circular reasoning fallacy is as well as how it works. We will then be taking a look at some examples of the circular reasoning fallacy in action to gain a better understanding of its function.

Circular Reasoning

Circular Reasoning Definition

What Is Circular Reasoning Fallacy?

The circular reasoning fallacy is a type of fallacy which is used as a way to create an argument by starting off with an assumption which shows that what you are claiming is already true. From your point of view, you already believe the claim to be truthful. This may sound like a complicated concept but it is quite easy once you understand it in more depth.

By the end of an example of circular reasoning fallacy, the argument will have come full circle, without actually having proven anything. It will use the fact that point 1 can prove point 2.

Circular reasoning fallacy can be a great way of convincing an audience who are already of the belief that the claim being made is true and so is often used to target these types of audience. However, if the audience does not already believe the claim then circular reasoning is simply not as effective.

Circular Reasoning Examples

Now that we have a better understanding of circular reasoning fallacy, we are going to take a look at some examples of how it might be used.

  • You must follow the laws of the country because it is illegal to break the law.
  • Everyone at school loves Amy because she is so popular.
  • The new book by Stephen King is very well written because he is such a good writer.
  • The United Kingdom is the best place in the world to live because it is the best country.
  • Women should be able to choose whether to end their pregnancy so abortion should always be legal.
  • I have the right to a later curfew and so you should allow me to come home at 11 pm.
  • You must ask your sister if she wants to visit because it would not be nice to not ask her.
  • You must keep enough money aside for your mortgage each month because your mortgage must be paid every month.
  • The Bible’s true, and so you shouldn’t doubt God’s word.

Conclusion

Circular reasoning in a form of fallacy in which the writer or speaker makes an argument based on a claim that is already believed. The argument assumes that point 1 will prove point 2 and therefore makes a claim with no clear conclusion. Whilst this type of fallacy can be successful in convincing an audience that is already of the same belief of the one making the claim, it can be very unsuccessful if the audience is not already on board.

Circular Reasoning Fallacy Infographic

Circular Reasoning Fallacy: Definition and Useful Examples of Circular Reasoning Fallacy

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