A circular argument (circulus in demonstrando in Latin) is also known as a vicious circle or an infinite regression. It is a type of reasoning in which the conclusion is supported by premises based on the conclusion.
In other words, the main idea of the argument is supported by evidence that depends on the main idea. While this may seem like a strong case at first glance, it is a very weak argument since it does not provide any new evidence to support the claim.
This type of reasoning often occurs when people try to justify their beliefs using logic and reason, but they just repeat what they already believe. As a result, circular arguments are often used in a fallacious way to trick people into accepting a claim that is not supported by evidence.
To Understand, check the list of examples;
Circular Argument Examples
Imagine a debate between two politicians about whether or not to raise taxes. Politician A may argue that taxes should be raised to fund important government programs. Politician B may counter by arguing that taxes should not be raised because it would burden taxpayers.
Politician A could counter by arguing that taxes should be raised because the government needs more revenue. As this example illustrates, circular arguments can quickly become repetitive and unproductive.
However, they can also be used to make a point or reframe a debate effectively. In the hands of a skilled debater, a circular argument can be a powerful tool.
Circular arguments are often used in politics, marketing, and everyday conversations. Here are some examples of circular arguments:
Circular Argument Examples In Our Daily Life
Here is the list of circular argument examples that are used in daily life
- “I’m not going to date him because he’s just not my type.”
- “I know she’s lying because she won’t look me in the eyes.”
- “You’re wrong about global warming because it hasn’t been proven.”
- “ I am not going to the party because I don’t like drinking.”
- “ You must follow the law because it is illegal to not follow.”
- “It is raining outside because it’s cloudy and rainy outside.”
- “I am not a liar because I never lie.”
Circular Argument Example In Media
Media often use circular arguments, especially in political debates or news.
- The media is biased because the media says it is biased
- You should pay tax because it is good for the development of the country
- Media spread fake news because it gets fake information
- The media is unfair to the conversation because they say so
- He was convicted of murder because he murdered
Circular Argument Example In Advertising
- The review in advertising is an example of a circular argument;
- A car-selling company says their car is the best because so many people use it.
- People should buy their cars because their car is good.
- You should buy from us because we are the best shop.
- This cream fair your complexion because it is a fairness cream
Other Examples of Circular Reasoning Fallacies
Here are some other examples of circular arguments we often go through daily.
- You should vote for me because I will reduce the tax – I will reduce the tax; this is why you should vote for me.
- You should vote for us because the other party is corrupt.
- The president’s approval rating is low because he has done nothing for the country
The conclusion is based on the premises without reasoning in both examples. These two are the most famous examples of circular arguments that our politicians often use.
Examples that we use in our education are as follows;
- I got good grades because I worked hard, and thus, I got good grades.
- You should read Bible because it is true. Bible is true; thus, you should read it.
- School ar necessary because education is important
- This poem by Keats is beautifully written because he is a good poet
- The movie opens with a protagonist who is suspected of a murder case. He has to investigate the case to identify the murderer, but the scene again starts when he is convicted of murder.
- In another example in the movie “The Matrix,” the character Neo is told that he must choose between two pills: one that will allow him to continue living in the simulated reality of the Matrix and one that will show him the harsh truth of the real world. Neo chooses the latter and is shocked to discover that the world he thought was real was a computer-generated construct. In this case, the movie’s creators use a circular argument to suggest that Neo’s only way of understanding the true nature of reality is to experience it for himself.
Petitio Principii Relation With Circular Arguments
The fallacy of the circular argument is also known as Petitio Principii or begging the question. A petitio principii is a type of logical fallacy that occurs when an argument relies on an unproven or assumed assertion.
To make its case, the argument takes for granted that the thing it is trying to prove is already true. This often leads to a circular line of reasoning, as the conclusion simply restates the premise.
Petitio principii is Latin for “to beg the question.” The term can also generally refer to any argument that fails to address counterarguments or contrary evidence.
For example, someone might say, “I don’t need to wear a seatbelt; I’ve never been in an accident,” without considering that seatbelts help to prevent accidents.
Circular Argument Examples Begging the Questions
- I’m right because I’m right. You’re wrong because you’re wrong
- To solve the crime, he must know the crime committed
- 18 years old has the right to vote because it is legal for them to vote
Circular Arguments Paradoxes Examples
A paradox is a circular argument that explains that two realities do not exist in common. A paradox is an argument that leads to a contradiction.
The liar paradox is the most famous example: If one statement is true, the other is false. If one is false, then the other is true.
This paradox can be resolved by realizing that the statement is not about itself but about another statement. Once we see that the two statements are not about the same thing, we can see no contradiction.
- Eggs came first because chicken comes from the eggs, and then we say the chicken came first because eggs come from the chicken.
- Similarly, in another example, Bible is true because it has the words of God (which means God exists). And God exists because Bible says God exists.
In both examples, there is no logical evidence to prove the two statements. This is an example of circular reasoning paradox because nothing is proved right, and it ends in a circular form
We have presented examples of circular arguments from the start until the end. To avoid circular arguments, it is better to understand them and present evidence and reasons to present the conclusion of the premises.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Circular Argument a Logical Fallacy?
A circular argument is a formal logical fallacy in which a conclusion is derived from premises that presuppose the conclusion. In other words, it’s a fallacy in which the conclusion is assumed in one of the premises.
This can take several forms, but one of the most common is when someone tries to prove a statement by simply restating it in different words.
Does Every Circular Argument Have a Valid Conclusion?
No, every circular argument does not have a valid conclusion. Circular arguments are logically invalid because the conclusion is already implicit in the premises. The premises of a circular argument cannot be used to support the same conclusion without first begging the question.
Holds a degree in Literature from the University of Utah and has been writing for more than 10 years.