Thursday, May 22, 2008


Richard notes
Now that I think of it, a better way to make my point may be to replace talk of 'all or nothing' belief with credences or degrees of belief.
Maybe he has been paying attention .

So what would this mean for question begging?

Well intuitively it could mean that the door is opened to many more arguments without them being question begging. Or we could just go back to saying it is question begging even though it theoretically might add a small amount of value (or subtract value).

Others might argue that purpose matters. The purpose of the term "question begging" is to maintain standards in debate. I expect most would agree that the standard we aim for should not be a causal result of the definition of the words we use. So we probably still want to prohibit an argument that in non-probabilistic language would be considered a rule breach.

Overall I'm a bit undecided as to the "ideal" answer however I am still inclined to say that standard definition is the one one should use in a debate unless one explicitly states they are taking an alternate view.


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