I am curious about what fallacy the following kind of reasoning represents.

Let's say we are questioning if something is true. I would argue that in order for us to question if something is true we need some sort of reference point to what that something really is in order to doubt that thing is true.

So, the fallacy I'm looking to describe is where the answer to the question/argument is implied by the question/argument.

I want to say begging the question but I feel that is different.

  • I made an edit which you may roll back or continue editing. Welcome to Philosophy! Commented Jan 8, 2019 at 23:37
  • This closely resembles Plato's Paradox of Inquiry. See also this question.
    – E...
    Commented Jan 9, 2019 at 0:52
  • There is a difference between meaning and truth. To assert that something is true, or to doubt it, we need to understand what it means. That does presuppose some background, but, unless there is an attempt to conceal that, this is not, in itself, a fallacy. Things that are true "in virtue of meanings alone" are called analytic, those are controversial.
    – Conifold
    Commented Jan 9, 2019 at 1:05
  • "where the answer to the question/argument is implied by the question/argument" is begging the question. But I don't see how your description fits your example. What false deduction results from your example? (It seems logical, at least if you live in a universe where false things are afforded any mode of existence or representation and all error is not absolute illusion -- since someone just raised Plato.)
    – user9166
    Commented Jan 9, 2019 at 16:54

1 Answer 1


There is no fallacy

Logic does not determine if some "thing" is true, logic tries to determine veracity of statements. "Having doubt" about the truthfulness of certain statement is not a bad thing, it is in fact essential quality of philosophy, to doubt, check, and double check everything. "Reference points" or premises are indeed a sticking point, wrong premise would invalidate conclusion. This however is not a fallacy, just a fundamental property of the logic. If anything, this forces us to doubt even more, and validate even seemingly rock solid premises .

There is however certain rhetorical trick, often wrongly described as fallacy. This is loaded question . Loaded question has in itself (often false but always embarrassing) premise, and person answering the question implicitly confirms the premise. Example of such question would be "Have you stopped urinating in public ?" - even if the answer is "Yes" person answering the question implicitly admits that he previously did urinate in public . However, this is not a fallacy in strict sense, because formally we deal with the question, not with the conclusion.

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