What does it mean when someone says 'It begs the question"?

    +1  Views: 550 Answers: 4 Posted: 4 years ago

    4 Answers

    beg |beg|
    verb ( begs, begging , begged )
    1 [ reporting verb ] ask (someone) earnestly or humbly for something: [ with obj. ] : I begged him for mercy | [ with obj. and infinitive ] : she begged me to say nothing to her father | [ no obj. ] : I must beg of you not to act impulsively.
    • ask for (something) earnestly or humbly: he begged their forgiveness | [ with direct speech ] : “Don't leave me,” she begged.
    • ask formally for (permission to do something): I will now beg leave to make some observations | [ no obj. ] : we beg to inform you that we are instructed to wait.
    2 [ no obj. ] ask for something, typically food or money, as charity or a gift: a young woman was begging in the street | they had to beg for food.
    • [ with obj. ] acquire (something) from someone in this way: a piece of bread that I begged from a farmer.
    • (of a dog) sit up with the front paws raised expectantly in the hope of a reward.
    beg, borrow, or steal do whatever may be necessary to acquire something greatly desired: I'm gonna get the money to buy Casey's ring, even if I have to beg, borrow, or steal.
    beg off request to be excused from a question or obligation: asked to name her favorites from her films, Hepburn begs off.
    beg one's bread archaic live by begging.
    beg the question 1 (of a fact or action) raise a question or point that has not been dealt with; invite an obvious question. 2 avoid the question; evade the issue. 3 assume the truth of an argument or proposition to be proved, without arguing it.
    beg to differ see differ.
    go begging (of an article) be available for use because unwanted by others: half the apartments in New York go begging in the summer. • (of an opportunity) not be taken: we let so many good chances go begging.
    beg off withdraw from a promise or undertaking.
    ORIGIN Middle English: probably from Old English bedecian, of Germanic origin; related to bid1.
    usage: The original meaning of the phrase beg the question belongs to the field of logic and is a translation of the Latin term petitio principii, literally meaning ‘laying claim to a principle’ (that is, assuming something that ought to be proved first), as in the following sentence: by devoting such a large part of the anti-drug budget to education, we are begging the question of its significance in the battle against drugs. To some traditionalists, this is still the only correct meaning. However, over the last 100 years or so, another, more general use has arisen: ‘invite an obvious question,’ as in some definitions of mental illness beg the question of what constitutes normal behavior. This is by far the more common use today in modern standard English.


    My comment will be found down on the page. Thank you, robert,

    It means don't take something at "Face Value". When in doubt ask questions.


    You can buy this brand new Mercedes for $20,000. This begs the question: Does that lovely looking car run?

    "By devoting such a large part of the anti-drug budget to education, we are begging the question of its significance in the battle against drugs"      (I think I got that one, Robert)


    My comment should have gone below yours robertgrist. It just jumped up over your words.

    To criticize someone's argument.


    He said she was a bright, ambitious student but that begs the question that she diidn't know the alphabet at age 14!

    Is that the proper use?

    Top contributors in Uncategorized category

    Answers: 18390 / Questions: 154
    Karma: 1097K
    Answers: 47518 / Questions: 115
    Karma: 953K
    country bumpkin
    Answers: 11091 / Questions: 158
    Karma: 811K
    Answers: 9978 / Questions: 1128
    Karma: 745K
    > Top contributors chart