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circular reasoning
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circular reasoning

She’s guilty of circular reasoning.
  a logical fallacy or error in reasoning when the conclusion of an argument is assumed in one of the premises
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circular reasoning circular argument
This would be an example of "circular reasoning":

"It’s a free country, so you don’t have the right to tell me I can’t publish that."

In fact there are things that would be illegal to print. For example libel laws may make it illegal to publish false and malicious information. Treason laws may make it illegal to publish national secrets. In saying "it’s a free country", the speaker is acting as though there are no exceptions to the right of free speech and attempting to use that assumption as a basis for his conclusion.

This may also be referred to as "begging the question."  Aristotle is thought to have first used the Latin term for this fallacy (petitio principii).
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  • She’s guilty of circular reasoning.
  • "That’s a circular argument," I pointed out.
    Rick Yancey  --  The Infinite Sea
  • That sort of circular reasoning-the kind that left the person being grilled hung out to dry-was exactly what you aimed for in a courtroom.
    Jodi Picoult  --  Nineteen Minutes
  • Lilly: That’s a circular argument.
    Meg Cabot  --  The Princess Diaries
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Associated words [difficulty]:   circular reasoning [9] , non sequitur [7] , red herring [7] , begging the question [8] , ad hominem [9] , straw man [9]
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Most commonly used in these subjects:   Logic & Reasoning, Philosophy, Business
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