Crazy philosophy thingy I can't disprove.

Several months ago, I came up with a way to prove that circular reasoning actually isn't a fallacy, but instead a good way of proving things. I know that sounds dumb, but after talking to my Calculus teacher, my logic-obsessed uncle, and a Philosophy professor, I don't think anyone's really disproved it. It's a little hard to explain, but here's the best I can do:

First, I want you to assume two things. All arguments start with some sort of assumption, but these are a little unusual.
Please assume that,
1. The argument I’m about to tell you is circular, and
2. Circular arguments are good.

From those two things, you can easily conclude that this argument, being circular, is good.
Now, in a circular argument the conclusion is the same as one of the assumptions. So, in order to reach the conclusion of our argument, we need to go back to the assumptions.
If we made assumption 1 into our conclusion, our argument wouldn’t even be an argument- it would just be us asserting over and over again that this argument is circular. So, in order to keep our argument as an argument, we must make assumption two into our conclusion.
So, here’s the grand conclusion:
Circular arguments are good.

Weird, right? What do you guys think? Does this explain it well enough? And what, if anything, should I do with this?
I have way, way more information on this, but I'm trying to keep it short. Please ask me questions and I'll try to answer them.
Thanks!

Comments

  • RolloRollo Operative 6081, MiniTrue Airstrip Three, OceaniaPosts: 1,896 ✭✭✭
    edited August 2016

    If we made assumption 1 into our conclusion, our argument wouldn’t even be an argument- it would just be us asserting over and over again that this argument is circular. So, in order to keep our argument as an argument, we must make assumption two into our conclusion.



    2 doesn't follow from 1.
    1 contains one-way information.

    "The argument I’m about to tell you is circular,"

    by Rollo
    "I speak an infinite deal of nothing and I am not bound to please thee with my answers."

    I've written four books - you might like to buy them: Linky - Doobly Doo
  • Thanks for reading this, Rollo! Do you think you could explain what you mean by 'one-way information'? It's apparently a popular marketing term, so I'm having a hard time finding any other meaning.
  • It's great that you are interested, if you want to learn more about arguments and how to analyze them I'd recommend you look into Symbolic Logic, basically you break down arguments enough that it turns into a math like structure with its own notation and symbols as the title suggests. This argument in particular isn't actually a sound argument, I don't think (mind you I'm not an expert, just a moderately informed student) its even actually an argument. But let's say it's an argument for now, but just because it is an argument doesn't make it sound (true) or convincing. I feel like you may be getting confused between a valid argument and a sound argument. A valid argument is one where assuming the premises are true, the conclusion has to be true. A sound argument is one where the premises are actually true and the argument is valid. Your premises are not true, therefore your argument is not sound, it might be valid given a liberal definition of argument, but not sound. You can put anything in that format you've used, for example:

    I'm about to tell you elephants are pink.
    Elephants are pink.
    Therefore, Elephants are pink.

    Does this make elephants actually pink, no. Ultimately, despite your example, circular reasoning is still a fallacy and not really an argument. When you try to analyze circular reasoning like an argument it kinda folds in on itself. The first premise has nothing to do with the conclusion and can thus be discarded leaving us with:

    Elephants are pink.
    Therefore Elephants are pink.

    This is your traditional circular logic spiral. If you assume that the premise "Elephants are pink" then obviously the conclusion "Elephants are pink" would naturally follow, but this is really superfluous, so the argument ends up only being one statement:

    Elephants are pink.

    The issue here is that ultimately you can just repeat Elephants are pink ad nauseam and prove nothing, getting nowhere and still not being true. Circular reasoning is a fallacy for a reason.
  • lilwritergirllilwritergirl Posts: 11
    That's really helpful, thanks! I avoided looking at this for a long time because I'm CRAZY bad at dealing with criticism, but you were (of course) much nicer about it than I feared. That Symbolic Logic stuff looks fascinating, and I think I'll be going down that rabbit hole for a while.
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