Archive for the ‘Thoughts’ Category

QUESTIONS

June 10, 2008

This occurred to me while I was chalking down the questions in the previous post. A loaded question fallacy is (roughly) a question that presupposes dubious information. Like the question: “Do your parents know you smoke cigarets?” Whether you answer “yes” or “no,” you inevitably commit yourself to the presupposed direction of the question, which is that you smoke cigarets. 

I do not think that it is possible to ask a question that does not already presuppose a direction to which the answer must conform. In the case of the fallacy, we intuitively know that the presupposed direction of the question is false; however, by what criterion can we judge the innate structure of any question? For even that question presupposes a direction. 

Moreover, I do not see how it is possible to question the nature of a question without begging the question (or reasoning in a circle). If the problem of the inevitable directionality of a question cannot be circumvented, then what is to become of the so called “fallacy” of a loaded question?