Yes, that’s certainly a clearer and better definition than the one I attempted earlier today: “Begging the question means pretending that a proposition that really needs to be proven is actually a fact.” But I had the right idea in mind.
Thought you might enjoy a little bit of relief from the thread via Wikipedia. The following is the introduction to a long entry.
“Begging the question means assuming the conclusion of an argument—a type of circular reasoning. This is an informal fallacy where someone includes the conclusion they are attempting to prove in the initial premise of their argument—often in an indirect way that conceals it.
The term "begging the question" originated in the 16th century as a mistranslation of Latin petitio principii ("assuming the initial point").
In modern vernacular usage, "to beg the question" sometimes also means "to raise the question" (as in "This begs the question of whether...") or "to dodge the question". This usage is often proscribed.
If you liked that (especially if you do reference work), you are really going to enjoy Wikipedia’s comprehensive entry titled “List of fallacies.”
John G. Marr
University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM 87010
**"I really like to know the reasons for what I do!"**
Opinions belong exclusively to the individuals expressing them, but sharing is permitted.
I’m not begging the question. Begging the question means pretending that a proposition that really needs to be proven is actually a fact. I’m not saying it is a fact that we must record sex/gender in the 375 field. I’m making a contingent argument based on a hypothesis that there might be value in it. If there is, I think there is value in making what goes into the field clearer.
I’m suggesting an approach to make the recording of sex in the 375 more consistent, more intellectually honest (by acknowledging that it is based on the perception of the general public, not necessarily of the person) and perhaps more acceptable to those who have raised objections. (It doesn’t appear I’ve had a lot of success on that last part.)
We currently record gender/sex (“sex” would probably be a better term), so it appears some people have found value in the practice. (It might facilitate certain kinds of research.) If there is value in the practice, I figure it might be a good idea to see how we can conceptualize the practice in a way that will be less confusing and potentially offensive. If there is no value in the practice, then obviously my suggestion is moot.
However, it seems to me that if we are deciding whether sex/gender should be recorded routinely, then there is value in looking at exactly how it might be implemented. This seems to me like gathering evidence for the basic decision. I don’t see what is wrong with that.
My suggestion might simply be a bad idea, of course. It wouldn’t be my first.
But it’s only necessary if there is another “Dame Edna” who is MALE already IN the AF.
You keep begging the question; trying to make coding gender more “handy,” when what Kevin (and Shana, and others) are saying is that we should not code gender at all unless it breaks a conflict or is necessary because of the language (as with Chinese).
Breaking her promise to herself to let this lie
No, no. What I was saying would “come in handy” was the UNDERSTANDING or definition of the 375 as being used for “perceived sex,” not a guess at the person’s “real” sex or gender. That makes a decision of how to code a 375 for Dame Edna pretty obvious, I think. Thus, the definition is handy.
So you mean using the field will come in handy for determining whether the use of the field is correct? Sounds sort of circular to me.