Begging serene detachment

Read Mark Liberman on begging the question, in a blow-by-blow account of the history of the phrase, and sound advice on how to reach a modus vivendi with its current usage, mis- or otherwise.

I’ll repeat that advice here, but don’t miss the lead-up.

My recommendation: Never use the phrase yourself — use “assume the conclusion” or “raise the question”, depending on what you mean — and cultivate an attitude of serene detachment in the face of its use by others.

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