Question dodging

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Question dodging is the intentional avoidance of answering a question. This may occur when the person questioned either does not know the answer and wants to avoid embarrassment, or when the person is being interrogated or questioned in debate, and wants to avoid giving a direct response.[1] Overt question dodging can sometimes be employed humorously, in order to sidestep giving a public answer in a political discussion: when a reporter asked Mayor Richard J. Daley why Hubert Humphrey had lost the state of Illinois in the 1968 presidential election, Daley replied "He lost it because he didn't get enough votes."[2] Often the aim of dodging a question is to make it seem as though the question was fulfilled, leaving the person who asked the question feeling satisfied with the answer, unaware that the question was not properly answered. A false accusation of question dodging can sometimes be made as a disingenuous tactic in debate, in the informal fallacy of the loaded question. A common way out of this argument is not to answer the question (e.g. with a simple 'yes' or 'no'), but to challenge the assumption behind the question. This can lead the person questioned to be accused of "dodging the question".

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  1. ^ "Why Dodging the Question Works in Debates (and Job Interviews)". BNET. 2008-10-07. 
  2. ^ Engel, S. Morris; Soldan. The Study of Philosophy. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 135. ISBN 978-0-7425-4892-3. Retrieved 2010-11-17.