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Vicious circle   /vˈɪʃəs sˈərkəl/   Listen
Vicious circle

One trouble leads to another that aggravates the first.  Synonym: vicious cycle.
An argument that assumes that which is to be proved.

WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University

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"Vicious circle" Quotes from Famous Books

... further than the first grade even when they had gone to school at all; 3,379 could not even sign their own names legibly, and nearly 2,000 of them could not write at all. The report brings automatically into view the vicious circle of child-labor, illiteracy, bodily and mental defect, poverty and delinquency. And like all reports on child labor, the large family and reckless breeding looms large in the background as one of the ...
— The Pivot of Civilization • Margaret Sanger

... conception of history is one of the greatest discoveries of our century, so rich in scientific discoveries. Thanks to it alone sociology has at last, and for ever, escaped from the vicious circle in which it had, until then, turned; thanks to it alone this science now possesses a foundation as solid as natural science. The revolution made by Marx in social science may be compared with that made by Kopernicus in astronomy. ...
— Anarchism and Socialism • George Plechanoff

... itself; it can work only in its own way, and by its self-given laws. Criticism does not inquire whether a work is true to life, but tacitly or explicitly compares it with models, and tests it by them. If literary art travelled by any such road as criticism would have it go, it would travel in a vicious circle, and would arrive only at the point of departure. Yet this is the course that criticism must always prescribe when it attempts to give laws. Being itself artificial, it cannot conceive of the original except as the abnormal. It must altogether reconceive its office ...
— Henry James, Jr. • William Dean Howells

... consequently give no heed to almost extinct educational predilections like these, and found their philological chairs for the training of new and exclusive generations of philologists, who on their part give similar philological preparation in the public schools—a vicious circle which is useful neither to philologists nor to public schools, but which above all accuses the university for the third time of not being what it so pompously proclaims itself to be—a training ground for culture. Take away the Greeks, together with philosophy ...
— On the Future of our Educational Institutions • Friedrich Nietzsche

... it is impossible for any one among us to do otherwise than acquiesce in this vicious circle. Why? Just because no man can dissociate himself outright from the social organism of which he forms a component member. He can no more do so than the eye can dissociate itself from the heart and lungs, or than the legs can shake themselves free from the head ...
— Post-Prandial Philosophy • Grant Allen

... lamentable manner the history of Russia's internal misrule and disorder has continued to repeat itself for the last sixty years, revolving in the same vicious circle of fierce repression and persecution and utter disregard of the rights of individuals, followed by fierce reprisals on the part of the persecuted; the voice of protest no sooner raised than silenced in a prison cell or ...
— The Forged Coupon and Other Stories • Leo Tolstoy

... forced the Covenant on the consciences of thousands, from the king downwards, who in soul and conscience loathed it. They were to drink of the same cup—Episcopacy was to be forced on them by fines and imprisonments. Scotland, her people and rulers were moving in a vicious circle. The Resolutioners admitted that to allow the Protesters to have any hand in affairs was "to breed continual distemper and disorders," and Baillie was for banishing the leaders of the Protesters, irreconcilables like the Rev. James Guthrie, to the Orkney islands. ...
— A Short History of Scotland • Andrew Lang

... they are diagrams, not symbols, and thence it is that Giotto seems nearer to the Renaissance than do his latest followers, not excepting even Orcagna. Painting, which had made the most prodigious strides from Giunta to Cimabue, and from Cimabue to Giotto, had got enclosed within a vicious circle, in which it moved for nearly a century neither backwards nor forwards: painters were satisfied with suggestion; and as long as they were ...
— The Contemporary Review, Volume 36, September 1879 • Various

... body is literally manufactured and sustained by mind. Through pressure of instincts from past lives, strengths or weaknesses percolate gradually into human consciousness. They express as habits, which in turn ossify into a desirable or an undesirable body. Outward frailty has mental origin; in a vicious circle, the habit-bound body thwarts the mind. If the master allows himself to be commanded by a servant, the latter becomes autocratic; the mind is similarly enslaved by submitting ...
— Autobiography of a YOGI • Paramhansa Yogananda

Words linked to "Vicious circle" :   regeneration, specious argument, positive feedback

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