reductio ad absurdum

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Related to Argumentum ad absurdum: Argumentum ad hominem, Argumentum ad infinitum

re·duc·ti·o ad ab·sur·dum

 (rĭ-dŭk′tē-ō ăd əb-sûr′dəm, -zûr′-, -shē-ō)
n. pl. re·duc·ti·o·nes ad absurdum (-ō′nēz, -nās)
Disproof of a proposition by showing that it leads to absurd or untenable conclusions.

[Medieval Latin reductiō ad absurdum : Latin reductiō, a bringing back, reduction + Latin ad, to + Latin absurdum, absurdity, from neuter of absurdus, absurd.]

reductio ad absurdum

(rɪˈdʌktɪəʊ æd æbˈsɜːdəm)
1. (Logic) a method of disproving a proposition by showing that its inevitable consequences would be absurd
2. (Logic) a method of indirectly proving a proposition by assuming its negation to be true and showing that this leads to an absurdity
3. application of a principle or proposed principle to an instance in which it is absurd
[Latin, literally: reduction to the absurd]

re•duc•ti•o ad ab•sur•dum

(rɪˈdʌk tiˌoʊ ˈæd æbˈsɜr dəm, -ˈzɜr-, -ʃiˌoʊ)
a reduction to an absurdity; the refutation of a proposition by demonstrating that its logical conclusion is absurd.
[1735–45; < Latin]

reductio ad absurdum

A Latin phrase meaning reduction to absurdity, used to mean carrying an argument to the point at which it becomes absurd.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.reductio ad absurdum - (reduction to the absurd) a disproof by showing that the consequences of the proposition are absurd; or a proof of a proposition by showing that its negation leads to a contradiction
disproof, falsification, refutation - any evidence that helps to establish the falsity of something
References in periodicals archive ?
however, the writer's reliance upon what the Pope may have done or not done, that Robert Sullivan was a "lifelong Catholic" and "all such authority belongs to God" and that Sullivan "was very possibly innocent" and so on is nothing but an argumentum ad absurdum (or more likely an argumentum ad ignorantia) for an attorney.

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