reductio ad absurdum

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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.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

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]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014

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]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.

reductio ad absurdum

A Latin phrase meaning reduction to absurdity, used to mean carrying an argument to the point at which it becomes absurd.
Dictionary of Unfamiliar Words by Diagram Group Copyright © 2008 by Diagram Visual Information Limited
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
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
Levin, a historian, and Watkins, a literary critic, join forces in order to mount an indirect argument about how they think the English came to see England "as a unique social, political, and cultural space--a kind of monad insulated from the rest of Europe" (14).
At the time, the President based his move on claims the procedure for preliminary agreement on the nomination has not been properly followed, stirring a heated, though indirect argument with Angelov.
"An Innovative Introduction Philosophy: Fictive Narrative, Primary Texts, and Responsive Writing" is a guide for teachers who want to teach their students philosophy with a new method constructed by two doctors of philosophy in Michael Boylan and Charles Johnson, emphasizing the value of indirect argument through fictional allusions, the favored process of Plato, and through presentation, as used by Martin Luther King, Jr.
To illustrate the utility of taking a comparative approach to language acquisition, Pye identifies four parameters on which Mayan languages differ in their applicative construction--in the functions the applicative can be used for, in the lexical restrictions it is subject to, in whether or not a preposition or relational noun phrase can express one or more applicative functions, and in constraints on when an indirect argument can be expressed as a possessor of the direct object.
Implicit in The Powers of War and Peace is an indirect argument for more limits on domestic presidential power.
As Scanlan accurately observes, Much space in Notes from the Underground is taken up with a kind of indirect argument from the example of his own egoistic condition, which does not lend itself to analysis in terms of 'best interests' and which thus tacitly calls into question the value of using such terms in the attempt to understand human behavior ...