reductio ad absurdum

<philosophical terminology> a method of proving that a proposition must be false (or true) by assuming the truth (or falsity) of the proposition and then showing that this assumption, taken together with other premises whose truth is already established, would lead to a contradiction (or, at least, to an obvious falsehood). This method is sometimes called indirect proof.

[A Dictionary of Philosophical Terms and Names]

<2002-05-06>

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Nearby terms: recursive function theory « recursive set « recursive type « reductio ad absurdum » reduction » reductionism » redundancy