1. Religion & Spirituality
Send to a Friend via Email

Your suggestion is on its way!

An email with a link to:

http://atheism.about.com/library/glossary/general/bldef_reductio.htm

was emailed to:

Thanks for sharing About.com with others!

reductio ad absurdum
<Back to Last Page >     <Glossary Index>

 Related Terms
• ethics

 

Definition:
The Latin phrase reductio ad absurdum means "reduction to the absurd." It is used to refer to the process of demonstrating that an idea is probably false by first assuming its truth, and then showing how that truth leads to absurd conclusions which cannot possibly be true. The process is also used in ethical philosophy by assuming the moral validity of some principle, and then showing that acceptance of it would lead to very unethical consequences.

Also Known As: elenchus

Alternate Spellings: none

Common Misspellings: none

Related Resources:

What is the Logic and the Philosophy of Language?
The two fields Logic and the Philosophy of Language are often treated separately, but they are nevertheless close enough that they are presented together here. Logic is the study of methods of reasoning and argumentation, both proper and improper. The Philosophy of Language, on the other hand, involves the study of how our language interacts with our thinking.

What is Philosophy?
What is philosophy? Is there any point in studying philosophy, or is it a useless subject? What are the different branches of philosophy - what's the difference between aestheitcs and ethics? What's the difference between metaphysics and epistemology?

<Back to Last Page >     <Glossary Index>
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Discuss in my forum

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.