Reductio ad Absurdum
Latin for, “reduction to absurdity”
The reductio ad absurdum is an argument form which works backward from an
absurd conclusion to show that a premise of the argument must be false. For
- Nothing can do what is physically impossible.
- It is physically impossible for bumblebees to fly.
- Therefore, bumblebees cannot fly.
- Bumblebees do in fact fly.
- Therefore, either premise one or two must be false (in this case, premise 2).