Argument by contradiction

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Argument by contradiction is any form of argument in which the defender simply re-asserts that their position is true without addressing the substance of an attack; as such, it is a form of dismissal. It is basically the use of a naked assertion in response to a counterargument.

As Monty Python once observed:

An argument is a connected series of statements to establish a definite proposition. ... It isn't just saying "no it isn't"!


An argument by contradiction is often accompanied by some form of prop to make it seem more substantial, in which case it is arguably a form of rhetorical deception.


  • "No, you're wrong.": simple contradiction, unless followed by an explanation
  • "Studies show that you're wrong.": argument from authority, unless data from those studies is introduced
  • "I don't accept your hypothesis.": simple contradiction with larger words
  • "We don't believe this is true.": argument from authority sprinkled lightly with appeal to common belief