In his paper, The logical foundations of means-end reasoning, John Pollock describes a notion of "means-end" reasoning, which is planning with a certain end goal in mind.
Human plan-construction is generally based on means-end reasoning. Means-end reasoning is concerned with finding the means for achieving goals. The basic idea is a simple one: to achieve a goal, we consider an action that would achieve it under some specified circumstances and then try to find a way of putting ourselves in those circumstances in order to achieve the goal by performing the action. Putting ourselves in those circumstances becomes a subgoal. The idea is to work backward from the goal through subgoals until we arrive at subgoals that are already achieved. The resulting sequence of actions constitutes a plan for achieving the goal. A precise logical theory of plan-construction is formulated that completely characterizes means-end reasoning. (source)
My question is this: within epistemology, is there a term to describe arguments derived with an end (conclusion) in mind? Is there an equivalent to this means-end reasoning in epistemology? The scenario I'm thinking of involves two agents A and B; A wants to convince B of some fact and so he uses methods agreed upon by both parties. However, A's intent is not to follow the truth wherever it leads. Instead, he has a very specific vision of where his argument must conclude to convince B. So, A "reasons" backwards from his desired conclusions until he reaches a plausible set of premises he knows B will assent to. Whether A believes in the fact he's trying to argue for doesn't matter in this case.
Is there a term, within epistemology, for the "means-end" style of argumentation A is using?