A Theory of Philosophical Fallacies

  • Leonard Nelson

Part of the Argumentation Library book series (ARGA, volume 26)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-vi
  2. Fernando Leal
    Pages 1-20
  3. Leonard Nelson
    Pages 21-28
  4. Leonard Nelson
    Pages 29-34
  5. Leonard Nelson
    Pages 35-41
  6. Leonard Nelson
    Pages 43-50
  7. Leonard Nelson
    Pages 51-56
  8. Leonard Nelson
    Pages 57-63
  9. Leonard Nelson
    Pages 65-72
  10. Leonard Nelson
    Pages 73-81
  11. Leonard Nelson
    Pages 83-89
  12. Leonard Nelson
    Pages 91-98
  13. Leonard Nelson
    Pages 99-107
  14. Leonard Nelson
    Pages 109-116
  15. Leonard Nelson
    Pages 117-126
  16. Leonard Nelson
    Pages 127-134
  17. Leonard Nelson
    Pages 135-142
  18. Leonard Nelson
    Pages 143-150
  19. Leonard Nelson
    Pages 151-158
  20. Leonard Nelson
    Pages 159-165
  21. Leonard Nelson
    Pages 167-174
  22. Leonard Nelson
    Pages 175-181
  23. Leonard Nelson
    Pages 183-190
  24. Leonard Nelson
    Pages 191-201
  25. Back Matter
    Pages 203-211

About this book


Presented as a Vorlesung in the German philosophical tradition, this book presents the most detailed account of Nelson’s method of argument analysis, celebrated by many luminaries such as Karl Popper. It was written in 1921 in opposition to the relativistic, subjectivistic and nihilistic tendencies of Nelson’s time. The book contains an exposition of a method that is a further development of Kant’s transcendental dialectics, followed by an application to the critical analysis of arguments by many famous thinkers, including Bentham, Mill, Poincaré, Leibniz, Hegel, Einstein, Bergson, Rickert, Simmel, Brentano, Stammler, Jellinek, Dingler, and Meinong. The book presents a general theory of philosophical argumentation as seen from the viewpoint of the typical fallacies committed by anybody arguing philosophically, whether professional philosophers or philosophical laypeople. Although the nature of philosophy and philosophical argumentation is one of the most recurrent objects of reflection for philosophers, this book represents the first attempt at a general theory of philosophical fallacy. According to Nelson, it is in the shape of false dilemmas that errors in reasoning always emerge, and false dilemmas are always the result of the same mechanism--the unwitting replacement of one concept for another.


Analytic and synthetic judgments Aristotelian-Kantian vs Neoplatonic-Fichtean logic Circular definition Coherence and truth Dialectical illusion in philosophy Dogmatism vs Criticism False dichotomy False dilemma Geometric empiricism Geometric logicism Philosophy of the Schoolmen Synthetic a priori judgments

Authors and affiliations

  • Leonard Nelson
    • 1
  1. 1.GöttingenGermany

Bibliographic information