By Leonard Nelson (auth.)
Presented as a Vorlesung within the German philosophical culture, this booklet provides the main unique account of Nelson’s approach to argument research, celebrated via many luminaries akin to Karl Popper. It used to be written in 1921 towards the relativistic, subjectivistic and nihilistic traits of Nelson’s time. The e-book includes an exposition of a mode that may be a extra improvement of Kant’s transcendental dialectics, by means of an software to the serious research of arguments via many recognized thinkers, together with Bentham, Mill, Poincaré, Leibniz, Hegel, Einstein, Bergson, Rickert, Simmel, Brentano, Stammler, Jellinek, Dingler, and Meinong. The ebook provides a normal concept of philosophical argumentation as visible from the perspective of the common fallacies devoted through anyone arguing philosophically, no matter if specialist philosophers or philosophical laypeople. even supposing the character of philosophy and philosophical argumentation is likely one of the such a lot recurrent items of mirrored image for philosophers, this publication represents the 1st try out at a normal idea of philosophical fallacy. in keeping with Nelson, it really is within the form of fake dilemmas that mistakes in reasoning consistently emerge, and fake dilemmas are regularly the results of an identical mechanism--the unwitting substitute of 1 notion for another.
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Extra info for A Theory of Philosophical Fallacies
To say that pure logical thinking ‘is mediating’ means that the content of truth cannot be generated by the pure form of logical inference, albeit logical inference can indeed help establish what follows from this content as taken from somewhere else. Logical reasoning is in and of itself empty in the sense that it cannot create its own epistemic content. The insight that rational knowledge depends on something else is not so old. The error I have described did not only entirely pervade the medieval philosophy of the Schoolmen, but also the philosophical school which under the name of rationalism dominated the modern era up to the end of the eighteenth century.
Consistency and coherence of the system, albeit overwhelming to laypeople, are always the last thing and never the starting-point for the creator of the system, at least if we’re talking about an important philosopher. Things are quite the other way around—an important thinker will test the value of his principle by seeing whether its consequences are correct, and will prefer to be inconsistent than to relinquish a truth identiﬁed beforehand. There is no logical violence a philosopher would not be willing to inflict on his own system if the consistent elaboration of that system would lead him to a false result.
In my last lecture I addressed the error that consists in overestimating the value of logical reasoning as expressed by letting consistency be the sole criterion for judging a system of thought. The strict bounds of logical reasoning, dictated by its mediating character, are thereby neglected. To say that pure logical thinking ‘is mediating’ means that the content of truth cannot be generated by the pure form of logical inference, albeit logical inference can indeed help establish what follows from this content as taken from somewhere else.
A Theory of Philosophical Fallacies by Leonard Nelson (auth.)