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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(1) In philosophy, a mental act that ignores the laws and rules of logic and disrupts the harmony between thought and reality. Alogism is often hidden by the formal correctness of a statement. For example, V. I. Lenin refuted the following conclusion of the Mensheviks about the Revolution of 1905–07: If the revolution is bourgeois, then its hegemony must be that of the bourgeoisie and not of the proletariat. Alogism can be exposed only by specific dialectical analysis of the reality reflected in reasoning and not by a purely formal logical approach to the analysis of statements. It was precisely dialectical analysis that allowed Lenin to draw his conclusion about the inevitability of the hegemony of the proletariat in the bourgeois revolution in Russia. The dialectical approach in logic allows one to detect alogisms even in a correctly constructed statement and to discover the logical sequence of thought that reflects regularity in the “illogic” of life itself (Lenin). Since the end of the 19th century, alogism has acted as a basic principle in several in-tuitionist theories of philosophy, logic, mathematics, and aesthetics. These theories, unlike rational and logical cognition, sanction the direct, intuitive comprehension of the truth.


Lenin, V. I. ‘O karikature na marksizm i ob ‘imperialisticheskom ekonomizme.’ “ Poln. sobr. soch., 5th ed., vol. 30.
Asmus, V. F. Logika. Moscow, 1947.
Asmus, V. F. Problema intuitsii ν filosofii i matematike. Moscow, 1936.

(2) In literature, a stylistic device whereby logical continuity is deliberately broken for the sake of comic effect (also called non sequitur). For example, in N. V. Gogol: “Ivan Ivanovich’s character is somewhat timorous. Whereas Ivan Nikiforovich’s loose trousers have such wide pleats. . .” Examples can also be found in the fables and aphorisms of Koz’ma Prutkov. Alogism is often used in folk riddles and humorous verse for children (K. Chukovskii, D. Kharms, and others).

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.