Leonard Nelson

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Nelson, Leonard


Born July 11, 1882, in Berlin; died Oct. 29, 1927, in Gottingen. German idealist philosopher; psychologist. Follower of J. F. Fries and founder of the neo-Friesian school. Professor at the University of Göttingen (from 1919).

Nelson rejected the possibility of a theory of knowledge, asserting that it is not possible to validate knowledge by means of knowledge. He introduced the concept of immediate knowledge (perception), which does not require validation and which is a fact of the individual’s inner life, a psychological phenomenon. Much of Nelson’s criticism of the theory of knowledge was adopted by the existentialist philosophers. His ethical principles considerably influenced theorists of social reform, including F. Oppenheimer.


Gesammelte Schriften, vols. 1–9. Hamburg, 1970.
In Russian translation:
“Nevozmozhnost’ teorii poznaniia.” In Novye idei v filosofii, issue 5. St. Petersburg, 1913.


Selchow, B. von. L. Nelson: Ein Bild seines Lebens und Wirkens. Paris, 1938.
Leonard Nelson zum Gedächtnis. Edited by M. Specht and W. Eichler. Gottingen, 1953.


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And while he rightly devotes more space to early progenitors of the "lost tradition" than to Hermann von Helmholtz's physiological Kantianism--which has been documented elsewhere--there is surprisingly little mention of Leonard Nelson, who helped to resuscitate Fries's legacy in the early twentieth century.
The 10 articles consider such topics as metaphysical fatalism in five steps, causal tracking reliabilism and the lottery problem, Karl Popper's debt to Leonard Nelson, and reason attribution without belief-desire ascription.
Clarke of West Brookfield; four daughters: Judy Clarke of West Brookfield, Cynthia Lloyd of Ware, Susan Dill of Barre and Lisa Pensinger of West Brookfield; three brothers: Roland Groleau of SC, Donald Groleau of Oxford and John Groleau of Worcester; two sisters: Gabrielle Sumner of Auburn and Claire Gingell of RI; eight grandchildren; nine great-grandchildren, numerous nieces and nephews and her very good friends: Shirley McIntyre and Leonard Nelson. Her husband of 52 years, Walter Clarke, died in 2006.
Jeff Boehm * William Camp * Marian Dockhorn * Grace Gainer * Ichiro Hasegawa * Megan McClintock * Leonard Nelson * Caroline Peery * Mignon Thorpe * Sadie Wittenberg
Leonard Nelson is vice president of Fidelity Investments, part of the Portland Investor Center.
Some of the published letters by Hilbert concern Leonard Nelson and Hilbert's attempts to defend Husserl in his career.
He also leaves two brothers, Patrick McIntyre and Michael McIntyre; his good friend Leonard Nelson, nephews and nieces.