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