Jump to content
Objectivism Online Forum
Sign in to follow this  
Kenny Davis

Fallacy of Pure Self reference

Rate this topic

Recommended Posts

The fallacy of pure self-reference occurs when a concept or statement is asserted as referring exclusively to its own object-less referring

Example: This statement is true

It originates with Dr. Harry Binswanger


The problem I see with this fallacy is it seems to not be universally ture.

"This sentence has exactly six words" is true while also only referring to itself.

I think the key to my misunderstanding of it is the part about "its own objectless referring".

However im unsure, is the fallacy of pure self reference actually a thing? 

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Another sentence Dr. Binswanger used in his example of the fallacy of self reference was:

This sentence is true.

The problem is that the sentence only refers to itself as true.

Here is the example given along with another variation that the good Dr. provided in one of his audio presentations.

This sentence has exactly six words.


This sentence is in written in English.

True, the latter two sentences refer to themselves, but not purely as self reference. Both name facts that can be verified. An individual can count the words, or recognize the words as belonging to the English language.

What about the first sentence can be independently verified as true? What about the first sentence is true? It has no cognitive content. It has no what. He draws a parallel to Miss Rand's identification of "A consciousness conscious of nothing but itself is a contradiction in terms." Again, there is no cognitive content.

Welcome to the forum.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.