“Frozen Abstraction,” Fallacy of

  • The Virtue of Selfishness
    A fallacy which may be termed “the fallacy of the frozen abstraction” . . . consists of substituting some one particular concrete for the wider abstract class to which it belongs — [e.g.,] substituting a specific ethics (altruism) for the wider abstraction of “ethics.” Thus, a man may reject the theory of altruism and assert that he has accepted a rational code — but, failing to integrate his ideas, he continues unthinkingly to approach ethical questions in terms established by altruism.