Dialectical method: Wikis

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Dialectic (also called dialectics or the dialectical method) is a method of argument, which has been central to both Eastern and Western philosophy since ancient times. The word "dialectic" originates in Ancient Greece, and was made popular by Plato's Socratic dialogues. Dialectic is rooted in the ordinary practice of a dialogue between two or more people who hold different ideas and wish to persuade each other. The presupposition of a dialectical argument is that the participants, even if they do not agree, share at least some meanings and principles of inference. Different forms of dialectical reason have emerged in the East and in the West, as well as during different eras of history (see below). Among the major forms of dialectic reason are Socratic, Hindu, Buddhist, Medieval, Hegelian, Marxist, and Talmudic.

Contents

Theoretical principles

Dialectics is based around three (or four) basic concepts:

  1. Everything is transient and finite, existing in the medium of time (this idea is not accepted by some dialecticians).
  2. Everything is made out of opposing forces/opposing sides (contradictions).
  3. Gradual changes lead to turning points, where one force overcomes the other (quantitative change leads to qualitative change).
  4. Change moves in spirals (or helices), not circles. (Sometimes referred to as "negation of the negation")

Within this broad qualification, dialectics has a rich and varied history. It has been stated that the history of dialectic is identical to the extensive history of philosophy.[1] The basic idea is perhaps already present in Heraclitus of Ephesus, who held that all is in constant change, as a result of inner strife and opposition.[2][3][4] Only fragments of his works and commentary remain, however.

The aim of the dialectical method is resolution of the disagreement through rational discussion,[5][6] and ultimately the search for truth. One way to proceed — the Socratic method — is to show that a given hypothesis (with other admissions) leads to a contradiction; thus, forcing the withdrawal of the hypothesis as a candidate for truth (see also reductio ad absurdum). Another way of trying to resolve a disagreement is by denying some presupposition of both the contending thesis and antithesis; thereby moving to a third (syn)thesis or "sublation". However, the rejection of the participant's presuppositions can be resisted, which might generate a second-order controversy.[7]

Western forms

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Classical philosophy

The term "dialectic" owes much of its prestige to its role in the philosophy of Socrates and Plato. According to Aristotle,[8] it was Zeno of Elea who 'invented' dialectic.

In classical philosophy, dialectic (Greek: διαλεκτική) is a form of reasoning based on the exchange of arguments and counter-arguments, advocating propositions (theses) and counter-propositions (antitheses). The outcome of such an exchange might be the refutation of one of the relevant points of view, or a synthesis or combination of the opposing assertions, or at least a qualitative transformation in the direction of the dialogue.[9][10]

Socratic dialectic

In Plato's dialogues and other Socratic dialogues, Socrates attempts to examine someone's beliefs, at times even first principles or premises by which we all reason and argue. Socrates typically argues by cross-examining his interlocutor's claims and premises in order to draw out a contradiction or inconsistency among them. According to Plato, the rational detection of error amounts to finding the proof of the antithesis.[11] However, important as this objective is, the principal aim of Socratic activity seems to be to improve the soul of his interlocutors, by freeing them from unrecognized errors.

For example, in the Euthyphro, Socrates asks Euthyphro to provide a definition of piety. Euthyphro replies that the pious is that which is loved by the gods. But, Socrates also has Euthyphro agreeing that the gods are quarrelsome and their quarrels, like human quarrels, concern objects of love or hatred. Therefore, Socrates reasons, at least one thing exists which certain gods love but other gods hate. Again, Euthyphro agrees. Socrates concludes that if Euthyphro's definition of piety is acceptable, then there must exist at least one thing which is both pious and impious (as it is both loved and hated by the gods) — which Euthyphro admits is absurd. Thus, Euthyphro is brought to a realization by this dialectical method that his definition of piety is not sufficiently meaningful.

Medieval philosophy

Dialectics (also called logic) was one of the three liberal arts taught in Medieval universities as part of the trivium. The trivium also included rhetoric and grammar.[12][13][14][15]

Modern philosophy

The concept of dialectics was given new life by Hegel (following Fichte), whose dialectically dynamic model of nature and of history made it, as it were, a fundamental aspect of the nature of reality (instead of regarding the contradictions into which dialectics leads as a sign of the sterility of the dialectical method, as Kant tended to do in his Critique of Pure Reason).[16][17] In the mid-19th century, the concept of "dialectic" was appropriated by Marx (see, for example, Das Kapital, published in 1867) and Engels and retooled in a non-idealist manner, becoming a crucial notion in their philosophy of dialectical materialism. Thus this concept has played a prominent role on the world stage and in world history. In contemporary polemics, "dialectics" may also refer to an understanding of how we can or should perceive the world (epistemology); an assertion that the nature of the world outside one's perception is interconnected, contradictory, and dynamic (ontology); or it can refer to a method of presentation of ideas and conclusions (discourse). According to Hegel, "dialectic" is the method by which human history unfolds; that is to say, history progresses as a dialectical process.

Hegelian dialectic

Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel00.jpg
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The Secret of Hegel

Hegelian dialectic, usually presented in a three-fold manner, was stated by Heinrich Moritz Chalybäus as comprising three dialectical stages of development: a thesis, giving rise to its reaction, an antithesis, which contradicts or negates the thesis, and the tension between the two being resolved by means of a synthesis.

Although this model is often named after Hegel, he himself never used that specific formulation. Hegel ascribed that terminology to Kant.[18] Carrying on Kant's work, Fichte greatly elaborated on the synthesis model, and popularized it.

On the other hand, Hegel did use a three-valued logical model that is very similar to the antithesis model, but Hegel's most usual terms were: Abstract-Negative-Concrete. Sometimes Hegel would use the terms, Immediate-Mediated-Concrete. Hegel used these terms hundreds of times throughout his works.[19]

The formula, Thesis-Antithesis-Synthesis, does not explain why the Thesis requires an Antithesis. However, the formula, Abstract-Negative-Concrete, suggests a flaw in any initial thesis—it is too abstract and lacks the negative of trial, error and experience. The same applies to the formula, Immediate-Mediated-Concrete. For Hegel, the Concrete, the Synthesis, the Absolute, must always pass through the phase of the Negative, that is, Mediation. This is the actual essence of what is popularly called Hegelian Dialectics.

To describe the activity of overcoming the negative, Hegel also often used the term Aufhebung, variously translated into English as "sublation" or "overcoming," to conceive of the working of the dialectic. Roughly, the term indicates preserving the useful portion of an idea, thing, society, etc., while moving beyond its limitations. (Jacques Derrida's preferred French translation of the term was relever).[20]

In the Logic, for instance, Hegel describes a dialectic of existence: first, existence must be posited as pure Being (Sein); but pure Being, upon examination, is found to be indistinguishable from Nothing (Nichts). When it is realized that what is coming into being is, at the same time, also returning to nothing (in life, for example, one's living is also a dying), both Being and Nothing are united as Becoming.[21]

As in the Socratic dialectic, Hegel claimed to proceed by making implicit contradictions explicit: each stage of the process is the product of contradictions inherent or implicit in the preceding stage. For Hegel, the whole of history is one tremendous dialectic, major stages of which chart a progression from self-alienation as slavery to self-unification and realization as the rational, constitutional state of free and equal citizens. The Hegelian dialectic cannot be mechanically applied for any chosen thesis. Critics argue that the selection of any antithesis, other than the logical negation of the thesis, is subjective. Then, if the logical negation is used as the antithesis, there is no rigorous way to derive a synthesis. In practice, when an antithesis is selected to suit the user's subjective purpose, the resulting "contradictions" are rhetorical, not logical, and the resulting synthesis is not rigorously defensible against a multitude of other possible syntheses. The problem with the Fichtean "Thesis-Antithesis-Synthesis" model is that it implies that contradictions or negations come from outside of things. Hegel's point is that they are inherent in and internal to things. This conception of dialectics derives ultimately from Heraclitus.

Hegel has outlined that the purpose of dialectics is "to study things in their own being and movement and thus to demonstrate the finitude of the partial categories of understanding"[22]

One important dialectical principle for Hegel is the transition from quantity to quality, which he terms the Measure. The measure is the qualitative quantum, the quantum is the existence of quantity.[23]

"The identity between quantity and quality, which is found in Measure, is at first only implicit, and not yet explicitly realised. In other words, these two categories, which unite in Measure, each claim an independent authority. On the one hand, the quantitative features of existence may be altered, without affecting its quality. On the other hand, this increase and diminution, immaterial though it be, has its limit, by exceeding which the quality suffers change. [...] But if the quantity present in measure exceeds a certain limit, the quality corresponding to it is also put in abeyance. This however is not a negation of quality altogether, but only of this definite quality, the place of which is at once occupied by another. This process of measure, which appears alternately as a mere change in quantity, and then as a sudden revulsion of quantity into quality, may be envisaged under the figure of a nodal (knotted) line".[24]

As an example, Hegel mentions the states of aggregation of water: "Thus the temperature of water is, in the first place, a point of no consequence in respect of its liquidity: still with the increase or diminution of the temperature of the liquid water, there comes a point where this state of cohesion suffers a qualitative change, and the water is converted into steam or ice".[25] As other examples Hegel mentions the reaching of a point where a single additional grain makes a heap of wheat; or where the bald-tail is produced, if we continue plucking out single hairs.

Another important principle for Hegel is the negation of the negation, which he also terms Aufhebung (sublation): Something is only what it is in its relation to another, but by the negation of the negation this something incorporates the other into itself. The dialectical movement involves two moments that negate each other, a somewhat and an another. As a result of the negation of the negation, "something becomes an other; this other is itself somewhat; therefore it likewise becomes an other, and so on ad infinitum".[26] Something in its passage into other only joins with itself, it is self-related.[27] In becoming there are two moments:[28] coming-to-be and ceasing-to-be: by sublation, i.e. negation of the negation, being passes over into nothing, it ceases to be, but something new shows up, is coming to be. What is sublated (aufgehoben) on the one hand ceases to be and is put to an end, but on the other hand it is preserved and maintained.[29] In dialectics, a totality transform itself, it is self-related.

Marxist dialectics

Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels believed Hegel was "standing on his head," and endeavoured to put him back on his feet, ridding Hegel's logic of its orientation towards philosophical idealism, and conceiving what is now known as materialist or Marxist dialectics. This is what Marx had to say about the difference between Hegel's dialectics and his own:

My dialectic method is not only different from the Hegelian, but is its direct opposite. To Hegel, the life-process of the human brain, i.e. the process of thinking, which, under the name of 'the Idea,' he even transforms into an independent subject, is the demiurgos of the real world, and the real world is only the external, phenomenal form of 'the Idea.' With me, on the contrary, the ideal is nothing else than the material world reflected by the human mind, and translated into forms of thought." (Capital, Volume 1, Moscow, 1970, p. 29).

Nevertheless, Marx "openly avowed [himself] the pupil of that mighty thinker" and even "coquetted with modes of expression peculiar to him."[30]

Marx wrote:

The mystification which dialectic suffers in Hegel's hands, by no means prevents him from being the first to present its general form of working in a comprehensive and conscious manner. With him it is standing on its head. It must be turned right side up again, if you would discover the rational kernel within the mystical shell.[31]

In the work of Marx and Engels the dialectical approach to the study of history became intertwined with historical materialism, the school of thought exemplified by the works of Marx, Engels, and Lenin. (Marx himself never referred to "historical materialism.") Under Stalin, Marxist dialectics became synonymous with what was called "diamat" (short for dialectical materialism). The "diamat" was a social theory coined by 19th century philosophy Joseph Dietzgen which emphasized commodities and the effects of their exchange over time. Dietzgen used his theory sparingly to explain the nature of socialism and social development, but it was never researched academically until the Soviet Union indoctrinated the philosophy. A dialectical methodology came to be seen as the vital foundation for any Marxist politics, through the work of Karl Korsch, Georg Lukács and certain members of the Frankfurt School. Some Soviet academics, most notably Evald Ilyenkov, continued with unorthodox philosophical studies of the Marxist dialectic, as did a number of thinkers in the West. One of the best known North American dialectical philosophers is Bertell Ollman, Professor of Political Science at New York University.

Engels argued that all of nature is dialectical. In Anti-Dühring he contends that negation of negation is

A very simple process which is taking place everywhere and every day, which any child can understand as soon as it is stripped of the veil of mystery in which it was enveloped by the old idealist philosophy.[32]

In Dialectics of Nature, Engels states,

Probably the same gentlemen who up to now have decried the transformation of quantity into quality as mysticism and incomprehensible transcendentalism will now declare that it is indeed something quite self-evident, trivial, and commonplace, which they have long employed, and so they have been taught nothing new. But to have formulated for the first time in its universally valid form a general law of development of nature, society, and thought, will always remain an act of historic importance.[33]

Marxists view dialectics as a framework for development in which contradiction plays the central role as the source of development. This is perhaps best exemplified in Marx's Capital, which outlines two of his central theories: that of the theory of surplus value and the materialist conception of history. In Capital, Marx had the following to say about his dialectical methodology:

In its rational form it is a scandal and abomination to bourgeoisdom and its doctrinaire professors, because it includes in its comprehension an affirmative recognition of the existing state of things, at the same time also, the recognition of the negation of that state, of its inevitable breaking up; because it regards every historically developed social form as in fluid movement, and therefore takes into account its transient nature not less than its momentary existence; because it lets nothing impose upon it, and is in its essence critical and revolutionary.[34]

At the heart of Marxist dialectics is the idea of contradiction, with class struggle playing the central role in social and political life. Marx and subsequent Marxists also identify other historically important contradictions, such as those between mental and manual labor and town and country. Contradiction is the key to all other categories and principles of dialectical development: development by passage of quantitative change into qualitative ones, interruption of gradualness, leaps, negation of the initial moment of development and negation of this very negation, and repetition at a higher level of some of the features and aspects of the original state.

Soviet era publishers brought together a number of writings by V.I. Lenin that were devoted to materialist dialectics. Lenin expresses his own views and also quotes Marx and Engels extensively.

"As the most comprehensive and profound doctrine of development, and the richest in content, Hegelian dialectics was considered by Marx and Engels the greatest achievement of classical German philosophy..... “The great basic thought,” Engels writes, “that the world is not to be comprehended as a complex of ready-made things, but as a complex of processes, in which the things apparently stable no less than their mind images in our heads, the concepts, go through an uninterrupted change of coming into being and passing away... this great fundamental thought has, especially since the time of Hegel, so thoroughly permeated ordinary consciousness that in its generality it is now scarcely ever contradicted. But to acknowledge this fundamental thought in words and to apply it in reality in detail to each domain of investigation are two different things.... For dialectical philosophy nothing is final, absolute, sacred. It reveals the transitory character of everything and in everything; nothing can endure before it except the uninterrupted process of becoming and of passing away, of endless ascendancy from the lower to the higher. And dialectical philosophy itself is nothing more than the mere reflection of this process in the thinking brain.” Thus, according to Marx, dialectics is “the science of the general laws of motion both of the external world and of human thought”."

Lenin goes on to describe his understanding of development in dialectical terms:

"A development that repeats, as it were, stages that have already been passed, but repeats them in a different way, on a higher basis (“the negation of the negation”), a development, so to speak, that proceeds in spirals, not in a straight line; a development by leaps, catastrophes, and revolutions; “breaks in continuity”; the transformation of quantity into quality; inner impulses towards development, imparted by the contradiction and conflict of the various forces and tendencies acting on a given body, or within a given phenomenon, or within a given society; the interdependence and the closest and indissoluble connection between all aspects of any phenomenon (history constantly revealing ever new aspects), a connection that provides a uniform, and universal process of motion, one that follows definite laws – these are some of the features of dialectics as a doctrine of development that is richer than the conventional one.(Cf. Marx's letter to Engels of January 8, 1868, in which he ridicules Stein's “wooden trichotomies” which it would be absurd to confuse with materialist dialectics.)"

It is probably worth adding that Lenin makes specific reference to materialist dialectics as "what is decisive in Marxism" in the same publication. See "On the Question of Dialectics: A Collection", V.I. Lenin, Progress Publishers, Moscow, 1980, pp. 7-9 inclusive.

Eastern forms of dialectic

Indian continental debate: an intra- and inter-Dharmic dialectic

Anacker (2005: p. 20), in the introduction to his translation of seven works by Vasubandhu (fl. 4th c.), a famed dialectician of the Gupta Empire, contextualizes the prestige of dialectic and cut-throat debate in classical India and makes references to the possibly apocryphal story of the banishment of Moheyan post-debate with Kamalaśīla (fl. 713-763):

Philosophical debating was in classical India often a spectator-sport, much as contests of poetry-improvisation were in Germany in its High Middle Ages, and as they still are in the Telegu country today. The king himself was often the judge at these debates, and loss to an opponent could have serious consequences. To take an atrociously extreme example, when the Tamil Śaivite Ñānasambandar Nāyanār defeated the Jain ācāryas in Madurai before the Pāṇḍya King Māravarman Avaniśūlāmani (620-645) this debate is said to have resulted in the impalement of 8000 Jains, an event still celebrated in the Mīnāksi Temple of Madurai today. Usually, the results were not so drastic; they could mean formal recognition by the defeated side of the superiority of the winning party, forced conversions, or, as in the case of the Council of Lhasa, which was conducted by Indians, banishment of the losers.[35]

Brahmin/Vedic/Hindu dialectic

Indian philosophy, for the most part subsumed within the Indian religions, has an ancient tradition of dialectic polemics. The two complements, "purusha" (the active cause) and the "prakriti" (the passive nature) brings everything into existence. They follow the "rta", the Dharma (Universal Law of Nature).

In Hinduism, certain dialectical elements can be found in the embryo, such as the idea of the three eternal and simultaneously occurring phases of creation (Brahma), maintenance of order (Vishnu) and destruction or disorder (Shiva). Hindu dialectic is discussed by Hegel, Engels, and Ian Stewart, who has written on Chaos Theory.

The very earliest religious writings in ancient India, the Vedas, which date from around 1500 BC, in a formal sense, are hymns to the gods, but as Hegel also points out, Eastern religions are very philosophical in character. The gods have less of a personal character and are more akin to general concepts and symbols. We find these elements of dialectics in Hinduism as Engels has explained[citation needed]. The deities of the Vedas may be fruitfully engaged as personifications and manifestations of aspects of the ultimate truth and reality, Dharma.

Jain dialectic

Anekantavada and Syadvada are the sophisticated dialectic traditions developed by the Jains to arrive at truth. As per Jainism, the truth or the reality is perceived differently from different points of view, and that no single point of view is the complete truth.[36][37] Jain doctrine of Anekantavada states that an object has infinite modes of existence and qualities and, as such, they cannot be completely perceived in all its aspects and manifestations, due to inherent limitations of the humans. Only the Kevalis - the omniscient beings - can comprehend the object in all its aspects and manifestations, and that all others are capable of knowing only a part of it. Consequently, no one view can claim to represent the absolute truth. According to Jains, the ultimate principle should always be logical and no principle can be devoid of logic or reason.[38] Thus one finds in the Jain texts, deliberative exhortations on any subject in all its facts, may they be constructive or obstructive, inferential or analytical, enlightening or destructive.[39]

Syādvāda is the theory of conditioned predication which provides an expression to anekānta by recommending that epithet Syād be attached to every expression.[40] Syādvāda is not only an extension of Anekānta ontology, but a separate system of logic capable of standing on its own force. The Sanskrit etymological root of the term Syād is "perhaps" or "maybe", but in context of syādvāda, it means "in some ways" or "from a perspective." As reality is complex, no single proposition can express the nature of reality fully. Thus the term "syāt" should be prefixed before each proposition giving it a conditional point of view and thus removing any dogmatism in the statement.[41] Since it ensures that each statement is expressed from seven different conditional and relative view points or propositions, it is known as theory of conditioned predication. These seven propositions also known as saptabhangi are:[42]

  1. syād-asti – "in some ways it is"
  2. syād-nāsti - "in some ways it is not"
  3. syād-asti-nāsti - "in some ways it is and it is not"
  4. syād-asti-avaktavyaḥ - "in some ways it is and it is indescribable"
  5. syād-nāsti-avaktavyaḥ - "in some ways it is not and it is indescribable"
  6. syād-asti-nāsti-avaktavyaḥ - "in some ways it is, it is not and it is indescribable"
  7. syād-avaktavyaḥ - "in some ways it is indescribable"

Buddhist dialectic

Buddhism has developed sophisticated, and sometimes highly institutionalized traditions of dialectics during its long history. Nalanda University, and later the Gelugpa Buddhism of Tibet, are sage examples. The historical development and clarification of Buddhist doctrine and polemics, through dialectics and formal debate, is well-documented. Buddhist doctrine was rigorously critiqued (though not ultimately refuted) in the 2nd century by Nagarjuna, whose uncompromisingly logical approach to the realisation of truth, became the basis for the development of a vital stream of Buddhist thought. This dialectical approach of Buddhism, to the elucidation and articulation of an account of the Cosmos as the truth it really is, became known as the Perfection of Wisdom and was later developed by other notable thinkers, such as Dignaga and Dharmakirti (between 500 and 700). The dialectical method of truth-seeking is evident throughout the traditions of Madhyamaka, Yogacara, and Tantric Buddhism. Trisong Detsen, and later Je Tsongkhapa, championed the value of dialectic and of formalised training in debate in Tibet.

Dialectical Method and Dualism

Another way to understand dialectics is to view it as a method of thinking to overcome formal dualism and monistic reductionism. For example, formal dualism regards the opposites as mutually exclusive entities, whilst monism finds each to be an epiphenomenon of the other. Dialectical thinking rejects both views. The dialectical method requires focus on both at the same time. It looks for a transcendence of the opposites entailing a leap of the imagination to a higher level, which (1) provides justification for rejecting both alternatives as false and/or (2) helps elucidate a real but previously veiled integral relationship between apparent opposites that have been kept apart and regarded as distinct. For example, the superposition principle of quantum physics can be explained using the dialectical method of thinking—likewise the example below from dialectical biology. Such examples showing the relationship of the dialectic method of thinking to the scientific method to a large part negates the criticism of Popper (see text below) that the two are mutually exclusive. The dialectic method also examines false alternatives presented by formal dualism (materialism vs idealism; rationalism vs empiricism; mind vs body, etc.) and looks for ways to transcend the opposites and form synthesis. In the dialectical method, both have something in common, and understanding of the parts requires understanding their relationship with the whole system. The dialectical method thus views the whole of reality as an evolving process.

Dialectical biology

In The Dialectical Biologist (Harvard U.P. 1985 ISBN 0-674-20281-3), Richard Levins and Richard Lewontin sketch a dialectical approach to biology. They see "dialectics" more as a set of questions to ask about biological research, a weapon against dogmatism, than as a set of pre-determined answers. They focus on the (dialectical) relationship between the "whole" (or totality) and the "parts." "Part makes whole, and whole makes part" (p. 272). That is, a biological system of some kind consists of a collection of heterogeneous parts. All of these contribute to the character of the whole, as in reductionist thinking. On the other hand, the whole has an existence independent of the parts and feeds back to affect and determine the nature of the parts. This back-and-forth (dialectic) of causation implies a dynamic process. For example, Darwinian evolution points to the competition of a variety of species, each with heterogeneous members, within a given environment. This leads to changing species and even to new species arising. A dialectical biologist fully accepts this picture then looks for ways in which the competing creatures (which serve as the internal conflicts in the environment) lead to changes. The changes would manifest in the creatures themselves, through the creatures embracing biological adaptations which provide them with advantages, and in the environment itself, as when the action of microbes encourages the erosion of rocks. Further, each species is part of the "environment" of all the others.

Criticism

Many philosophers have offered critiques of dialectic, and it can even be said that hostility or receptivity to dialectics is one of the things that divides twentieth-century Anglo-American philosophy from the so-called "continental" tradition, a divide that only a few contemporary philosophers (among them, G.H. von Wright, Paul Ricoeur, Hans-Georg Gadamer, Richard Rorty, Charles Taylor) have ventured to bridge.

It is generally thought dialectics has become central to "Continental" philosophy, while it plays no part in "Anglo-American" philosophy. In other words, on the continent of Europe, dialectics has entered intellectual culture (or at least its counter-culture) as what might be called a legitimate part of thought and philosophy, whereas in America and Britain, the dialectic plays no discernible part in the intellectual culture, which instead tends toward positivism. A prime example of the European tradition is Sartre's Critique of Dialectical Reason, which is very different from the works of Popper, whose philosophy was for a time highly influential in the UK where he resided (see below). Sartre states:

Existentialism, like Marxism, addresses itself to experience in order to discover there concrete syntheses; it can conceive of these syntheses only within a moving, dialectical totalisation which is nothing else but history or – from the strictly cultural point of view which we have adopted here --“philosophy-becoming-the world.” [43]

Karl Popper has attacked the dialectic repeatedly. In 1937 he wrote and delivered a paper entitled "What Is Dialectic?" in which he attacked the dialectical method for its willingness "to put up with contradictions"[44] Popper concluded the essay with these words: "The whole development of dialectic should be a warning against the dangers inherent in philosophical system-building. It should remind us that philosophy should not be made a basis for any sort of scientific system and that philosophers should be much more modest in their claims. One task which they can fulfill quite usefully is the study of the critical methods of science" (Ibid., p. 335).

In chapter 12 of volume 2 of The Open Society and Its Enemies (1944; 5th rev. ed., 1966) Popper unleashed a famous attack on Hegelian dialectics, in which he held Hegel's thought (unjustly, in the view of some philosophers, such as Walter Kaufmann,[45]) was to some degree responsible for facilitating the rise of fascism in Europe by encouraging and justifying irrationalism. In section 17 of his 1961 "addenda" to The Open Society, entitled "Facts, Standards, and Truth: A Further Criticism of Relativism," Popper refused to moderate his criticism of the Hegelian dialectic, arguing that it "played a major role in the downfall of the liberal movement in Germany,. . . by contributing to historicism and to an identification of might and right, encouraged totalitarian modes of thought.  . . . [and] undermined and eventually lowered the traditional standards of intellectual responsibility and honesty" (The Open Society and Its Enemies, 5th rev. ed., vol. 2 [Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1966], p. 395).

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Cassin, Barbara (ed.), Vocabulaire européen des philosophies [Paris: Le Robert & Seuil, 2004], p. 306, trans. M.K. Jensen)
  2. ^ Herbermann, C. G. (1913) The Catholic encyclopedia: an international work of reference on the constitution, doctrine, and history of the Catholic church. New York: The Encyclopedia press, inc. Page 160
  3. ^ Howard Ll. Williams, Hegel, Heraclitus, and Marx's Dialectic. Harvester Wheatsheaf 1989. 256 pages. ISBN 0745005276
  4. ^ Denton Jaques Snider, Ancient European Philosophy: The History of Greek Philosophy Psychologically Treated. Sigma publishing co. 1903. 730 pages. Page 116-119
  5. ^ Pinto, R. C. (2001). Argument, inference and dialectic: collected papers on informal logic. Argumentation library, v. 4. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic. Page 138-139.
  6. ^ Eemeren, F. H. v. (2003). Anyone who has a view: theoretical contributions to the study of argumentation. Argumentation library, v. 8. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic. Page 92.
  7. ^ Musicologist Rose Rosengard Subotnick gives the following example: "A question posed in a Fred Friendly Seminar entitled Hard Drugs, Hard Choices: The Crisis Beyond Our Borders [1] (aired on WNET on February 26, 1990), illustrates that others, too, seem to find this dynamic enlightening: 'Are our lives so barren because we use drugs? Or do we use drugs because our lives are so barren?' The question is dialectical to the extent that it enables one to grasp the two opposed priorities as simultaneously valid."
  8. ^ ([fr. 65], Diog. IX 25ff and VIII 57)
  9. ^ Ayer, A. J., & O'Grady, J. (1992). A dictionary of philosophical quotations. Oxford, UK: Blackwell Publishers. Page 484.
  10. ^ McTaggart, J. M. E. (1964). A commentary on Hegel's logic. New York: Russell & Russell. Page 11
  11. ^ Vlastos, G., Burnyeat, M. (Ed.) (1994) Socratic Studies, Cambridge U.P. ISBN 0-521-44735-6 Ch. 1
  12. ^ Abelson, P. (1965). The seven liberal arts; a study in mediæval culture. New York: Russell & Russell. Page 82.
  13. ^ Hyman, A., & Walsh, J. J. (1983). Philosophy in the Middle Ages: the Christian, Islamic, and Jewish traditions. Indianapolis: Hackett Pub. Co. Page 164.
  14. ^ Adler, Mortimer Jerome (2000). "Dialectic". Routledge. Page 4. ISBN 0415225507
  15. ^ Herbermann, C. G. (1913). The Catholic encyclopedia: an international work of reference on the constitution, doctrine, and history of the Catholic church. New York: The Encyclopedia press, inc. Page 760 - 764
  16. ^ Nicholson, J. A. (1950). Philosophy of religion. New York: Ronald Press Co. Page 108.
  17. ^ Kant, I., Guyer, P., & Wood, A. W. (2003). Critique of pure reason. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Page 495.
  18. ^ The Accessible Hegel. Michael Allen Fox. Prometheus Books. 2005. p.43. Also see Hegel's preface to the Phenomenology of Spirit, trans. A.V. Miller (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1977), secs. 50, 51, p.29. 30.
  19. ^ GWF Hegel: The System. Howard P. Kainz (Ohio U. Press, 1996).
  20. ^ See 'La différance' in Margins of philosophy. Alan Bass, translator. University of Chicago Books. 1982. p. 19, fn 23.
  21. ^ Section in question from Hegel's Science of Logic
  22. ^ Hegel, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich. 1874. The Logic. Encyclopaedia of the Philosophical Sciences. 2nd Edition. London: Oxford University Press. Note to §81
  23. ^ Hegel, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich. 1874. The Logic. Encyclopaedia of the Philosophical Sciences. 2nd Edition. London: Oxford University Press. §§107-111
  24. ^ Hegel, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich. 1874. The Logic. Encyclopaedia of the Philosophical Sciences. 2nd Edition. London: Oxford University Press. §§108-109
  25. ^ Hegel, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich. 1874. The Logic. Encyclopaedia of the Philosophical Sciences. 2nd Edition. London: Oxford University Press. §108
  26. ^ Hegel, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich. 1874. The Logic. Encyclopaedia of the Philosophical Sciences. 2nd Edition. London: Oxford University Press. §93
  27. ^ Hegel, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich. 1874. The Logic. Encyclopaedia of the Philosophical Sciences. 2nd Edition. London: Oxford University Press. §95
  28. ^ Hegel, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich. 1812. Hegel's Science of Logic. London. Allen & Unwin. §§176-179.
  29. ^ Hegel, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich. 1812. Hegel's Science of Logic. London. Allen & Unwin. §185.
  30. ^ [2]
  31. ^ Marx, Karl (1873) Capital. Afterword to the Second German Edition, Vol. I [3]
  32. ^ Engels, Frederick, (1877) Anti-Dühring,Part I: Philosophy, XIII. Dialectics.Negation of the Negation. [4]
  33. ^ Engels, Frederick, (1883) Dialectics of Nature:II. Dialectics
  34. ^ Marx, Karl, (1873) Capital Vol. I, Afterword to the Second German Edition. [5]
  35. ^ Anacker, Stefan (2005, rev.ed.). Seven Works of Vasubandhu: The Buddhist Psychological Doctor. Delhi, India: Motilal Banarsidass. (First published: 1984; Reprinted: 1986, 1994, 1998; Corrected: 2002; Revised: 2005), p.20
  36. ^ Dundas (2002)
  37. ^ Koller, John M. (July, 2000).
  38. ^ Duli Chandra Jain (ed.) (1997) p.21
  39. ^ Hughes, Marilynn (2005) P. 590
  40. ^ Chatterjea, Tara (2001) p.77-87
  41. ^ Koller, John M. (July 2000). "Syādvāda as the epistemological key to the Jaina middle way metaphysics of Anekāntavāda". Philosophy East and West. (Honululu) vol. 50 (3): Pp. 400–8. ISSN 00318221. http://proquest.umi.com/pqdweb?did=59942245&Fmt=4&clientId=71080&RQT=309&VName=PQD. Retrieved 2007-10-01. 
  42. ^ Grimes, John (1996) p. 312
  43. ^ http://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/sartre/works/critic/sartre1.htm, The Search for Method (1st part) Sartre, 1960, in Existentialism from Dostoyevsky to Sartre, transl. Hazel Barnes, Vintage Books
  44. ^ Conjectures and Refutations: The Growth of Scientific Knowledge [New York: Basic Books, 1962], p. 316.
  45. ^ marxists.org kaufmann
Hegel, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich (1807/1841): Die Phänomenologie des Geistes, in: Baillie, James Back / Lichtheim, Georg (1967): The phenomenology of mind, New York

Göhler, Gerhard (1980): Die Reduktion der Dialektik durch marx. Strukturveraenderungen der dialektischen Entwicklung in der Kritik der Politischen Oekonomie, Stuttgart

Kimmerle, Heinz (Edit.) (1986): Dialektik – Modelle von Marx bis Althusser. Beitraege der Bochumer Dialektik – Arbeitsgemeinschaft, Bochum

References

General information

Further reading

  • MM Postan, "Function and Dialectic in Economic History," The Economic History Review, 1962, no. 3.
  • McKeon, Richard. "Dialectic and Political Thought and Action." Ethics 65, no. 1 (1954): 1-33.

External links


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