#AtoZAprilChallenge: Dialectic

Plato According to Williams dialectic “appeared in English from the fourteenth century, in its Latin sense to describe what we would now call logic. Dialectique, dialectica, dialektike, were all, in their primary senses, the art of discussion and debate, and then, by derivation, the investigation of truth and discussion… Plato’s version has an important subsequent history: dialektike meant the art of defining ideas and, related to this, the method of determining the interrelations of ideas in the light of a single principle. These two senses would later be distinguished as logic and metaphysics respectively…

There was then a special and influential use of dialectic in German idealist philosophy. This extended the notion of contradiction in the course of a discussion or dispute to a notion of contradiction in reality. For Kant, dialectical criticism showed the mutually contradictory character of the principles of knowledge when these were extended to metaphysical realities. For Hegel, such contradictions were surpassed, both in thought and in the world-history… in a higher and unified truth: the dialectical process was then the continual unification of opposites, in the complex relation of parts to a whole. A version of this process – the famous triad of thesis, antithesis and synthesis – was given by Fichte. It was then in Marxism that the sense of dialectic to indicate a progressive unification  through the contradiction of opposites was given a specific reference in what Engels called dialectical materialism.”

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  1. Visiting you on the the 4th day of the #challenge. Looking for fellow writers and here you are. Hope you make lots of new blogging friends this month. If you have time or interest, I’m writing about gardening and related things this month. Come and see me. Have fun.

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