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Etymology & Plato[edit]

Dialogue goes back to logos, and dialectic goes back to lexis, thus it means "through words", whereas dialogue means "through notions". In other words, in a dialogue you exchange different points of view, in order to reconcile the different aspects or relations (in a strict mathematical sense) captured, whereas in a dialectic as described by Plato in detail in "The Sophist" and "The Statesman" you analyze the relations of words to each other, like describing different special cases of a more general notion, like when you say: a "car" is either used for personal transport or for the transport of goods. In the latter case it is called a "truck". In the former case, if it is used to carry people that enter at designiated points, it is called a "bus", otherwise, if it used as a carrier service, it is called it "taxi" and if not... (Yeah, well, this is not entirely correct, but before I come to sedan etc. I just stop here, because you should already understand what we're talking about, and this kind of thing is precisely what Plato does in Sophistes and Politikos. (talk) 09:10, 29 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]


From this bit, The term was popularized by Plato's Socratic dialogues but the act itself has been central to European and Indian philosophy since antiquity.

Could we get some references links to indian/asian philosophers from the same or earlier time periods who also used the method?

dialectic application to ecology[edit]

does the concept of 'niche contruction' (and the conflict with evolutionary theory/natural selection) arise from the application of dialectic thinking to ecology? That is, does the phrase 'not only does the environment cause changes in species, but species also cause changes in their environment' represent a dialectic argument? Dec 19,2005 CornColonel

Given that Lewontin is one of the main people to popularize the niche concept, I'd say yes. Apr 12, 06 Cellulator


I think that this article is misleading as are most discussions of the concept of Dialectic because they portray dialectic as dinstinct from or in opposition with Classical Logic. Which is to say that Dialectic does not allow for an "actual contradiction" or violation of Identity and Law of Excluded Middle, rather it identifies contradictions in terms or argument, which are cause for revision of premise or conclusion. In this sense the Law of Identity is central - something and it's contradiction (i.e. A and ~A) cannot both be true. If it is realized that two statements which are seemingly opposite are either both true or both false it means that they do not have a genuine inverse truth relation. Dialectic is the study of trichotomies. It is the process of realizing this "seeming contradiction" and resolving it by resort to some other statement which has a genuine relation. It is stripped of its of glorified philosophy terminology - trial and error.

Rosa L wrote:
Well, Hegel fans often say things like the above, but the so-called 'Law of Identity' (unknown to Aristotle) has nothing to do with the 'Law of Non-Contradiction'.
The former, in its traditional (i.e., pre-Leibnizian) form concerns the alleged relation between and object and itself; the latter relates to the truth-functional implications that hold between a proposition and its negation. Since propositions cannot be treated as objects without destroying their logical form, the 'law of non-Contradiction' is not about objects.
[And if, per impossibile, a proposition could fail to be identical with itself, it would not be a proposition, and hence nothing could follow from it.]
Of course, Hegel had rather odd views about 'judgements' and 'propositions' themselves, but unless one is fluent in Martian, they make no sense. [On this see John Rosenthal 'The Myth of Dialectics' (Macmillan, 1998).] But even so, a judgement cannot be an object, nor yet the name of one, without destroying its logical form, too.
So, this part of 'dialectics' is based on seriously defective logic (and this is so whether or not it is true that Hegel accepted/rejected these alleged 'laws' of logic in the dialectical or the speculative part of his philosophy), as indeed are others.
All of which vindicates Bertrand Russell's claim that the worse a man's logic, the more interesting are the conclusions that are alleged to follow from it.
More details here and here. RL 29/08/06

Chinese dialectics[edit]

I think there should also be a section on Chinese dialectical philosophy, both from classical Chinese philosophy (hundred schools of thought) and also within certain schools of Chinese Buddhism. The dialectical concept of the "unification of opposites" is quite important in virtually every school in Chinese philosophy, and can be symbolised by the Yin-Yang symbol. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:26, 17 February 2013 (UTC)[reply]

I agree. Western dialectics was the only philosophical attempt to grasp the huge explanatory power of yin yang. Roberto Lopez (talk) 20:12, 16 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
[citation needed] William M. Connolley (talk) 20:28, 16 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]