From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search


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?

Whole Article[edit]

A lot of this article is not NPOV and is awkward to read and pretentious. Different sections claim to have proven each other wrong.

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.

2020 merge proposal[edit]

There have been several former proposals to merge Thesis, antithesis, synthesis to here, including Talk:Dialectic/Archive 3#Merge redundant article, Talk:Thesis, antithesis, synthesis#Redundant Article and Talk:Thesis, antithesis, synthesis#How is this not standard dialectic?. All seem to have failed through inaction rather than disagreement any current objections, as the proposals (dating back to 2006) seem reasonable. Klbrain (talk) 09:06, 13 December 2020 (UTC)

the trouble is there is so much bollox on the TAS page, as people attempt to make sense of F and H's "thought", which isn't possible as it is incoherent. But, fundamentally, I agree with the idea of merge William M. Connolley (talk) 21:34, 13 December 2020 (UTC)
I didn't review the relevant talk page discussions, but if there have been no objections to the idea that Thesis, antithesis, synthesis is "redundant", then why not just redirect the page to Dialectic and remove the circular links from here back to it? To me, saying the page is "redundant" suggests a simple redirect, with no need to merge anything. Biogeographist (talk) 22:05, 13 December 2020 (UTC)
I agree, seems like that's the best course of action. I've set up the redirect. - car chasm (talk) 08:07, 17 December 2020 (UTC)


I have reverted (twice: most recently here) what I consider to be overcategorization. If someone wishes to restore the added categories, please give a justification for each added category here on the talk page, to establish consensus. Thanks, Biogeographist (talk) 17:34, 16 March 2021 (UTC)

I undid your reversion and added justification for why I believe it should be on this page. Duality in categorical logic is widely accepted to be closely related to dialectics. This is a way of interpreting the duality between syntax and semantics in theoretical computer science, for example. I am not claiming, nor are any categorical logicians, that dialectics are merely adjunctions, but rather, that this is the right notion of a dialectic in this formal setting. Unlike the other interpretations of dialectics in more old school logics, that of adjunctions is completely formal and makes quite a lot of sense if you become aquainted with it. This is not really worked out fully on wikipedia, but it is out in the literature. For more references, if you question the rigour or justification of these claims please visit the following two nlab pages which give a nice little summary (talk) 19:39, 16 March 2021 (UTC)
That's a separate issue. I have no opposition to what you added, which I moved to Dialectic § Formalism, though I wasn't previously familiar with it. The issue here is the long list of categories that another editor added. Those would require further justification. Biogeographist (talk) 19:53, 16 March 2021 (UTC)
Cool! Unrelated, but I noticed you edited Bunge's page, who criticises the notion of dialectic. But his wife is a category theorist, so I wonder how she gets along with Lawvere (talk) 19:56, 16 March 2021 (UTC)
In Marta's (his wife's) appendix to Mario Bunge's memoir, Between Two Worlds (Springer, 2016), she said that Mario was disappointed for a long time that she went into mathematics instead of philosophy. LOL! Mario's criticism of dialectics is about its inapplicability to natural science of the real world, contra the claims of some Marxists. He appreciated the formal sciences and used some of their tools, but he argued that not everything in them is applicable to the real world. Biogeographist (talk) 20:05, 16 March 2021 (UTC)