Negativity and dialectical materialism: Zhang shiying's reading of Hegel's dialectical logic

Philosophy East and West 57 (1):63-82 (2007)
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: Studies of Chinese dialectical materialism have long neglected the important philosophical dimension of Hegelian thought and its influence on Chinese Marxism. This essay examines the work of Zhang Shiying of Beijing University, whose studies of Hegel's works on dialectical logic in the 1950s sought to clarify the nature of Hegel's speculative dialectic and its relation to dialectical materialism. Like Lenin before him, Zhang believed that Hegel's works on logic offered a more profound reflection on materialism than had previously been recognized by Marxist critics of German idealism. Zhang's sensitive reading of both Hegel's Science of Logic and the Encyclopedia Logic highlights the problem of the speculative dialectic and negativity. Examined here is Zhang's analysis of the Hegelian dialectic in light of contemporary accounts of the role of Hegelian negativity in poststructuralist thought



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