Introduction: Critical realism, hegelian dialectic and the problems of philosophy preliminary considerations -- Objectives of the book -- Dialectic : an initial orientation -- Negation -- Four degrees of critical realism -- Prima facie objections to critical realism -- On the sources and general character of the hegelian dialectic -- On the immanent critique and limitations of the hegelian dialectic -- The fine structure of the hegelian dialectic -- Dialectic : the logic of absence, (...) arguments, themes, perspectives, configurations -- Absence -- Emergence -- Contradiction I : Hegel and Marx -- Contradiction II : misunderstandings -- On the materialist diffraction of dialectic -- Dialectical arguments and the unholy trinity -- Dialectical motifs : tina formation, mediation, concrete universality, etc -- On the generalized theory of the dialectical remark, the failure of detachment, and the presence of the past -- Dialectical critical naturalism -- Towards a real definition of dialectic -- Dialectical critical realism and the dialectic of freedom -- Ontology -- The dialectic of truth -- On the emergence and derivability of dialecticized transcendental realism -- 1m realism : non-identity -- 2e realism : negativity -- Space, time and tense -- Social science, explanatory critique, emancipatory axiology -- 3l realism : totality -- 4d realism : agency -- The dialectic of desire to freedom -- Dialectical critical realism and the dialectics of critical realism -- Metacritical dialectics : irrealism and its consequences -- Irrealism -- The problems of philosophy and their resolution -- Contradictions of the critical philosophy -- Dilemmas of the beautiful soul and the unhappy consciousness -- Master and slave : from dialectics of reconciliation to dialectics of liberation -- The metacritique of the hegelian dialectic -- Marxian dialectic i: the rational kernel in the mystical shell -- Marxian dialectic ii: the mystical shell in the rational kernel -- Metacritical dialectics : philosophical ideologies, their sublation and explanation -- The consequences of irrealism -- Diffracted and retotalized dialectics -- Dialectic as the pulse of freedom. (shrink)
Introduction: Natural necessity, being, and becoming -- Accentuate the negative -- Diffracting dialectic -- Opening totality -- Constellating ethics -- Metacritique I : philosophy's primordial failing -- Metacritique II : dialectic and difference -- Conclusion: Natural necessity and the grounds of justice : natural necessity as material meshwork.
Dialectic of Enlightenment is undoubtedly the most influential publication of the Frankfurt School of Critical Theory. Written during the Second World War and circulated privately, it appeared in a printed edition in Amsterdam in 1947. "What we had set out to do," the authors write in the Preface, "was nothing less than to explain why humanity, instead of entering a truly human state, is sinking into a new kind of barbarism." Yet the work goes far beyond a mere critique (...) of contemporary events. Historically remote developments, indeed, the birth of Western history and of subjectivity itself out of the struggle against natural forces, as represented in myths, are connected in a wide arch to the most threatening experiences of the present. The book consists in five chapters, at first glance unconnected, together with a number of shorter notes. The various analyses concern such phenomena as the detachment of science from practical life, formalized morality, the manipulative nature of entertainment culture, and a paranoid behavioral structure, expressed in aggressive anti-Semitism, that marks the limits of enlightenment. The authors perceive a common element in these phenomena, the tendency toward self-destruction of the guiding criteria inherent in enlightenment thought from the beginning. Using historical analyses to elucidate the present, they show, against the background of a prehistory of subjectivity, why the National Socialist terror was not an aberration of modern history but was rooted deeply in the fundamental characteristics of Western civilization. Adorno and Horkheimer see the self-destruction of Western reason as grounded in a historical and fateful dialectic between the domination of external nature and society. They trace enlightenment, which split these spheres apart, back to its mythical roots. Enlightenment and myth, therefore, are not irreconcilable opposites, but dialectically mediated qualities of both real and intellectual life. "Myth is already enlightenment, and enlightenment reverts to mythology." This paradox is the fundamental thesis of the book. This new translation, based on the text in the complete edition of the works of Max Horkheimer, contains textual variants, commentary upon them, and an editorial discussion of the position of this work in the development of Critical Theory. (shrink)
_Dialectic and Dialogue_ seeks to define the method and the aims of Plato's dialectic in both the "inconclusive" dialogues and the dialogues that describe and practice a method of hypothesis. Departing from most treatments of Plato, Gonzalez argues that the philosophical knowledge at which dialectic aims is nonpropositional, practical, and reflexive. The result is a reassessment of how Plato understood the nature of philosophy.
This book considers the emergence of dialectic out of the spirit of dialogue and traces the relation between the two. It moves from Plato, for whom dialectic is necessary to destroy incorrect theses and attain thinkable being, to Cusanus, to modern philosophers—Descartes, Kant, Hegel, Schleiermacher and Gadamer, for whom dialectic becomes the driving force behind the constitution of a rational philosophical system. Conceived as a logical enterprise, dialectic strives to liberate itself from dialogue, which it views (...) as merely accidental and even disruptive of thought, in order to become a systematic or scientific method. The Cartesian autonomous and universal yet utterly monological and lonely subject requires dialectic alone to reason correctly, yet dialogue, despite its unfinalizable and interruptive nature, is what constitutes the human condition. (shrink)
This book fundamentally challenges the radical credentials of post-structuralism. Though Derrida, Foucault and Deleuze claim to have 'deconstructed' metaphysics, their work has much in common with previous attempts to 'end' the metaphysical tradition, from Kant to Nietzshe and Heidegger, and by sociology in general. Gillian Rose shows that this anti-metaphysical writing always appears in historically specific jurisprudential terms, which themselves found and recapitulate metaphysical categories. She reconsiders post-structuralism in this light and assesses the relationship between deconstruction and the earlier structuralism (...) of Saussure and Levi-Strauss. She argues in conclusion that the choice between post-structuralist nihilism and Hegelian and Marxist dialectic is spurious. (shrink)
After half a century exploring dialectical thought, renowned cultural critic Fredric Jameson presents a comprehensive study of a misrepresented, vital strain in Western philosophy. The dialectic, the concept of the evolution of an idea through internal contradiction and conflict, transformed two centuries of Western philosophy. To Hegel, who dominated nineteenth-century thought, it was a metaphysical system. In the works of Marx, the dialectic became a tool for materialist historical analysis, a theoretical maneuver that his critics derided and his (...) descendants on the Left have wrestled with ever since. Jameson brings a theoretical scrutiny to bear on the questions that have arisen in the history of this philosophical tradition, contextualizing the debate with essays on commodification and globalization, and with reference to the work of Rousseau, Fichte, Heidegger, Sartre, Derrida, and Lacan. Through rigorous, erudite examination, Valences of the Dialectic charts a movement toward the innovation of a "spatial" dialectic, culminating in a remarkable meditation on globalization, through a study of Paul Ricoeur. Jameson presents a new synthesis of thought that revitalizes dialectical thinking for the twenty-first century. (shrink)
In this article I present an original interpretation of Roy Bhaskar’s project in Dialectic: The Pulse of Freedom. His major move is to separate an ontological dialectic from a critical dialectic, which in Hegel are laminated together. The ontological dialectic, which in Hegel is the self-unfolding of spirit, becomes a realist and relational philosophical anthropology. The critical dialectic, which in Hegel is confined to retracing the steps of spirit, now becomes an active force, dialectical critique, (...) which interposes into the ontological dialectic at the ‘fourth dimension’ of a naturalistically reconfigured account of relational human nature, agency. This account allows Bhaskar to explain and vindicate the crucial role social criticism must play in any realistic project of self-emancipation, and to create a space that didn’t exist in Hegel for an open-ended concrete utopianism. Freedom is thus the actualization of human nature, but is not automatic: the relation of human nature to freedom is mediated historically through dialectical critique, which, informed by concrete utopianism, can have emancipatory power. Content Type Journal Article Category Article Pages 13-44 Authors Craig Reeves, Brunel University Journal Journal of Critical Realism Online ISSN 1572-5138 Print ISSN 1476-7430 Journal Volume Volume 12 Journal Issue Volume 12, Number 1 / 2013. (shrink)
In the dialectic of debates about the extension of life, one witnesses a predictably repeating pattern: one side appeals to a motley of variegated criteria for something’s qualifying as a living system, only to find an opposite side taking issue with the individual necessity or collective sufficiency of the proposed criteria. Some of these criteria tend to cluster with one another, while others do not: metabolism, growth and reproduction; self-organization and homeostasis; an ability to decrease internal entropy by the (...) appropriation of free energy; stimulus response suited to self-preservation and propagation; and adaptation. In competing approaches to the extension of life, these sundry criteria thus jockey for authority, with one group of theorists promoting some subset of them as essential for life, where the appeal to essence is as likely as not to be a simple modal sine qua non , and another denying that the nominated criteria are really necessary at all. The debate then stalls, because there seems to be no shared methodology for adjudicating such disputes. We may address this unhappy situation successfully by coming to appreciate that life is what we may call a core-dependent homonym. (shrink)
In this article, I consider the possibility of interpreting Hegel’s dialectic as dialetheism. After a first basic recapitulation about the meaning of the words ‘dialetheism’ and ‘dialectic’ and a consideration of Priest’s own account of the relation between dialectical and dialetheic logic in 1989, I discuss some controversial issues, not directly considered by Priest. As a matter of fact, the reflection on paraconsistent logics and dialetheism has enormously grown in recent years. In addition, the reception of Hegel’s logic (...) and metaphysics has also impressively improved. So I suggest that the discussion about the binomial dialectic/dialetheism should be reopened, on these new bases. (shrink)
Following strict rules of interpretation, this book focuses on the ideas in Plato's early and middle dialogues that lie within the fields now called logic and methodology, specifically elenchus and dialectic and the method of hypothesis.
Systematic dialectic is distinguished from historical dialectic and its logic explored. As a strategy of exposition designed to articulate the forms of a given whole it orders the relevant categories in a linear development. The dialectical justification of the transitions is the central question addressed. What is given progressively as the further determination of the abstract beginning should be read retrogressively as a grounding movement validating the earlier categories from the perspective of the concrete whole.
The Hegelian dialectic, which goes beyond analytics based on formal logic, constitutes an essential component of Marxian thought. Yet a simple and straightforward introduction to the subject is hard to come by, due especially to confusion over the issue of materialism versus idealism. The following is a methodological primer in the dialectic of capital, a Marxian economic theory dialectically stated. Just as Hegel's "logic coincided with metaphysics," Marx's "coincides with economics.".
The three research questions of this study have been: what exactly is active ambiguity?; how should we assess active ambiguities in an argumentative discussion?; what does an adequate dialectical account of active ambiguity look like? These three questions have been answered by giving a definition of active ambiguity, and by elaborating on the properties of active ambiguity. Based on the survey of possible consequences of active ambiguities, and based on the basic division of labour in a persuasion dialogue, we arrived (...) at a set of requirements that a normative, procedural account of active ambiguity should satisfy. The model for ambiguity dialectic both provides a detailed account of evaluating active ambiguities, as well as a dialectical account of dealing with alleged active ambiguity. The distinction between constitutive and regulative rules for discussion has made it possible to provide a discussion model in which discussants can raise the issue of active ambiguity, and in which they can argue about the correctness of such points of order. This immanent dialectical approach has lead to a fourfold classification of fallacies: by using an actively ambiguous expression a party either violates a regulative, or a constitutive rule for persuasion dialogue, and if this party violates a rule, he or she either commits a fallacy of ambiguity, and possibly also the more complex fallacy of equivocation. This model for ambiguity dialectic has been shown to be useful for the analysis and evaluation of complex debates and discussions. The present study can be extended in various ways: A model for critical discussion can be enriched so that it accommodates other regulative rules, such as the rule that requires arguments to be valid. By doing so, other points of order and other fallacy criticisms can be studied from the perspective of a critical metadiscussion. The results concerning active ambiguity can be applied to other modes of reasoning, such as visual argumentation. The results can be applied to ambiguity at the level of larger stretches of argumentative discourse. That could lead to a fruitful contribution to the theory of argument structures. There still is a need for dialectical models that concern the use of usage declaratives different from providing a disambiguation, such as the use of definitions, clarifications of unfamiliar expressions, amplifications, etc., and the question would have to be answered how the rules with respect to active ambiguity would relate to those models. The model can be enriched by inserting a specific ‘linguistic utterance meaning testing machine’. That would be a major step towards implementing the model in a computer program. The use of descriptive profiles of dialogue could be improved further. In order to analyse the way parties respond to dialectically complex contributions, we are in need of a dialectical theory that provides the parties with specific rights and obligations for putting forward complex contributions and for responding to complex contributions. (shrink)
The scope of my considerations here is defined along two lines, which seem to me of essential relevance for a theory of dialectic. On the one hand, the form of negation that – as self-referring antinomical negation – gains a quasi-semantic expulsory force [Sprengkraft] and therewith a forwarding [weiterverweisenden] character; on the other hand, the notion that every logical category is defective insofar as the explicit meaning of a category does not express everything that is already implicitly presupposed for (...) its meaning. Both lines are tightly interwoven. This I would like to demonstrate with the example of the dialectic of Being and Non-Being at the beginning of the Hegelian Logic. I will ﬁrst make visible the basic structures of dialectical argumentation (sections II and III) – whereby certain revisions will turn out to be necessary in comparison with Hegel’s actual argument. Thereby it proves essential that the whole apparatus of logical categories and principles must be always already available and utilized for the dialectical explication: proving dialectic as a self-explication of logic by logical means: dialectic, as it were, as the self-fulﬁllment of logic (sections IV–VI). (shrink)
The aim of this hermeneutic study was to gain a broader understanding of nurses’ workload and what characterizes a nurse’s experience in terms of the various levels of intensity of nursing care. Twenty-nine nurses participated in seven focus groups. The interpretation process took place in six different phases and the three laws of dialectics were used as interpretation rules. An optimal nursing care intensity level can be understood as a situation characterized by the balance between the intensity of care needed (...) by patients and the external and internal factors of the current nursing care situation. The nurses’ work situation can be understood as a dialectic struggle between ‘being’ and ‘not being’ a good nurse; this can be said to be the underlying root metaphor. Nursing care can be understood as consisting of ‘complex and meaningful caring situations’. Dialectics can be used as a fruitful method of revealing the complexity of clinical reality. (shrink)
Looking at the emergence recently of a New Hegelianism (Badiou, Bhaskar, Jameson, Žižek), in which Hegel’s dialectic is variously reassessed for its political and philosophical resistance to the prevailing ‘weak nihilisms’ of left and right, I argue with Žižek and Jameson against Badiou and Bhaskar for Hegel as, essentially, a philosopher of the ‘productive return’ and failure. In this sense, what emerges is a picture of Hegel as a profoundly nonlinear historical thinker, in which loss, dissolution, breakdown and the (...) excremental prevail. This means that the received notion of Hegel as a crude historicist is deeply problematic. But, more importantly, it means that Hegelian dialectic can find a renewed anti-teleological and non-synchronistic identity within the Marxist tradition. Content Type Journal Article Category Article Pages 72-98 Authors John Roberts, University of Wolverhampton Journal Journal of Critical Realism Online ISSN 1572-5138 Print ISSN 1476-7430 Journal Volume Volume 12 Journal Issue Volume 12, Number 1 / 2013. (shrink)
The period from Plato's birth to Aristotle's death (427-322 BC) is one of the most influential and formative in the history of Western philosophy. The developments of logic, metaphysics, epistemology, ethics and science in this period have been investigated, controversies have arisen and many new theories have been produced. But this is the first book to give detailed scholarly attention to the development of dialectic during this decisive period. It includes chapters on topics such as: dialectic as interpersonal (...) debate between a questioner and a respondent; dialectic and the dialogue form; dialectical methodology; the dialectical context of certain forms of arguments; the role of the respondent in guaranteeing good argument; dialectic and presentation of knowledge; the interrelations between written dialogues and spoken dialectic; and definition, induction and refutation from Plato to Aristotle. The book contributes to the history of philosophy and also to the contemporary debate about what philosophy is. (shrink)
Formal dialectic has its roots in ancient dialectic. We can trace this influence in Charles Hamblin’s book on fallacies, in which he introduced his first formal dialectical systems. Earlier, Paul Lorenzen proposed systems of dialogical logic, which were in fact formal dialectical systems avant la lettre, with roles similar to those of the Greek Questioner and Answerer. In order to make a comparison between ancient dialectic and contemporary formal dialectic, I shall formalize part of the Aristotelian (...) procedure for Academic debates. The resulting system will be compared (1) with Van Eemeren and Grootendorst’s system of rules of Critical Discussion (the pragma-dialectical discussion procedure), which must, however, first itself be reconstructed as a formal dialectical system, and (2) with a Hamblin-type system, and (3) a Lorenzen-type system. When drawing comparisons, it will become clear that there is a line to be drawn from Aristotle to formal dialectic and pragma-dialectics, extending to contemporary computational models of argument. (shrink)
An analysis of Hegel's chapter on teleology in the Science of Logic. Hegel argues that the 'intentional model' of teleology assumed by Kant actually presupposes a natural or organic teleology more like along Aristotelian lines.
The paper presents a historical overview of some characteristic differences between rhetoric and dialectic in the pre-modern tradition. In the light of this historical analysis, some current approaches to dialectic are characterized, with special attention to Ralph Johnson's concept of dialectical tier.
J'examine le statut et la fonction des Catégories dans la philosophie d'Aristote.Le traité n'appartient ni à la philosophie première, ni même à la philosophie tout court, mais à la dialectique. Il ne s'agit pas d'une « discussion dialectique » de l'être, mais plutôt de dialectique en tant que tel : ce traité forme un ensemble avec les Topiques, qui a pour but d'aider le questionneur dans un débat dialectique à décider si le terme donné peut tomber sous la définition proposée (...) ou sous le genre proposé. Bien qu'il y ait un emploi philosophique des Catégories, tout comme de la dialectique en général, l'opposition prétendue entre la théorie de la substance des Catégories et celle de la Métaphysique est fondée sur une méconnaissance des buts différents des deux traités. I examine the status and function of the Categories in Aristotle's philosophy.The work does not belong to « first philosophy, » or indeed to philosophy at all, but to dialectic; not as a « dialectical discussion » of being, but in the strict sense that it is intended, together with the Topics, to help the dialectical disputant to decide whether a given term can fall under a proposed definition or a proposed genus. Although the Categories, like dialectic in general, has uses in philosophical argument, the supposed opposition between the accounts of substance in the Categories and in the Metaphysics depends on a misunderstanding of the different aims of the two works. (shrink)
Dialectical critical realism makes it possible for us to better understand the irrationalities and potentialities of modernity. This is illustrated by showing the difference that concepts drawn from Bhaskar’s Dialectic make to our understanding of a particular, but central, modern irrationality: eurocentrism. Contrary to the critical discourse on eurocentrism, established accounts of modernity and modernism are vital for understanding eurocentrism. Running through the modern tradition are opposing tendencies of irrealism and realism, the main forms of which are eurocentrism and (...) anti-eurocentrism. Anti-eurocentrism is particularly strong within the Marxian tradition. This only becomes clear, however, when interpreted through the perspective afforded by Dialectic ; and when located in the context of the ‘europic problematic’, the theory of which Dialectic makes possible. Content Type Journal Article Category Article Pages 45-71 Authors Nick Hostettler, Queen Mary University of London Journal Journal of Critical Realism Online ISSN 1572-5138 Print ISSN 1476-7430 Journal Volume Volume 12 Journal Issue Volume 12, Number 1 / 2013. (shrink)
Normative pragmatics can bridge the differences between dialectical and rhetorical theories in a way that saves the central insights of both. Normative pragmatics calls attention to how the manifest strategic design of a message produces interpretive effects and interactional consequences. Argumentative analysis of messages should begin with the manifest persuasive rationale they communicate. But not all persuasive inducements should be treated as arguments. Arguments express with a special pragmatic force propositions where those propositions stand in particular inferential relations to one (...) another. Normative pragmatics provides a framework within which varieties of propositional inference and pragmatic force may be kept straight. Normative pragmatics conceptualizes argumentative effectiveness in a way that integrates notions of rhetorical strategy and rhetorical situation with dialectical norms and procedures for reasonable deliberation. Strategic effectiveness should be seen in terms of maximizing the chances that claims and arguments will be reasonably evaluated, whether or not they are accepted. Procedural rationality should be seen in terms of adjustment to the demands of concrete circumstances. Two types of adjustment are illustrated: rhetorical strategies for framing the conditions for dialectical deliberation and rhetorical strategies for making do with limitations to dialectical deliberation. (shrink)
Incorporating Gadamer and other thinkers from the continental tradition, this essay is a close and detailed hermeneutic, phenomenological, and ontological study of the dialectic practice of Plato’s Socrates—it radicalizes and refutes the Socrates-as-teacher model that educators from scholar academic ideology embrace.
Hugh H. Benson explores Plato's answer to Clitophon's challenge, the question of how one can acquire the knowledge Socrates argues is essential to human flourishing-knowledge we all seem to lack. Plato suggests two methods by which this knowledge may be gained: the first is learning from those who already have the knowledge one seeks, and the second is discovering the knowledge one seeks on one's own. The book begins with a brief look at some of the Socratic dialogues where Plato (...) appears to recommend the former approach while simultaneously indicating various difficulties in pursuing it. The remainder of the book focuses on Plato's recommendation in some of his most important and central dialogues-the Meno, Phaedo, and Republic-for carrying out the second approach: de novo inquiry. The book turns first to the famous paradox concerning the possibility of such an inquiry and explores Plato's apparent solution. Having defended the possibility of de novo inquiry as a response to Clitophon's challenge, Plato explains the method or procedure by which such inquiry is to be carried out. The book defends the controversial thesis that the method of hypothesis, as described and practiced in the Meno, Phaedo, and Republic, is, when practiced correctly, Plato's recommended method of acquiring on one's own the essential knowledge we lack. The method of hypothesis when practiced correctly is, then, Platonic dialectic, and this is Plato's response to Clitophon's challenge. (shrink)
In his 1961 paper "Tithenai ta Phainomena",1 G. E. L. Owen addressed the problem of the relationship between science as preached in the Analytics and the practice of the Aristotelian treatises. However, he gave this venerable crux a novel twist by focusing on a different aspect of the issue. According to the Prior Analytics , it appears that the first premises of scientific demonstrations must be obtained from collections (historiai) of facts derived from empirical observation. However, many of the treatises (...) seem to make little use of empirical inquiry and instead concern themselves more with 'conceptual analysis.' This is especially true in the Metaphysics and the ethical treatises, but it is also very much characteristic of the Physics. How are these two kinds of inquiry related? (shrink)
One well-known incompatibilist response to Frankfurt-style counterexamples is the ‘flicker-of-freedom strategy’. The flicker strategy claims that even in a Frankfurt-style counterexample, there are still morally relevant alternative possibilities. In the present paper, I differentiate between two distinct understandings of the flicker strategy, as the failure to differentiate these two versions has led some philosophers to argue at cross-purposes. I also explore the respective dialectic roles that the two versions of the flicker strategy play in the debate between compatibilists and (...) incompatibilists. Building on this discussion, I then suggest a reason why the compatibilism/incompatibilism debate has reached a stalemate. (shrink)
The present paper uses the theme of dialectic and dialogue to begin unraveling the similarities and differences between the hermeneutics of Paul Ricoeur and H.G. Gadamer. Ricoeur is shown to distance himself from Heidegger by insisting on a dimension of explanation and distanciation (which he sometimes identifies with Plato's `descending dialectic') that cannot be reduced to, or absorbed by, understanding and appropriation. This same move, however, leads him to reject Platonic dialogue, with the attendant prioritizing of oral conversation (...) over the written text, as a model for hermeneutics. Ricoeur therefore sees in Gadamer's recourse to such a model a regression to the problematic position of Heidegger. Yet the conception of philosophy as dialectical and dialogical which Gadamer finds in Plato is capable of responding to Ricoeur's objections. Where the fundamental difference between the hermeneutics of Ricoeur and Gadamer emerges is in the question of whether experience is fundamentally dialectical and whether language is inherently dialogical. (shrink)