Dialectics is called the art of debating, refuting and arguing. The concept, which comes from the Latin dialectĭcus although its etymological origin is found in the Greek language, also alludes to the reasoning that is developed starting from principles.
It is possible to find the idea of dialectics in different currents and philosophical traditions. For the German Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770-1831), dialectics is a process where opposites (thesis and antithesis) face each other and resolve their dichotomy in a higher form (synthesis).
The Hegelian dialectic consists of the development and foundation of the thesis, which generates the irruption of contrary or opposite aspects: the antithesis. To reconcile these issues that appear contradictory, we move towards a new conception, which is the synthesis.
In this framework, the thesis is usually a philosophical, social or historical idea, which once it is developed in depth gives rise to the appearance of these aspects that do not correspond directly. It is important to note that Hegel never used the technical words thesis, antithesis, and thesis, but rather these were coined by HM Chalybäus and popularized by the many scholars who specialized in his work.
If we focus on the Hegelian dialectic, we must accept that various currents or reflexive ideas go through a stage of apparent contradiction, and this feature is vital to the work that Hegel did. From a metaphorical point of view, we could affirm that identity is nothing more than the determination of the static and immediate simple; Similarly, contradiction is the starting point of vitality and movement. In other words, only something that contains a contradiction can move.
Through the ordinary imagination it is possible to detect the identity, the different features and the contradiction, although not the transition process that occurs between each point, and it is this transformation that is the most important part.
Materialist dialectics, also known as dialectical materialism, is the current that emerged with the proposals of Friedrich Engels (1820-1895), Karl Marx (1818-1883) and Vladimir Lenin (1870-1924) that considers that the substratum of thoughts and of all reality is matter. In this way, matter becomes independent of consciousness. These theorists considered that the application of the Hegelian dialectic was necessary for the interpretation of the world. Marx, in this framework, understood that history was given by the struggle of social classes with conflicting material interests, from whose confrontation historical changes emanated.
Unlike mechanistic materialism, which holds that the world is made up of things and ultimately material particles that inertly combine with each other, materialist dialectics is based on the idea that all material phenomena are processes. The followers of this current believe that Hegel was wrong in maintaining that the changes that occur in natural processes are manifestations of the spirit, although he was right in defining them as dialectical and global.
It is necessary to take Hegel’s idea and turn it upside down, and then put matter on the ground as it develops dialectically. In nature, we can appreciate the following three fundamental laws:
* the passage to quality from quantity;
* opposites or contraries penetrate each other;
* negation is denied.
According to Engels, if we deny natural contradictions, we maintain a metaphysical position, since the movement itself is based on them, both objective and subjective contradictions.
Plato (427-347 BC), finally, was another thinker who focused on dialectics. In his doctrine of it, dialectics is the procedure that makes it possible to access transcendental realities through the meaning of words.