Quotes and Excerpts

Dialectic Process

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Hegelian Dialectic: Although Hegel never used such a classification himself, Hegel's dialectic is often described as consisting of three stages: a thesis, an antithesis which contradicts or negates the thesis, and a synthesis embodying what is essential to each.

In the Logic... Hegel describes a dialectic of existence: first, existence must be posited as pure Being (thesis); but pure Being, upon examination, is found to be indistinguishable from Nothing (antithesis); yet both Being and Nothing are united as Becoming (synthesis...

Like Socratic dialectic, Hegel's dialectic proceeds by making implicit contradictions explicit: each stage of the process is the product of contradictions inherent or implicit in the preceding stage.

Marxist Dialectic: Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels believed Hegel was "standing on his head", and claimed to put him back on his feet, ridding Hegel's logic of its idealist orientation, and conceiving what is now known as materialist or Marxist dialectics.... Dialectical method came to be seen as the vital foundation for any Marxist politics, through the work of Karl Korsch, Georg Lukács and certain members of the Frankfurt School. ...

Dialectical Biology: ...a dialectical approach to biology. ...They focus on the (dialectical) relationship between the "whole" (or totality) and the "parts." .... That is, a biological system of some kind consists of a collection of heterogeneous parts. All of these contribute to the character of the whole, as in reductionist thinking. On the other hand, the whole has an existence independent of the parts and feeds back to affect and determine the nature of the parts. This back-and-forth (dialectic) of causation implies a dynamic process.

For example, Darwinian evolution points to the competition of a variety of species, each with heterogeneous members, within a given environment. This leads to changing species and even to new species arising. A dialectical biologist would not reject this picture as much as look for ways in which the competing creatures lead to changes in the environment, as when the action of microbes encourages the erosion of rocks. Further, each species is part of the "environment" of all of the others.

Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel


       Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel : Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (August 27, 1770 - November 14, 1831) was a German philosopher born in Stuttgart, Württemberg, in present-day southwest Germany. He received his education at the Tübinger Stift (seminary of the Protestant Church in Württemberg), where he was friends with the future philosopher Friedrich Schelling.

        Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770 - 1831) ... born in Stuttgart, Württemberg.... He received his education at the Tübinger Stift (seminary of the Protestant Church in Württemberg).... He became fascinated by the works of Spinoza, Kant, and Rousseau, and by the French Revolution. Many consider Hegel's thought to represent the summit of 19th Century Germany's movement of philosophical idealism. It would come to have a profound impact on many future philosophers such as Arthur Schopenhauer ... Friedrich Nietzsche... the historical materialism of Karl Marx. ...

Hegel's first and most important major work is the Phenomenology of Spirit (or Phenomenology of Mind). ...

Hegel introduced a system for understanding the history of philosophy and the world itself, often called a "dialectic": a progression in which each successive movement emerges as a solution to the contradictions inherent in the preceding movement. ...

...many modern critics point out that Hegel often seems to gloss over the realities of history in order to fit it into his dialectical mold....

After Hegel's death, his followers divided into two major and opposing camps. The Right Hegelians... advocated evangelical orthodoxy and the political conservatism of the post-Napoleon Restoration period. The Left became known as the Young Hegelians and they interpreted Hegel in a revolutionary sense, leading to an advocation of atheism in religion and liberal democracy in politics. Left Hegelians included Bruno Bauer, Ludwig Feuerbach, David Friedrich Strauss, Max Stirner, and most famously, Karl Marx. The multiple schisms in this faction eventually led to ... Marx's version of communism.

In the 20th century, Hegel's philosophy underwent a major renaissance.... Some figures associated with this renaissance are Herbert Marcuse, Theodor Adorno, Ernst Bloch, Alexandre Kojeve and Gotthard Günther. ...

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