Thread: Dialectical Materialism gives us a scientific view

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    Hegel was one of the great philosopher. After that firebach entered on the ground of philosophy and lastly marx concluded all the philosophical question which was related to human society. Hegel was used dialectics in his research but matter was secondary thing after that firebach was used materialism but that was only on nature. Marx was first person which was used dialectics on both nature and society.
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    Actually its title should be -- Dialectical Materialism give us scientific view
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    Ok, I'll alter it, but you will not get very far with dialectical materialism here.

    This theory has been comprehensively demolished many times in these threads.

    Most recently here:

    http://www.revleft.com/index.php?showtopic...st&p=1292398454

    And here:

    http://www.revleft.com/index.php?showtopic=55101
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    It might be useful if we were first to comprehend the meaning of dialectical.

    Dialectical reasoning requires the ability to slip quickly between contradictory lines of reasoning. One needs skill to develop a synthesis of one point of view with another. Where technical matters are generally confined to only one well understood frame of reference real life problems become multi-dimensional totalities.

    When we think dialectically we are guided by principles not by procedures. Real life problems span multiple categories and academic disciplines. We need point-counter-point argumentation, we need emancipatory reasoning to resolve dialectical problems. We need critical thinking skills and attitudes to resolve real life problems.

    How to build the atomic bomb is a technical problem. Whether to build the bomb or what to do with it after it is built is a real life problem.

    The critically self-conscious learner is a person who has developed a passion for rational solutions to problematic ends. Instrumental rationality is designed to solve problems of means when the end is clear. Normal science, the science of means, is guided and controlled by paradigms. Paradigms are single dimensional structures that insure that means solutions do not stray from the straight and narrow.

    Such systems are designed for puzzle solutions that are perfectly acceptable for single dimensional problems. The problematic situation that presents itself is just how to approach the determination of ends when such matters are mostly multi-dimensional without paradigms and generally demanding the agreement of two or more reflective agents. There are no paradigms for multi-dimensional problems.
    Instrumental rationality is not a method suitable for developing ends. Dialectical rationality is the only mode of reasoning suitable for arriving at satisfactory ends.
    In a criminal jury trial each juror ideally begins hearing the case as a mental blank slate. The witnesses engage in a controlled and guided dialogue wherein each witness communicates to the jury their particular truth regarding the matter under consideration. Each juror modifies his or her blank slate as the witnesss parade through; each providing his or her view of the truth. A dialogue takes place for the benefit of the juror who is not a member of the dialogue.

    Each juror is required to reason dialectically. Dialectical reasoning is a process wherein the opinion of the juror is molded and remolded based upon the truths presented. The blank slate becomes slate A after witness A and then becomes slate A-B after witness B and then becomes slate A-B-C, etc.

    At the end of the trial the jurors assemble in isolation to determine a verdict. Generally the members are polled to determine if all agree upon the truth of the case. If one or more jurors dissent from the others a new dialogue must take place. The jurors begin a dialogue in an attempt to reach a unanimous decision.
    In this stage each juror is engaged in communication in dialogue while simultaneously each juror is engaged in a rational dialectic.

    A jury trial might be a useful example of a problem engaged by many reflective agents with a multiplicity of frames of reference. In such a situation the jury must utilize communicative techniques to enter into a dialogue wherein there is a constant dialectic until a unanimous solution is reached or deadlock prevails.
    Communicating by dialogue together with reasoning dialectically is a technique for attempting to solve multi-dimensional problems. Problems that are either not pattern like or that the pattern is too complex to ascertain.

    Most problems that we face in our daily life are multi-dimensional in nature. Simple problems that occur daily in family life are examples. Each member of the family has a different point of view with differing needs and desires. Most of the problems we constantly face are not readily solved by mathematics because they are not pattern specific and are multi-dimensional.

    Dialogue is a technique for mutual consideration of such problems wherein solutions grow in a dialectical manner. Through dialogue each individual brings his/her point of view to the fore by proposing solutions constructed around their specific view. All participants in the dialogue come at the solution from the logic of their views. The solution builds dialectically; from a thesis and a contrasting thesis, a synthesis is constructed that takes into consideration both proposals. From this synthesis, a new thesis has developed.

    When we are dealing with single dimensional problems well circumscribed by paradigms the personal biases of the subject are of small concern. In multi-dimensional problems, without the advantage of paradigms, the biases of the problem solvers become a serious source of error. One important task of dialogue is to illuminate these prejudices. These biases may be quite subtle and often out of the consciousness of the participant holding them.

    Dialogic, the combination of dialogue and dialectic, is the only form of rationalization available for multilogical problems. Induction and deduction are aspects of the act of dialogic but are not sufficient alone for this needed communication form of rationalization.

    Our schools have decided that our children should learn to be critical thinkers. I agree with their judgement. This disciplined form of thought is important to each child and is vitally important to our society. I have attempted to relay to you my sense of the importance of critical thinking in the hope that you may share that judgement and lend your support to the school system in this vital matter.
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    Coberst, thankyou for that, but it was a total waste of time -- as I pointed out, this theory has been completely demolished in numerous threads here.

    'Dialectical thinking' is an empty phrase -- this entire theory is based on a series of egregious logical blunders committed by Hegel, and nothing more.

    Hence, it is no surprise that it has presided over 150 years of almost total failure.
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    Personally, dialectics is way above my head. I can understand what Marx was saying about it but I fail to grasp its practical use - if it indeed has any.

    It just seems like a lot of philosophical rambling, which gives me a big headache.

    Is it an error to skip the whole thing period?
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    No error M -- just materialist good sense.
    Last edited by Rosa Lichtenstein; 29th May 2008 at 17:27.
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    Rosa can keep spouting "dialectics has been demolished" until the cows come home all she wants. The reason we don't debate with her any more is because we can't be arsed putting up with the same crap regurgitated every time.

    Indeed, for all that Rosa criticises dialecticians, she misses the point of "the dialectic" (as indeed do many so-called 'dialecticians&#39. They turn it into a religion, she responds as though she were debunking a religion, and the circle in perfectly completed.

    Meanwhile, dialectics remains a valid approach to understanding the world.

    It's much like Marxism. If you want to elevate basic content over the approach and method, you'll fall into error. Unfortunately, Rosa does this but from the opposite side.

    Fortunately for her, she has found her own unshakeable pillars of faith. Unfortunately for us, she feels irrationally compelled to derail any discussion of dialectics in which the more mechanical approaches might be debunked.

    Think - dog with favourite stick. Meanwhile, a decent search of this site, as well as the online marxist archive will give you all the material you need to form your own oopinion on dialectics - whatever that may be.
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    Chebol:

    Rosa can keep spouting "dialectics has been demolished" until the cows come home all she wants. The reason we don't debate with her any more is because we can't be arsed putting up with the same crap regurgitated every time.
    Translated this reads: None of us mystics knows enough logic and/or philosophy to argue with her, but we still prefer our naive faith in Hermetic Hegelianism.

    [And you can stop worrying Chebol, not even professional philosophers (i.e., dialectcians) can win an argument with me in this area -- so you lot stand no chance.]

    Indeed, for all that Rosa criticises dialecticians, she misses the point of "the dialectic" (as indeed do many so-called 'dialecticians&#39. They turn it into a religion, she responds as though she were debunking a religion, and the circle in perfectly completed.
    So, now it can be revealed to the assembled congregation: only our holy prophet, Chebol, has the correct line from off the mountain.

    But, not Hegel, Engels, Plekhanov, Lenin, Mao, Stalin or Trotsky, all of whom I quote (extensively) and then take apart.

    So, when I wipe the floor with Engels, Plekhanov, Lenin, Mao, Stalin and Trotsky, the dialectical faithful need fear for nothing, for St Chebol is here, ready to to slay this dragon.

    Except, er..., he hasn't.

    No doubt he is limbering up as we type.

    [I am quaking in my non-dialectical boots. No exaggeration! ]

    Meanwhile, dialectics remains a valid approach to understanding the world.
    Except, it is impossible to say how it is.

    It's much like Marxism. If you want to elevate basic content over the approach and method, you'll fall into error. Unfortunately, Rosa does this but from the opposite side.
    Rather: it's unfortunate that you have neither the wit nor the where-withal to show where and how I fall "into error''.

    Fortunately for her, she has found her own unshakeable pillars of faith.
    And these are...what?

    Unfortunately for us, she feels irrationally compelled to derail any discussion of dialectics in which the more mechanical approaches might be debunked.
    If all change is a result of contradiction, how come you mystics do not like to be contradicted?

    I'd have thought you'd welcome it.

    Don't tell me that in practice you reject your own 'theory'!!!

    Think - dog with favourite stick.
    In your case, think: dogmatist in shtuck.

    Meanwhile, a decent search of this site, as well as the online marxist archive will give you all the material you need to form your own opinion on dialectics - whatever that may be.
    Yep, piles of good stuff at my site.

    Begin here:

    http://homepage.ntlworld.com/rosa.l/Why%20...Oppose%20DM.htm
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    Originally posted by Rosa Lichtenstein@October 30, 2007 10:29 am
    Coberst, thankyou for that, but it was a total waste of time -- as I pointed out, this theory has been completely demolished in numerous threads here.

    'Dialectical thinking' is an empty phrase -- this entire theory is based on a series of egregious logical blunders committed by Hegel, and nothing more.

    Hence, it is no surprise that it has presided over 150 years of almost total failure.
    It aint what you dont know that gets you into trouble, its what you know for sure that just aint soMark Twain
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    Coberst, yes, thanks for that: clear as mud. :wacko:
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    I am also rather ignorant of "diamat".

    the point of "the dialectic"
    Please elucidate, coberst. What is the point of "the dialectic"?

    dialectics remains a valid approach to understanding the world.
    After reading the numerous posts on this question, I am still at a loss as to an example where this holds. It seems much of what can be explained by materialist dialectics can be explained without appeal to it.

    Don't get me wrong, coberst, I just feel "dialectical materialism" is ill-served without specific examples of what makes it so unique or vague pronouncements.

    If we want to call ourselves "dialectical materialists", we need clear examples and focused explanations, rather than what many do consider vague pronouncements.
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    Dialectical materialists have an overinflated opinion of their own genius. Newton didn't use dialectics, neither did Einstein or Niels Bohr. As far as I am aware, Hawking does not use dialectical language.

    Dialectics can either be an obfuscatory way of saying the bleeding obvious, or it can be a stick used by orthodox Marxists to beat others over the head - "you have failed to grasp the dialectic".

    In short, it is entirely unnecessary. Logic and scientific enquiry are good enough tools for their purposes.
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    Originally posted by Martov@October 30, 2007 10:37 am

    Is it an error to skip the whole thing period?
    It isnt necessarily an error, but be aware that as you make use of the materialist conception of history, there are problems which arise - criticisms which have been made - which cannot be successfully answered without recognising the particularly provisional and critical character of revolutionary thinking.

    If you believed that there is such a thing as science which all understanding, even revolutionary practice, is based and which is practiced in a way that can include those involved in revolutionary practice as equal participants, you could have your belief in Marxism undermined by the fact that revolutionary practice is not based on understanding which meets so-called scientific standards. It is not based on 'science' understood in that ideological sense that the dominant class promotes (though often its own scientific work does not live up to such standards). Thus it would be possible for someone applying those ideal standards to rubbish the understandings that your revolutionary views are based on (and you dont have to go far into the 'opposing ideologies forum to see people trying to do that).

    The legitimacy of the generalisations which revolutionaries rely on to inform their practice can be justified by just saying you dont care, its good enough for you. In other words a practical personal motivation can see you through these criticisms. (SOme people think those criticisms can be rejected also be producing theoretical positions that are Marxist and do meet those bourgeois scientific ideals - this is the error of trying to turn Marxism into a rationalist Enlightenment philosophy. It is a common error.)

    However, they are also capable of a more complex rejection which involves a materialist conception of understanding. 'Dialectics' would form a critical part of such a conception. What dialectics is is the recognition (as the previous poster outlined) of the manner in which thinking shifts, in which sequences of logic come to an end without resolving the practical issue which motivated their creation and are then added to by other sequences from which they are logically disjointed but to which they are practically united. (Its important to always keep in mind that observation of a dialectical pattern never validates a thinking process as logical or true, rather it identifies a pattern which suggests a common purpose or a unified set of material relations binding the different sequences of thought together)

    The underlying problem with this is that developing a materialist conception of understanding is about the hardest theoretical task for a revolutionary party to do from within a capitalist society. Thus of all aspects of Marxism, dialectics and parts of Marxist political economy such as the meaning of the tendency of the rate of profit to fall which rely most on a dialectical approach, prove the hardest to grasp and defend. They conflict most completely with the dominant ideology. (Notice that what I see as evidence of the strongest conflict with the dominant ideology, Rosa sees as evidence of being nonsense)

    The extent of this conflict with the dominant ideology and the real possibility (as an alternative) of rejecting those criticisms of Marxism in a simply irrationalist way instead makes it reasonable for you to ignore dialectics altogether - but in doing so you rely on the fact that you live in a period of capitalism where irrationalism of this kind has a particular post modernist legitimacy. You are a product of your times, nothing wrong with that, but it makes your Marxism vulnerable.
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    Originally posted by Rosa Lichtenstein@October 30, 2007 01:56 pm
    Coberst, yes, thanks for that: clear as mud. :wacko:
    It is if you're familiar with the vernacular of the Southern U.S.

    Twain was saying a lack of knowledge isn't as harmful as being sure something is correct when it isn't.
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    Originally posted by Martov@October 30, 2007 03:37 am
    Personally, dialectics is way above my head. I can understand what Marx was saying about it but I fail to grasp its practical use - if it indeed has any.

    It just seems like a lot of philosophical rambling, which gives me a big headache.

    Is it an error to skip the whole thing period?
    The only "dialectics" that I bother with is the unity of opposites (in particular when dealing with the "dialectic" of spontaneity and organization) and the notion of totality. Even then, I also know that both ideas have very logical limits, as the romantic notion of "opposites attract" isn't anywhere near as universal as the similar relationship between magnetic forces, as there really isn't a logical "total" relationship between Napoleon's skull and the strands of my hair.

    Sorry, Rosa, but there is SOME validity to "dialectics," so long as there's a huge separation between those few elements of "dialectics" that are valid (but scattered across the various dialectical concepts) and socio-historical analysis on most issues.



    Also, I find problems with the seemingly "dialectical" relationship between direct material conditions and individuals, and between the "base" and the "superstructure." Somewhere in between lies the question of organization. Like a building, there are foundations, the "skeletal" frame (organization), and the "skin" (everything else, from the political to the cultural to the ideological and so on).
    "A new centrist project does not have to repeat these mistakes. Nobody in this topic is advocating a carbon copy of the Second International (which again was only partly centrist)." (Tjis, class-struggle anarchist)

    "A centrist strategy is based on patience, and building a movement or party or party-movement through deploying various instruments, which I think should include: workplace organising, housing struggles [...] and social services [...] and a range of other activities such as sports and culture. These are recruitment and retention tools that allow for a platform for political education." (Tim Cornelis, left-communist)
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    Originally posted by chebol@October 30, 2007 08:37 am
    Rosa can keep spouting "dialectics has been demolished" until the cows come home all she wants. The reason we don't debate with her any more is because we can't be arsed putting up with the same crap regurgitated every time.
    Wish you'd told me this earlier...
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    Originally posted by Volderbeek+November 04, 2007 04:01 am--> (Volderbeek @ November 04, 2007 04:01 am)
    chebol
    @October 30, 2007 08:37 am
    Rosa can keep spouting "dialectics has been demolished" until the cows come home all she wants. The reason we don't debate with her any more is because we can't be arsed putting up with the same crap regurgitated every time.
    Wish you'd told me this earlier... [/b]
    Better late than never, I guess. The ultimate refutation of anti-dialectical types is the fact that they have gotten nowhere and made no contributions to Marxism while dialecticians have actually overthrown capitalism and made vital contributions to Marxism.
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    dialecticians have actually overthrown capitalism
    Or was it that some socialist revolutionaries happened to be dialecticians. I don't think driving the white reaction out of Russia or taking over Cuba had much to do with adopting "dialectical materialism".

    there is SOME validity to "dialectics," so long as there's a huge separation between those few elements of "dialectics" that are valid (but scattered across the various dialectical concepts) and socio-historical analysis on most issues.
    :wacko: Why does the validity of dialectics rest on there being a gap between dialectics and "socio-historical analysis" (whatever that is? If anything, a tie between dialectics and this "socio-historical analysis" would seem to render dialectics valid.

    Also, I find problems with the seemingly "dialectical" relationship between direct material conditions and individuals, and between the "base" and the "superstructure." Somewhere in between lies the question of organization. Like a building, there are foundations, the "skeletal" frame (organization), and the "skin" (everything else, from the political to the cultural to the ideological and so on).
    How does appealing to a dialectical framework improve our understanding of these dichotomies. For example, if you were to say "the superstructure is a product of the base. But the base in turn is affected by the superstructure", and I were to ask "why is this so", and the answer was "simple, it is how dialectics work", then you are just obfuscating. You need to provide a mechanistic link between these two entities to make sense of their relationship and historical development. Appeals to dialectics hardly explain anything in this situation...
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    ^^^ Like I said or implied, I'm not a dialectician (just like you).

    That being said, I've learned the "tricks of the trade" when it comes to that all-important "dialectic" of spontaneity and organization.

    As for my "skeletal" remarks, while it shares a somewhat symbiotic relationship with the "skin," without a strong "skeletal" frame, the whole superstructure would collapse under its own weight (the "skin" crushing the "skeletal" frame).
    "A new centrist project does not have to repeat these mistakes. Nobody in this topic is advocating a carbon copy of the Second International (which again was only partly centrist)." (Tjis, class-struggle anarchist)

    "A centrist strategy is based on patience, and building a movement or party or party-movement through deploying various instruments, which I think should include: workplace organising, housing struggles [...] and social services [...] and a range of other activities such as sports and culture. These are recruitment and retention tools that allow for a platform for political education." (Tim Cornelis, left-communist)

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