What is dialectics? Principles and laws of dialectics
In modern science there are several theories,which describe the operation of various systems. And most accurately describing the various changes that occur with the phenomena and objects of the surrounding world is dialectics. In ancient Greece, this concept was understood as a dispute or dialogue. Over time, it was used to denote contradictions, not only in the process of philosophical dispute, but also in nature, in the world. A holistic concept of dialectics was developed by the great German philosopher Hegel.
Prehistory of dialectics
In other words, to think about what isdialectic, a man began at the dawn of his history, when he first rushed to understand the laws that operate in the world around him. People realized that knowing these mechanisms can significantly help them in everyday, real life, being a way to understand it and, if possible, transform it.
The concept of
Dialectics in philosophy today is the wayargumentation (and also one of the forms of reflexive theoretical thinking), which examines the contradictions inherent in the content of thinking. The word "dialectic" in translation from the ancient Greek language means "the art of arguing, leading reasoning."
It became known through the works of Plato, inin particular, his works "Dialogues". In them, two or more participants in the conversation could talk among themselves, and at the same time hold different opinions. However, they sought to find the truth by sharing their opinions. Beginning with Hegel's works, the direction of dialectics begins to be contrasted with metaphysics-the doctrine of the immutability of things, their independence from each other.
In the history of philosophy, many other definitions of what dialectics is.
- Heraclitus believed that by this term it is necessary to understand the doctrine of becoming, as well as the variability of being;
- Plato understood dialectics as a way of dismembering and linking various concepts in order to grasp the highest idea, the essence of things;
- Aristotle understood the dialectic science, which concerns the general provisions that can be found in any scientific study;
- Giordano Bruno and Nikolai Kuzansky understood by this term the doctrine of combining opposing phenomena;
- Kant believed that the dialectic is a method that allows to destroy the illusions inherent in the human mind. Indeed, striving for knowledge of the truth, he is inevitably entangled in contradictions.
- Hegel, who described in detail the principles and laws of dialectics, understood by this term the method of knowing the existing contradictions, which are the driving forces of development.
In Marxism-Leninism, the dialectic was considered a doctrine, which forms the basis of the knowledge of the real world and its revolutionary transformation.
Dialectic principles briefly
Several basic principles of dialectics were singled out. Briefly, you can describe them as follows.
- Things in the world are in communication with each other. This principle means that every object or phenomenon in the material world is in connection with other things. For example, each animal representative is included in the biological chain; objects of the world are associated with the planet Earth; the latter, in turn, is connected with the solar system and so on.
- The principle of development - the progressive movement,transition from one state to another. Usually development is opposed to “creation”, “explosion”. It is often said that it must have a goal, but in dialectics this is not always the case. For example, it is difficult to judge any development goal in the natural world. It is impossible to predict the distant tasks pursued by the evolution of human society.
- The principle of denial - each new state of the object is in opposition to the previous one.
Concepts and categories
So, we have disassembled what dialectics is. However, this method in philosophy is not exhausted only by one definition and the laws that are peculiar to it. In this direction there is also a number of dialectic patterns that are expressed in different entities, or concepts.
Simultaneously with the formulation of the basic principlesdialectics were developed and its main categories. They are the most common concepts that reflect the most essential connections between phenomena and objects of the surrounding world. They are assembled into a certain system, in which the very content of the dialectical method is located. Most often you can hear about the following main categories of dialectics: the subject and object of knowledge, matter, consciousness, thinking, essence, phenomenon, individuality, chance, necessity.
Concepts about things and phenomena
There are also the main categories of dialectics,which relate to things and phenomena of the world. They reflect various aspects of objects, as well as processes that take place in reality. These are such concepts as "a thing in itself", a phenomenon, an existence, a movement, a world (space), form and content.
Basic principles: the law of consistency
This provision is one of the main. The law of system is formulated as follows: everything in the world is interconnected. There is not a single object or phenomenon that would exist regardless of the other. The system in dialectics is one of the fundamental concepts. It is formed by several elements that depend on each other. The connections and relationships between the various elements of a system form its structure.
The cognitive significance of this law isthat the whole world (including also the people themselves) can be represented as an entity where it is enough to have knowledge about the elements that make up the system, and about the relationship between them. Then a person, if he correctly identified this or that system and its essence, becomes able to know its essence.
The law of the unity of opposites
This is one of the most difficult problems of dialectics. One of the most important concepts of this law are “identity” and “sameness”, “distinction” and “dissimilarity”, “opposition”. According to this law, the source of development of each thing is in itself. And any object or phenomenon of the surrounding world contains such elements which, in principle, are not compatible with each other.
The unity of opposites is thatthey are, in fact, inextricably linked with each other, and mutually condition each other. For example, the particular can be distinguished only against the background of the general, and vice versa. The struggle of opposites lies in the fact that they seek to destroy and eliminate each other. The extreme point of this confrontation is a contradiction. Departure from this extreme point is the removal of contradictions, the onset of irreversible changes.
This law is formulated as follows: all objects and phenomena of the world exist for the reason that they develop. In other words, their qualitative and quantitative indicators are constantly changing. There can be no entity in the real world that is not affected by this law.
As an example of the action of this law in nature, we can mention a fact from physics: light is both a wave and a particle, as if uniting in itself incompatible opposites.
You can also recall the organization liveof nature. For example, the forest is a single living system, but within it live species that continuously fight: mushrooms parasitize trees, ants destroy caterpillars, predators eat herbivores.
Law of negation
This principle is also one offundamental in objective dialectics. It consists in the fact that the new state of the object always negates the old, and at the same time it also becomes a negated new state. This principle expresses continuity in dialectics, the recurrence of some properties of the lower stage of development at higher stages.
The meaning of this law is thatthe development process always takes place in a spiral. Development implies the negation of the previous stage, but then this stage is also denied, and the previous stage returns, but in a slightly different quality. Thus, with the help of this law, the connection that exists between the old state of the object of the surrounding world and the new one is illustrated.
New state over time is inevitablegetting older and fading. For example, it is impossible for those people who are interested in their development to get away from denying their old properties and acquiring fundamentally new states. Old means the collapsing elements of the once existing system, the connections that exist between them. The new is the elements and links connecting them, which contribute to the transformation of the system, changing its functionality.
Examples of the operation of this law in life:
- Change of various economic and political structures in society;
- Changing the older generation younger;
- Dying off of old cells in the body and the emergence of new ones.
The principle of transition from qualitative to quantitative
When studying the principles and laws of dialecticsit is necessary to take into account that all of them are interconnected. After all, these patterns reflect the laws that operate in our world. Even at the level of a simple philistine, you can see that the phenomena of the world around are characterized by repeatability and orderliness.
The basic concepts applicable to this law are as follows:
- Quality is certainty equal to being, a measure of any characteristics of an object or phenomenon that is stable.
- Quantity - the measurable parameters of the object or object.
- Measure - the unity of the two categories listed above. With a certain number of changes, the quantity turns into quality. Changes in the latter can not occur indefinitely.
This law is formulated as follows: the development of an object occurs by accumulating quantitative changes, which sooner or later turn into qualitative ones (which, in turn, are also conditions for new changes in the quantitative plan). In other words, quality gradually accumulates - this is how postulated classical dialectics. An example in this case is usually given the following: a bud on a tree gradually swells and grows, but from this it does not cease to be a kidney at all.
As another example,the action of heating water. If it is gradually heated by one degree Celsius, then the quantitative indicators will accumulate, and sooner or later they will turn into qualitative ones - the substance will become steam.
The views of Hegel
Sometimes the above principles are calledlaws of Hegel's dialectics, since in this form they were first formulated by the German philosopher. In the writings of Hegel there are quite a few points that distinguish him from his predecessors. For example, unlike Kant, in his philosophy there is no concept of phenomena and noumena, since the categories of consciousness actually belong not only to the human mind, but also are characteristic of objects and phenomena of the surrounding world. Hegel believed that any developmental process always takes place within the framework of the described dialectical triad. According to the laws of Hegel's dialectic, the thesis is first made. Then an antithesis arises. Between them there is a conflict that causes the synthesis of opposites. When this stage is reached, the process is repeated anew.
Features of the dialectic of the German philosopher
Hegel, by proposing a new understanding of whatdialectic and its theory of development, expressed his ideas in two principles and three laws. The latter were described above and are known under the name of the three laws of dialectics. The first of these is that "everything is connected with everything." However, what this principle means, philosophers still find it difficult to answer. For example, how can the study of Hegel’s dialectics be related to the carnivals held in Venice? The second principle is “Everything in the world is in the process of development”. This principle, as mentioned, cannot be applied to the nature and progress of society.
Dialectics as a theory of development
For the first time, dialectics as a theory of development wasalso interpreted by Hegel, who established that truth can be found not in ready-made scientific research, but in the constant process of knowledge. The various phenomena of the past, those social orders that reigned before, were those stages of development, on the basis of which a peculiar evolution took place from the lowest level to the highest. For the dialectical method there is nothing fixed once and for all.