Hegel: The Modern Dialectic

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The Modern Dialectic Modern dialectic can be seen as a response to the contradictions in these methods and in society form which these arose. The first champion of modern dialectic is the German philosopher G.W.F. Hegel. Hegel, as the others of his times was deeply influenced by the values of Enlightenment but at the same time, before Marx, its greatest critic. Early in his life, Hegel saw himself working, albeit critically, within the Kantian philosophical tradition. He borrows the “vitalizing power of idea” from this tradition. According to him, it is not the limitations of one’s country that shapes thought, but thought that transforms the limitation of society. However, after the Reign of Terror in France Hegel begun to question the values…show more content…
For example, the theory of yin-and-yang, or the Christian conception of the world as God’s creation. What the same in all undialectical explanations of totality is that they view totality as static. However, the dialectical method views totality as a process. Change, therefore, is the very condition which dialectical method is based on. Engels called this the great merit of the Hegelian System. To quote him, “For the first time the whole world, natural, historical, intellectual, is represented as a process, i.e., as in constant motion, change, transformation, development: and the attempt is made to trace out the internal connection that makes a continuous whole of all this movement and…show more content…
The third principle concerns itself over the question that how change originates? The fault in most theories, according to Hegel, is that they identified history in a linear cause-and-effect scheme. According to Hegel, this accounts to ‘bad infinity’. The fundamental problem with this cause-and-effect scheme is the answer to the question, where did all originate from – the ultimate cause! Such a scheme invariably would identify the ultimate cause outside the events they describe. In other words, the cause is external to the system! However, this is not possible in a dialectical scheme, which looks at events, and things in totality. Therefore, the dialectician has to find the cause within the system. Since in such a case, the typical cause-and-effect argument cannot be followed as will reproduce the same problem, Hegel developed a scheme in which change is the result of contradiction and instability as an inherent property to the totality
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