Dialectics

Philip Goldstein pgold at strauss.udel.edu
Sun Feb 19 06:57:31 MST 1995


	The big objection to dialectics has been its tendency to tell
scientists or nature the pattern that it ought to follow. Dialecticians
complain that scientific thinking is undialectical, while philosophers of
science ridicule Engel's dialectical account of nature in which negative
and positive elements are organized in a continuum formed by extremes.
This difficulty arises from dialectic's kantian origins, since Kant meant
to keep natural science in its place by establishing the priority of
classical reason and its imperatives. Hegel preserves this priority, as
does Engels, Lukacs, and the Frankfurt School. I believe that Marx and
Lenin resisted this positioning of natural science. Althusser explodes it
altogether. Can anyone comment on what modern dialecticians say about
dialectics and natural science?

Philip Goldstein


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