Dialectic as method

Chris Burford cburford at gn.apc.org
Fri Jun 23 07:40:30 MDT 1995

Re: Dialectic as method

Hans Despain wrote on Thurs 22nd June,

But I am a little concerned that Chris [S] continually
speaks of dialectic as method, but argues for dialectic as process.
Once again this is epistemological and ontological dialectics

Hans, you always write carefully and handle disagreements constructively
and I have wanted to understand your posts more.

As for your hesitancy about the discussing the theme of dialectics further
I feel that is one of the essential themes for this list.

I am wondering if I have two difficulties of access:

1) You are coming away from your profession of economics, whereas I
am looking for connections with economics. Perhaps if you are willing
you could give one or two illustrations of the relevance of dialectics to
economics, maybe illustrations that are not by definition Marxist and only

2) I am unfamiliar with the distinction you often make between epistemol-
ogical and ontological dialectics. In particular the word "ontological"
does not cross fertilise for me with other areas of knowledge.
Could you explain this distinction more including where it is a
distinction that exists only at the abstract level in terms of the
perspective from which we are viewing the phenomena, or whether the
distinction exists at the level of concrete reality.

Thanks in anticipation.

The other Chris [B]

Chris Burford, London.

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