[Marxism] O, Dialectics!

www.leninology. blogspot.com leninology at hotmail.com
Fri May 13 01:30:35 MDT 2005


>To my understanding, the central category of dialectics isn't change but 
>becoming.  There is a difference. Cars change speeds.  Seeds become plant. 
>Both can be represented as objects to a knowing subject.  But historical 
>experience implies a subject that is also its own object.   Formal logic 
>handles the first kind of situation just fine but can't account for the 
>situation where A both is and is not as when a subject is its own object -- 
>  the ontological primacy of history for any subject, the dimension of 
>becoming is what allows this to happen -- the temporal dimension cannot be 
>accounted for in formal logic although the universe as a fixed set of units 
>of some kind or other, whose relative positions can be vary, this can be 
>accounted for just fine but doesn't really resemble historical xperience  
>-- in which a projected future calls forth the elements in the present, 
>rearranges their meanings as the apparent historical process of its own 
>realization, as a social subject far beyond the province of a logic that 
>fits in one brain alone.
>
>Paul Dillon

I see.  Unfortunately, many of Hegel's terms are useless for materialists, 
and what I've just read is a series of assertions that don't bear up to 
critical scrutiny.  If the term 'Becoming' has any meaning, then we ought to 
be able to say what it is, and at any rate I fail to see how it differs from 
change.  Saying seeds 'become' plants is no different in effect to saying 
seeds go through a process of *change* in interaction with soil, moisture 
and light to become plants.  Notice that the word 'become' is perfectly 
adequate here in its normal usage, whereas for Hegel the verb must be frozen 
into an abstract noun - a strenuously capitalised one at that.

Further, do you know of any situation where a thing both is and is not?  
True, if your 'is' refers to a time period of about five minutes, then I 
both am and am not at home.  Similarly, if your assessment spans a few 
months, then it both is and is not Summer.  On a long enough time-span, I 
both and am not alive.  If this is what is meant by 'becoming', then I'm 
fairly certain it can be accounted for with the use of ordinary language and 
that we can dispense with Hegel's cumbersome jargon.  If it isn't, or if you 
are hinting at some transcendental supposition, or if you are in fact 
reiterating Hegel's idealism, then I'm going to need some help.

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