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It's more about looking at a concept and illustrating how it contains its own opposite within itself and the contradictions which cause that particular dialectical opposition to be transcended.A contemporary example I'm fond of bringing up is the concept of freedom.an interpretive method, originally used to relate specific entities or events to the absolute idea, in which an assertable proposition (thesis) is necessarily opposed by its apparent contradiction (antithesis), and both reconciled on a higher level of truth by a third proposition (synthesis). being employed: pitting people of differing religious convictions against each other for the destruction of monotheistic religion as a precursor to scientific utopianism seems to be working out almost inexorably.
Hegel never used the words 'thesis, antithesis, synthesis', as we all know.
I read something recently trhat suggests that the first use f the the term was Marx in the Poverty of Philosophy, ad that Marx picked this up from the Berlin Hegel Club where a recent publication by a Professor Chalybus was being discussed.
All this is a long way of just showing how the concept of "freedom" can cut both directions depending on how it is employed, as can political movements which are created around this concept.
While you can apply it to historical and political movements as well, it's generally better to apply Hegel's dialectical movements to concepts or notions. The application to historical events themselves are mediated through this treatment of notions and concepts. This is a misconception, and not understanding basic concepts of dialectics.
When we expose the dialectical narrative as such, it no longer can pose as "objective truth" and is brought down to the reality, hence looses power of authority.
Reality is not dialectical, but we learned it precisely by using dialectics, and then thanks to Hegel transcending this way of organising the world.
Dialectics is a way human mind looks at things, it is a psychological property, not a law of nature. The problem is there are a lot of "Hegelians" who interpret Hegels writings in a primitive spiritualistic way, like Marx to some extent. When human "tries to make sense" out of history, he will use dialectical thinking, and try to organise the historical events according to this principles.
This was the Hegelian diagnosis of XVIII century thinking - it was a form of critique of his contemporaries.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. From Old French dialectique, from Late Latin dialectica, from Ancient Greek διαλεκτική (dialektike, “the art of argument through interactive questioning and answering”), from διαλεκτικός (dialektikos, “competent debater”), from διαλέγομαι (dialegomai, “to participate in a dialogue”), from διά (dia, “through, across”) λέγειν (legein, “to speak”).
The whole "thesis-antithesis-syntehsis" schema is way too oversimplified.