dialectic (dĪəlĕkˈtĭk) [key] [Gr., = art of conversation], in philosophy, term originally applied to the method of philosophizing by means of question and answer employed by certain ancient philosophers, notably Socrates. For Plato the term came to apply more strictly to logical method and meant the reduction of what is multiple in our experience of phenomena to the unity of systematically organized concepts or ideas. Immanuel Kant gave the name "Transcendental Dialectic" (the title of one section of his Critique of Pure Reason ) to his endeavor to expose the illusion of judgments that attempt to transcend the limits of experience. G. W. F. Hegel applied the term dialectic to the logical method of his philosophy, which proceeds from thesis through antithesis to synthesis. Hegel's method was appropriated by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels in their philosophy of dialectical materialism.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

More on dialectic from Fact Monster:

  • dialect - dialect dialect, variety of a language used by a group of speakers within a particular speech ...
  • Amazing Language Facts - Amazing Language Facts There are more than 2,700 languages in the world. In addition, there are ...
  • dialectical materialism - dialectical materialism dialectical materialism, official philosophy of Communism, based on the ...
  • historical materialism - historical materialism: historical materialism: see dialectical materialism.
  • Pahari - Pahari Pahari , languages or dialects of the Indic group of the Indo-Iranian subfamily of the ...

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Philosophy, Terms and Concepts

Play Hangman

Play Poptropica

Play Quizzes

Play Tic Tac Toe