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Hegel's Dialectic

  1. Mar 18, 2004 #1
    hegel's dialectic is as follows:

    thesis + antithesis = synthesis

    the synthesis of the previous dialectic then forms the thesis of the next, mixing with another antithesis to produce a synthesis on a higher level - this synthesis then becomes a thesis again etc.

    Hegel argued that culture and orthodoxy has been determined BY this dialectic and that social change is guarenteed because of this dialectic. He also argued that it would continue toward a synthesis so perfect that from it could be produced no antithesis - he called this the "absolute idea"

    my question to you:

    is hegel's "absolute idea" a concrete possibility, or symply an assymptote that all dialectic merely approaches, but will never acheive?
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 19, 2004 #2

    Tom Mattson

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    I think that Hegel got lost in the "absolute idea" to the point that he lost sight of reality entirely. For instance, he looked at societal conflicts and reinterpreted them in terms of this "absolute idea" in a way that was so abstract as to deny that there was ever any conflict at all. That is, by his way of looking at things, the conflict was actually harmonious.

    Marx was the one who said, "Hold it. You can't logically transform away real conflicts like that." He took the part of Hegel that he liked (the dialectical logic) and swapped the idealism for materialism, and *presto*, Hegel was "fixed".
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