Sunday, May 12, 2019

Define Dialectic -- My Response to a Quora Query.

Define Dialectic --

My Response to a Quora Query.

Dear Readers,

I recently responded to the following query on Quora:  “How would you define "dialectic"?”

My -- edited -- response is posted herein below.

For more information regarding these Seldonian insights into dialectics, please see --


For ‘poster-ized’ visualizations of many of these Seldonian insights -- specimens of dialectical art -- see:



Miguel Detonacciones,

Member, Foundation Encyclopedia Dialectica [F.E.D.],
Participant, F.E.D. Special Council for Public Liaison,
Officer, F.E.D. Office of Public Liaison.

Dialectic names an heuristic format of categorial progression, and of ‘categorial combinatorics’, in which an ‘arche’-category’ or ‘first category’ — the simplest, most abstract category that comprehends the Domain of categories in which it inheres — is asserted, and provokes into mind, for those who know the Domain in question, the ‘explicitization’ [the making-explicit] of a supplementary, or contrary, ‘counter-category’, or ‘contra-category’, one which asserts a part of the Domain which the “arche’-category” leaves unspoken, implicit-only. The opposition or contrast — the “antithesis” — between these two categories of the Domain then provokes into mind a combination-category of these two categories, a “complex unity”, ‘hybrid’, or “synthesis” of these two categories, forming/adding to them a third category of the Domain, their ‘uni-category’.

The ‘superposition’ of these three categories may, for some Domains, “exhaust” the Domain.
But for other Domains, either the first ‘contra-category’ [‘Dyadic Seldon Function’], or the ‘first uni-category’ [‘Triadic Seldon Function’], because of the incompleteness of the categorial analysis/specification of the Domain or Totality by the first three categories alone, becomes, in effect, a new ‘arche’-category’, provoking into mind a new, second ‘contra-category’, plus one or more ‘partial uni-categories’, and a second ‘full uni-category’, and so on.

This richer-and-richer re-iteration of this categorial progression pattern may continue until the Domain or ‘Totality-of-discourse’ [“universe-of-discourse”] is fully analyzed/specified categorially.

Consider, for example, the progression of “circulation”, ‘‘‘value-form’’’ categories that constitutes the ‘‘‘value-form’’’ part of the [tables-of-]contents of volumes I and II of Marx’s Capital.

 If we start at the intermediate level of the multi-level ‘‘‘systematic dialectic’’’ of Marx’s magnum opus, choosing the category of ‘Commodities’ as our beginning , or ‘arche’-’, category, then the second category, of ‘Monies’, forms the ‘first contra-category’, and the third category, of ‘Monies-Mediated-Circulations-of-Commodities’ […C-M-C-], forms the ‘first uni-category’, for the categories of ‘Commodities’ and of ‘Monies’.

Then, the fourth category, of ‘Capitals’ […M-C-M’…] forms the ‘second contra-category’, followed by the fifth category, of ‘Commodity-Capitals’ as the ‘first partial uni-category’, and by the sixth category, of ‘Money-Capitals’, as the ‘second partial uni-category’, followed by the seventh category, of ‘Circulations of the Total Social Capital [Circulation of both ‘Commodity-Capitals’ and of ‘Money-Capitals’, in alternation, and in parallel], as the ‘second full uni-category’, followed by the eighth category, the ‘third contra-category’, as a prediction of a future, coming ‘practical-critique’ of the ‘Capital’ category itself, as a whole, e.g., in Chapter 32 of Capital, volume I.  

 All eight of these categories, cognized together, in ‘qualitative superposition’ i.e., mentally, qualitatively “summed” together, in a non-amalgamative fashion, constitute an intermediate level analysis/- specification/immanent-critique of the PRESENT capitalist system, including of the PRESENT seeds of its predicted, self-caused growth to the point of a transition, out of, and to beyond, itself.

As described above, this description/definition of dialectic pertains more to ‘‘‘systematic dialectic’’’ — to the dialectical method of presentation, of a PRESENTly-experienced totality or Domain, e.g., that of capitalist society, presented in ontological, systematic, ‘‘‘taxonomic’’’, simplest-to-most-complex’ order — a totality or Domain that may have been known only “chaotically”, before such a presentation, to the auditors or readers of such a dialectic presentation.

However, a similar pattern of ontological-categorial progression also typically holds for the same Domains seen developmentally, “genetically” [in terms of the temporal “genesis” of their PRESENT existence], i.e. HISTORICALLY. That mode of dialectic is called ‘‘‘historical dialectic’’’.

The same, core ‘mathematics of dialectics’ can model both ‘‘‘systematic dialectic’’’ and ‘‘‘historical dialectic’’’.

For more about dialectic, see or .

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