1. The art or practice of arriving at the truth by the exchange of logical arguments.
2. The process especially associated with Hegel of arriving at the truth by stating a thesis, developing a contradictory antithesis, and combining and resolving them into a coherent synthesis.
3. often dialectics (used with a sing. or pl. verb) The Marxian process of change through the conflict of opposing forces, whereby a given contradiction is characterized by a primary and a secondary aspect, the secondary succumbing to the primary, which is then transformed into an aspect of a new contradiction.
4. dialectics (used with a sing. verb) A method of argument or exposition that systematically weighs contradictory facts or ideas with a view to the resolution of their real or apparent contradictions.
5. The contradiction between two conflicting forces viewed as the determining factor in their continuing interaction.
[Middle English dialetik, from Old French dialetique, from Latin dialectica, logic, from Greek dialektikē (tekhnē), (art) of debate, feminine of dialektikos, from dialektos, speech, conversation; see DIALECT.]
di′a·lecti·cal, di′a·lectic adj.
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Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
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