Document Type


Document Subtype

Book/Media Review

Publication Date

Spring 4-2012

Publication Source

The Dialectical Method: A Treatise Hegel Never Wrote

Inclusive pages



Prometheus Books

Place of Publication

Amherst, NY





Peer Reviewed



This book proposes a treatise on the Hegelian dialectical method as based on dialectical logic. Part One explores sources of dialectical logic before Hegel in ancient thought (Pythagoras, Sophocles, and Zeno the Eleatic). Part Two examines dialectical logic and the dialectical method in Hegel, with attention to the relationship between dialectical logic and contemporary formal logic. Part Three concerns the dialectical method after Hegel, in which we seek to show that the method is available for uses other than the one to which the historical Hegel put it. My intention has been constructive. I want to take issue with those who have contested the existence or validity of any dialectical logic, and of the dialectical method as well.1 The payoff for studying dialectical logic is the dialectical method. By using it one can reconstruct, rethink, and relive a historical course of dialectical deduction with the purpose of achieving deeper self-comprehension, i.e., comprehension of oneself by retraveling one’s past path of dialectical assumptions, contradictions, and corrections. Dialectical self-comprehension is possible when one’s present identity has historically constituted itself through such a path. It is possible when the individual is conscious of herself as triumphant over the contradictions of the past. Part Three, treating the dialectical method after Hegel, includes a reconstruction of American history since World War II in chapter 8, according to INTRODUCTION 9 1 0 Introduction the dialectical method. We will see how a Hegelian use of the method can assist in comprehending a post-Hegelian historical standpoint present to us but unknown to Hegel.


Hegel, Dialectic, Dialectical logic, dialectical method, quantification logic, analytic philosophy, Freud, psychoanalysis, Marxism, historical materialism



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