Dialectics
(1,863 words)

The origin of the term “dialectic” (διαλέγεσθαι, “to discuss”, i.e., the for and against, thoroughly, by means of dialogue) points to the sphere of reasoning (λόγος, Spirit), but can have many shades, of meaning. We here examine (1) the early history of the term, (2) its main usage, as seen in Hegel, (3) the correctives to be applied to Hegel, with the resulting perspective of (4) a dialectic of freedom and (5) its theological significance.

1. Early history of the term. The history of the philosophical concept begins with Heraclitus's question: “How is that which differs fr…

Cite this page
Walter Kern, “Dialectics”, in: Sacramentum Mundi Online, General Editor Karl Rahner, SJ. Consulted online on 22 October 2017 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2468-483X_smuo_COM_001100>
First published online: 2016



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