Dialectical Materialism in Marx

Marxist definition

The dialectical materialism is a metahysical doctrine held by many marxists. It asserts that matter is primary or fundamental, and states general laws governing the motion and development of all matter. As such, it is distinguished from historical materialism, which is the marxist theory of history, dealing with thre more particular laws governing the development of human society and thought.

Other important dialectical materialists

In asserting of matter, dialectical materialists do not advance a reductive theory; they do not assert that everything that exists is nothing but matter. Rather, they are concerned to oppose idealism : in their view, matter is not a product of mind, but mind is the highest product of matter. This explains how maxist historians of philosophy can say that Locke and Spinoza were materialists. Both these philosophers believed that mind is as real as matter, but they were materialists in the sense that they were not idealists.

Dialectical materialists argue that the laws that govern matter are not mechanistic, but are dialectical. Borrowing from Hegel, they assert that :

– the transformation of quantity into quality

– the law of the interpenetration of the opposites

– the law of the negation of the negation

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