05 février 2010

Forgotten Obsolete English Words #1 : Dialectics

From Ancient Greek διαλεκτική (dialektike), “‘the art of argument through interactive questioning and answering’”), from διαλεκτικός (dialektikos), “‘competent debater’”), from διαλέγομαι (dialegomai), “‘to participate in a dialogue’”), from διά (dia), “‘inter, through’”) + λέγειν (legein), “‘to speak’”).
  • A systematic method of argument that attempts to resolve the contradictions in opposing views or ideas.
Dialectic is rooted in the ordinary practice of a dialogue between two or more people who hold different ideas and wish to persuade each other. The presupposition of a dialectical argument is that the participants, even if they do not agree, SHARE AT LEAST SOME MEANINGS AND PRINCIPLES OF INFERENCE.

The aim of the dialectical method is resolution of the disagreement through rational discussion, and ultimately the search for truth. One way to proceed — the Socratic method — is to show that a given hypothesis (with other admissions) leads to a contradiction; thus, forcing the withdrawal of the hypothesis as a candidate for truth. Another way of trying to resolve a disagreement is by denying some presupposition of both the contending thesis and antithesis; thereby moving to a third (syn)thesis or "sublation". (See Socrates)
It is generally thought dialectics has become central to "Continental" philosophy, while it plays no part in "Anglo-American" philosophy. In other words, on the continent of Europe, dialectics has entered intellectual culture (or at least its counter-culture) as what might be called a legitimate part of thought and philosophy, whereas in America and Britain, THE DIALECTIC PLAYS NO DISCERNIBLE PART IN THE INTELLECTUAL CULTURE, which instead tends toward positivism.

3 commentaires:

HarryTuttle a dit…

The American Scholar, Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1837

"Sixty years after declaring independence, American culture was still heavily influenced by Europe, and Emerson, for possibly the first time in the country's history, provided a visionary philosophical framework for escaping "from under its iron lids" and building a new, distinctly American cultural identity." (wikipedia)

HarryTuttle a dit…

"Il est généralement vrai que l'on n'aime pas réellement les exemples les plus hauts si l'on n'aime pas aussi les exemples typiques. On ne sait même pas à quoi correspondent ces exemples les plus hauts à moins de connaître aussi les exemples typiques."

Stanley Cavell, La Projection du Monde / The World Viewed: Reflections on the Ontology of Film (1971)

HarryTuttle a dit…

"[..] son intérêt [celui de Stanley Cavell] réside bine plutôt dans la croyance affichée dans le bien-fondé de cette expérience [du cinéma] au mépris des pesanteurs académiques et de l'universelle conformité déjà stigmatisée par Emerson et Thoreau. Robert Warshow, James Agee et Manny Farber furent sans nul doute des précurseurs américains dans l'histoire de cette reconnaissance, mais il n'est pas indifférent que Cavell ait reconnu explicitement sa dette envers 'deux théoriciens, les seuls [..] qui aient sur ce sujet une intelligence sans relâche', les Européens Erwin Panofsky et André Bazin."

Marc Cerisuelo, Cette espèce de chose cinéphilie (France-USA et retour), in Critique n°692-693, 2005