Difference between revisions of "Dialectic"

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dialectic (dialectique)                The term 'dialectic' originated with the Greeks,
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dialectic (dialectique)                 
  
for whom it denoted (among other things) a discursive procedure in which an
+
The term 'dialectic' originated with the Greeks, for whom it denoted (among other things) a discursive procedure in which an opponent in a debate is questioned in such a way as to bring out the contradictions in his discourse. This is the tactic which Plato ascribes to Socrates, who is shown as beginning most dialogues by first reducing his interlocutor to a state of confusion and helplessness. Lacan compares this to the first stage of psychoanalytic treatment, when the analyst forces the analysand to confront the contradictions and gaps in his narrative. However, just as Socrates then proceeds to draw out the truth from the confused statements of his interlocutor, so also the analyst proceeds to draw out the truth from the analysand's free associations (see S8, 140). Thus Lacan argues that 'psychoanalysis is a dialectical experience' (Ec, 216), since the analyst must engage the analysand in 'a dialectical operation' (Sl, 278). It is only by means of 'an endless dialectical process' that the analyst can subvert the ego's disabling illusions of permanence and stability, in a manner identical to the Socratic Dialogue (Lacan, 1951b: 12).
 
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Although the origin of dialectics goes back to the Greek philosophers, its dominance in modern philosophy is due to the revival of the concept in the eighteenth century by the post-Kantian idealists Fichte and Hegel, who conceived of the dialectic as a triad of thesis, antithesis and synthesis. For Hegel, the dialectic is both a method of exposition and the structure of historical progress itself. Thus in Phenomenology of Spirit (1807), Hegel shows how consciousness progresses towards absolute knowledge by means of a series of confrontations between opposing elements. Each confrontation is resolved by an operation called the Aufhebung (usually translated as 'sublation') in which a new idea (the synthesis) is born from the opposition between thesis and antithesis; the synthesis simultaneously annuls, preserves and raises this opposition to a higher level.
opponent in a debate is questioned in such a way as to bring out the contra-
+
The particular way in which the Hegelian dialectic is appropriated by Lacan
 
 
dictions in his discourse. This is the tactic which Plato ascribes to Socrates,
 
 
 
who is shown as beginning most dialogues by first reducing his interlocutor to
 
 
 
  a state of confusion and helplessness. Lacan compares this to the first stage of
 
 
 
psychoanalytic treatment, when the analyst forces the analysand to confront
 
 
 
the contradictions and gaps in his narrative. However, just as Socrates then
 
 
 
proceeds to draw out the truth from the confused statements of his interlocutor,
 
 
 
  so also the analyst proceeds to draw out the truth from the analysand's free
 
 
 
associations (see S8, 140). Thus Lacan argues that 'psychoanalysis is                   a
 
 
 
dialectical experience' (Ec, 216), since the analyst must engage the analysand
 
 
 
in 'a dialectical operation' (Sl, 278). It is only by               means of 'an endless
 
 
 
dialectical process' that the analyst can subvert the ego's disabling illusions
 
 
 
of permanence and stability, in a manner identical to the Socratic Dialogue
 
 
 
(Lacan, 1951b: 12).
 
 
 
    Although the origin of dialectics goes back to the Greek philosophers, its
 
 
 
dominance in modern philosophy is due to the revival of the concept in the
 
 
 
eighteenth century by the post-Kantian idealists Fichte and Hegel, who
 
 
 
conceived of the dialectic as a triad of thesis, antithesis and synthesis. For
 
 
 
Hegel, the dialectic is both         a method of exposition and the structure of
 
 
 
historical progress itself. Thus in Phenomenology of Spirit (1807), Hegel
 
 
 
shows how consciousness progresses towards absolute knowledge by means
 
 
 
of a series of confrontations between opposing elements. Each confrontation is
 
 
 
resolved by     an operation called the Aufhebung (usually translated as 'sub-
 
 
 
lation') in which       a new idea (the synthesis) is born from the opposition
 
 
 
between thesis and antithesis; the synthesis simultaneously annuls, preserves
 
 
 
and raises this opposition to a higher level.
 
 
 
    The particular way in which the Hegelian dialectic is appropriated by Lacan
 
  
 
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Revision as of 04:30, 26 April 2006

dialectic (dialectique)

The term 'dialectic' originated with the Greeks, for whom it denoted (among other things) a discursive procedure in which an opponent in a debate is questioned in such a way as to bring out the contradictions in his discourse. This is the tactic which Plato ascribes to Socrates, who is shown as beginning most dialogues by first reducing his interlocutor to a state of confusion and helplessness. Lacan compares this to the first stage of psychoanalytic treatment, when the analyst forces the analysand to confront the contradictions and gaps in his narrative. However, just as Socrates then proceeds to draw out the truth from the confused statements of his interlocutor, so also the analyst proceeds to draw out the truth from the analysand's free associations (see S8, 140). Thus Lacan argues that 'psychoanalysis is a dialectical experience' (Ec, 216), since the analyst must engage the analysand in 'a dialectical operation' (Sl, 278). It is only by means of 'an endless dialectical process' that the analyst can subvert the ego's disabling illusions of permanence and stability, in a manner identical to the Socratic Dialogue (Lacan, 1951b: 12). Although the origin of dialectics goes back to the Greek philosophers, its dominance in modern philosophy is due to the revival of the concept in the eighteenth century by the post-Kantian idealists Fichte and Hegel, who conceived of the dialectic as a triad of thesis, antithesis and synthesis. For Hegel, the dialectic is both a method of exposition and the structure of historical progress itself. Thus in Phenomenology of Spirit (1807), Hegel shows how consciousness progresses towards absolute knowledge by means of a series of confrontations between opposing elements. Each confrontation is resolved by an operation called the Aufhebung (usually translated as 'sublation') in which a new idea (the synthesis) is born from the opposition between thesis and antithesis; the synthesis simultaneously annuls, preserves and raises this opposition to a higher level. The particular way in which the Hegelian dialectic is appropriated by Lacan

PAGE 43