History, Evolution, and The Darwin Debate

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Dialectical dyads

November 12th, 2014 · No Comments


The previous post gives an example of a ‘dialectical dyad’ whose actual resolution requires careful historical analysis, in a process that proceeds one dyad at a time. This is a question that might suggest pulling back on dialectical speculation to see if there is one case that can be resolved. We have done just that, in part: the dialectical dyad of ‘free agency’ and ‘macro determination’ show a clear hybrid of free action and that of a larger system. The minute we discover this we realize it is something we deal with all the time: hybrid situations where free agency and some kind of machine interact is one example.

But the more general point is the ‘free agency’ is an essential component in the study of historical dynamics. This can help to free old-fashioned marxism from its contortions over historical determinism.
The point here is that while ‘dialectics’ in general may be speculative there is no reason we can speak of ‘dialectical paired opposites’ and try to resolve their antithetical relationships in p;ractice.

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