A method of reasoning that explores a subject from various different perspectives

Dialectic or dialectics (Greek: διαλεκτική, dialektikḗ; related to dialogue), also known as the dialectical method, is at base a discourse between two or more people holding different points of view about a subject but wishing to establish the truth through reasoned arguments. Dialectic resembles debate, but shorn of subjective elements such as emotional appeal and the modern pejorative sense of rhetoric. It may be contrasted with the didactic method where one side of the conversation teaches the other. Dialectic is alternatively known as minor logic, as opposed to major logic or critique.


Dialectics and Liberty: A Defense of Dialectical Method in the Service of a Libertarian Social Theory, by Chris Matthew Sciabarra, The Freeman, Sep 2005
Written ten years after publication of the first two of Sciabarra's "Dialectic and Liberty" trilogy, discusses Hayek's and Rand's dialectical analysis approaches and suggests that such context-keeping analysis is important in radical libertarian theory
What is dialectics? Dialectics is the art of context-keeping. It counsels us to study the object of our inquiry from a variety of perspectives and levels of generality, so as to gain a more comprehensive picture of it. That study often requires that we grasp the object in terms of the larger system within which it is situated, as well as its development across time. Because human beings are not omniscient ... it is only through selective abstraction that we are able to piece together a more integrated understanding of the phenomenon before us—an understanding of its antecedent conditions, interrelationships, and tendencies.
Ethics Study Guide: Aristotle, by Roderick T. Long
Part of study guide to Prof. Long's introductory ethics course; includes biographical details, comments on Aristotle's ethical and political writings, short introductions to Rethoric and Nichomachean Ethics and study questions
Aristotle's method is dialectical. He believes that inquiry should start from, and attempt to harmonize and explain, the 'appearances' (phainomena) -- i.e., what initially seems plausible -- where this includes not only the data of sense-perception, but also the 'reputable beliefs' (endoxa) of other people. ... Not all beliefs are equally reputable. The reputability of a belief is a function of the number of its adherents and the wisdom of its adherents. Hence endoxa are also referred to as the opinions of the many and of the wise.
Related Topics: Aristotle, Ethics


Interview with Chris Matthew Sciabarra, by Chris Matthew Sciabarra, Peter Jaworski, 22 Apr 2002
Topics discussed include: Ayn Rand as a dialectical thinker, dialectics (context-keeping), Murray Rothbard, Russia, Mauritania, Rand's feminism, the future of Objectivism and Sciabarra's 2001 cyberseminar "Dialectics and Liberty"
Context-keeping, or dialectical thinking, is the art of seeing interconnections between disparate branches of knowledge. Of what importance is this?
It is of the greatest importance, because objectivity ... requires us to investigate empirically the possible connections between different spheres in an effort to gain integrated knowledge of the full context. This is no a priori prescription for knowledge: it is a radical recognition ... that if we are to understand a complex world comprehensively, it requires an ongoing investigation of its many interrelated aspects from shifting vantage points.


Total Freedom: Toward a Dialectical Libertarianism
    by Chris Matthew Sciabarra, 2000
Partial Contents: Aristotle: The Fountainhead - From Aristotle to Hegel - After Hegel - Defining Dialectics - Foundations - The Market versus the State - Class Dynamics and Structural Crisis - On the Precipice of Utopia - The Dialectical Libertarian Turn

The introductory paragraph uses material from the Wikipedia article "Dialectic" as of 23 Oct 2018, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.