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(or self-movement), an internal, necessary, and spontaneous change of a system that is determined by the system’s contradictions, which mediate the action of external factors and conditions. In dialectical materialism, the idea of self-motion is based on the premise that internal causes are the source of self-motion. These internal causes are, first of all, the contradictions inherent in all objects with a systemic structure. Other forces can also serve as causes; an example is the interaction of individual components of the system. The influence of external conditions on a specific self-moving system is indirect, through internal sources.
Self-motion that exhibits direction and irreversible change is a special type of self-motion called self-development. Here the idea of self-motion merges with the dialectical conception of development. In this conception, “the chief attention is directed precisely to knowledge of the source of ’self -movement” (V. I. Lenin, Poln. sobr. sock, 5th ed., vol. 29, p. 317).