dialectical logic

dialectical logic

Collins Dictionary of Sociology, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2000
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Dialectical Logic


a science about the most general laws of development of nature, society, and thinking. These laws express general concepts, called categories. Dialectical logic can therefore also be defined as the science of dialectical categories.

As a system of dialectical categories, dialectical logic studies their interrelations, their sequence, and the transitions from one category to another. In Marxist-Leninist philosophy dialectical logic is identical with dialectic, with the theory of knowledge, and with dialectical materialism. In this sense, dialectical logic “is the science not of external forms of thought, but of the laws of development ’of all material, natural, and spiritual things’; that is, the sum total, the conclusion of the history of knowledge of the world” (V. I. Lenin, Poln. sobr. soch., 5th ed., vol. 29, p. 84). Dialectical logic demands that all objects and phenomena be studied in their interrelations and multiple connections and that the intermediate links of these interconnections and the development and history of the object and phenomena be taken into account. The same approach should be applied to the study of human thought and its categories. Dialectical logic incorporates the generalizations drawn from the entire history of human knowledge.

Dialectical logic comes from the materialist solution to the main questions of philosophy, treating thought as a reflection of objective reality. This concept has been and is opposed by the idealist concept of dialectical logic, according to which thought is an autonomous sphere independent of the objective world.

The task of dialectical logic is to investigate the logical forms and laws of scientific knowledge, the structure and laws of development of scientific theory, and the relationship between knowledge and the object of knowledge. The above investigation should draw on the history of philosophy and all the sciences, on the history of the mental development of children and animals, and on the history of language, psychology, and the physiology of the sensory organs and on the creative activity in technology and art. Dialectical logic has the important task of analyzing the methods of scientific cognition that history has produced and of establishing the heuristic value of different methods, the limits of their application, and the value of new methods of cognition.

Dialectical logic differs fundamentally from formal logic and from mathematical logic. The last two, using formal methods, study the forms of thought in abstraction from its content and from the historical development of cognition in all its contradictions. Dialectical logic analyzes the dialectical contradictions of things and ideas, and the development of cognition. It is a scientific method of studying reality and thought itself. (SeeDIALECTICAL MATERIALISM.)


Lenin, V. I. Filosofskie tetradi. Poln. sobr. soch., 5th ed., vol. 29.
Bibler, V. S. O sisteme kategorii dialekticheskoi logiki. Stalinabad, 1958.
Rozental’, M. M. Printsipy dialekticheskoi logiki. Moscow, 1960.
Kopnin, P. V. Dialektika kak logika. Kiev, 1961.
Batishchev, G. S. Protivorechie kak kategoriia dialekticheskoi logiki. Moscow, 1963.
Naumenko, L. K. Monizm kak printsip dialekticheskoi logiki. Alma-Ata, 1968.
See also references in and .


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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