Hegelian dialectic is a very prominent dialectic method among scholars after Medieval times. Hegel is also among the pioneers of modern philosophy, inventing a method of finding the truth without waiting for external ideas to constantly pop up.The Hegelian dialectical method consists of a triadic development. It starts with the development of a thesis, a moment of fixity where everything is stable. The definition of the said argument remains stable until it enters the second moment, the moment where the argument’s truth is questioned and faced with contradictions. Plato’s method of dialectic can lead to nothingness should contradictions be found to be true and requires thinkers to wait for a new, arbitrary idea to arise. This is not ideal, according to Hegel, compared to his method. With Hegelian dialectic, one can produce a synthesis out of the contradiction, allowing a new understanding or determination to form. This new determination does not eliminate past determinations but instead, includes them into the new determination. Aside from this, Hegel’s work can be categorized into various philosophies: philosophy of nature, philosophy of mind, philosophy of history and philosophy of absolute mind. In his philosophy of history, Hegel separates them into three different categories. All starts from the Oriental imperial continued with Greek social democracy and is ended with Christian constitutional monarchy. The time of Oriental imperial is a time of stability where freedom is issued, continued by a time when fake freedom is issued during Greek social democracy. The truer sense of freedom is only attained during the time of Christian constitutional monarchy. And this is not the only situation where Hegel applies his dialectical theory as Hegel applies it in many of his works, such as on the concept of being, becoming and nothingness. Comparing Hegel’s work on the importance of being and becoming to Aristotle also brings about interesting results.

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Hegel’s concept of revolving around the fact that it is only a part of the process. For Hegel, it is most important to focus on the fact that a being will not retain that condition forever. Changes are imminent, which prompt Hegel to focuses on the origin, state and what a being will become. Aristotle, however, considers becoming an imperfect situation and is partly false. Aristotle focuses on the situation of being which he considers being the whole truth. A table is a table, but for Hegel, a table was a tree and will become ash when burnt or thrown away. The Socratic dialogue of classical philosophy focuses on scrutinizing each opinion.Socrates loves to use enthymemes as the base of his argument, such as when he discusses the matter with Euthyphro.Aristotle method is closely related to rhetorical dialogues. Several formulas from Aristotle show how the two disciplines are closely related; for example, Aristotle mentions that rhetoric is actually a different part of dialectic or antistrophos. Rhetoric is also known as paraphuesti or ‘outgrowth’ of dialectic. During the medieval philosophy, many scholars study based on classical philosophy, but the transformation is visible with more scholars including their own thoughts into the works. Rhetoric, logic, and grammar are the trio important subjects of liberal arts. The studies are famously taught in many universities and the dialectic is known to possess 7 steps of questioning to gain results. Hegel’s 6 superior features of dialectic against Plato’s dialectical method point out to the fact that his determinations clash to create a new unity that contains those old determinations. Instead of eliminating them when contradictions are found, a new synthesis is formed. Hegel’s dialectics do not require new external ideas to be generated randomly. It also allows new synthesis to not be completely new but consists of old opinions. Just because a contradiction is found to be true, it does not mean the opposite is true, which allows this synthesis to be constantly tested for its truth. Hegel’s concept of being which is being-for-itself is much simpler than something-other.

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For example, an apple is an apple compared to other objects of similar characteristics. This comparison goes back and forth between different apples, which is complex. With something-other, the comparison can go on a very long train, but being-for-itself captures all those essences inside one circle, keeping things simple. However, it can also be said that being-for-itself has something-other concept within it and this is just another example of how Hegelian dialectic makes things simple. Hegelian dialectic allows more flexibility but does not dilute the truth. In fact, it helps thinkers in the search of truth without the need to constantly hoping and waiting for ideas to arbitrarily pops up only to be negated to nothing due to contradictions. Hegel’s purpose in forming the dialectics is to gain an Absolute result that contains determinations that are not as universal. Absolute is the highest form of the concept.

Would you like to read more about this topic? This book might interest you: Hegelian Dialectic.