Dialectics of Nature

   One of the areas of debate among Marxists relating to dialectics, philosophy and science concerns the dialectics of nature. Friedrich Engels wrote about the dialectics of nature claiming that dialectics, and his three laws of dialectics in particular, represented an ontology of both the social and the natural world. In other words, Engels argued that the same processes relating to change and contradiction could be observed in both the social and the natural world. This view, accepted by the Second International and Soviet Marxism, has been challenged by many other Marxists, even those sympathetic to dialectics notably Georgii Lukács and Jean-Paul Sartre, on the grounds that the natural and social spheres are vastly different and that dialectical categories and concepts have been derived from and formulated in relation to the social world. Dogmatically applied in the Soviet Union it is questionable if the notion of dialectics of nature, at least in the form it assumed, contributed anything to philosophy of natural science or to scientific practice.

Historical dictionary of Marxism. . 2014.

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