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dialectical materialism


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The dominant philosophical strain of Marxism, combining materialism as an embracing philosophy of nature and science, with the Hegelian notion of dialectic as a historical force, driving events onwards towards a progressive resolution of the contradictions that characterize each historical epoch. The combination was perhaps first fully developed by Engels, in Anti-Dühring (1878). Human thought itself aims to mirror the uniform but contradictory character of external reality. Plekhanov and Lenin interpreted dialectical materialism as implying that the nature of the world coincided with the ideals of the revolution, and the heady belief that history itself guarantees the victory of one's own cause or party has proved one of the more widely alluring consolations of philosophy.

Subjects: Philosophy


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