Analysing Change: Complex Rather than Dialectical?
This article offers a discussion of dialectics from a complexity perspective. Dialectics is a term much utilized but infrequently defined. This article suggests that a spectrum of ideas exist concerning understandings of dialectics. We are particularly critical of Hegelian dialectics, which we see as anthropocentric and teleological. While Marxist approaches to dialectics, in the form of historical materialism, marked a break from the idealist elements of Hegelian dialectics, they retained traces of this approach. The article offers a partial discussion of essential elements of dialectics, which we consider to be the analysis of change, the centrality of contradiction, and the methodology of abstraction. Points of overlap with complexity thinking are highlighted, together with those points where complexity thinking and dialectical approaches diverge. We conclude with some suggestions as to how complexity thinking might contribute to a development of dialectical approaches.
The file attached to this record is the author's final peer reviewed version. The Publisher's final version can be found by following the DOI link.
Citation : Cudworth, E. and Hobden, S. (2014) Analysing Change: Complex Rather than Dialectical? Globalizations, 11 (5), pp. 627-642.
ISSN : 1474-7731
Research Institute : Institute for Research in Criminology, Community, Education and Social Justice
Peer Reviewed : Yes