Abram Deborin 1929

Hegel and dialectical materialism


Modern science and philosophy originated in the XVII century, in the era of the transition from feudal to bourgeois society. The next centuries were a period of extraordinary flourishing of bourgeois social relations, an unprecedented development of productive forces, and with them science and philosophy.

Now mankind has entered a new phase of historical development. Capitalism is fast approaching its natural end. The ideology that has grown on its basis is experiencing a deep crisis. Natural science makes great gains, but at the same time the philosophical foundations of natural science, which were laid in previous centuries, turned out to be too “narrow” and elementary, not containing all the wealth of the specific content of science. Everywhere, in all areas of material and spiritual culture, the vibrations of the soil are felt. There is nothing sustainable, everything is in the process of fermentation and formation. Along with the great crisis experienced by the modern social formation, there is a breakdown of its “upper floors.” The old culture is dying off, and the foundations of a new, higher culture are laid on its ruins.

But not every crisis signifies regression and decline. There are beneficial crises that are an expression of human growth, a turning point in its development and its transition to a higher level. The modern “crisis” in science is due to the process of accumulation of contradictions that cannot be overcome by the old methods of thinking. The crisis of modern science – primarily natural science – is primarily a crisis of its logical, methodological foundations. The old forms of thinking turned out to be powerless before the extraordinary wealth of content delivered daily by the vigorous development of natural science. Everything that so far seemed unshakable is now being deeply questioned. Some naturalists have placed under suspicion the law of causality, the law of the conservation of energy etc. Therefore, the largest natural scientists now insist on the need for the closest union between natural science and philosophy[1].

Philosophy is as impossible without natural science as natural science is impossible without philosophy. Emphasizing the mutual connection and dependence between philosophy and natural science, we must here at the same time specify that the same relationship exists between philosophy and the social sciences, between philosophy and scientific
knowledge in general.

But what should be understood by philosophy? Without going into details on this, we consider it necessary to emphasize that the usual opposition of philosophy to science does not hold water. Philosophy in our understanding is not something that is the opposite of science. On the contrary, philosophy is also a science for us.

It is wrong to think that the history of philosophy for more than two and a half thousand years was a fruitless struggle of various opinions about worthless things and that this struggle has now ended in nothing, a round zero. People who are not familiar with the history of philosophy and science usually think so. They even believe that all “evil” comes from philosophy and that “salvation” will come only from the positive sciences, and especially from natural science. This prejudice, although considerably shaken by us, is still firmly entrenched in many minds.

However, humanity worked and thought for nothing throughout its centuries-old history. – The history of human thought is a reflection of the harsh struggle of man with nature, with all sorts of forms of exploitation and oppression, as well as with his own ignorance and prejudice. Having now turned his gaze on the path traveled by mankind, we must admit that the modern generation has inherited some legacy from the past. Modern giant successes in the field of natural science and technology would be impossible and inconceivable without all the previous history of mankind. But the same thing has to be said about philosophy. Moreover, philosophy and science have always been so closely interconnected that they mutually fed each other. Philosophy, relying on positive sciences, usually put forward general ideas and principles, which guided private science. Representatives of positive knowledge, often confident of their “independence” from any philosophy, were in fact unconsciously adherents of certain philosophical systems. It is commonly believed that natural science, for example, guarantees against wrong philosophical views, idealistic prejudices. But again, people who have little knowledge of the history of science may think so. Lenin had a different opinion on this. He understood perfectly well that “out of the steep break-up that modern natural science is experiencing, they will be born all the time and reactionary philosophical schools and schools, directions and directions"[2]. However, Lenin, in contrast to many modern uplifters, did not advise throwing “philosophy overboard”; he did not hold the opinion that “science is itself a philosophy.” He wrote:

“... We must understand that without a philosophical foundation, no natural sciences, no materialism can withstand the struggle against the onslaught of bourgeois ideas and the restoration of bourgeois worldview.”

In a word, Lenin’s opinion is such that natural science cannot do without philosophy. In essence, Engels held the same opinion. The greatest naturalists are now coming to the same view.

The history of philosophy is mainly the history of the development of scientific thinking. And if we ask ourselves what is the result of the centuries-old development of human thought, then we will answer this question: materialistic dialectics as a teaching on development and as a method of thinking. Materialistic dialectics did not fall from the sky, but is the result of the development of human thought, a natural product of the history of science, technology and philosophy. Without materialistic dialectics, Marxism is inconceivable.

Marx and Engels managed to build their monumental teaching only because they didn’t just turn away from the philosophy that preceded them, but overcame it, reworked it. If Marx’s method has brought such abundant fruits in the field of social sciences, then he will have to make a revolution in the field of natural science, where theoretical thought is still in captivity in the old metaphysics.

“Empirical Natural Science- wrote Engels in 1878, – has accumulated such an immense mass of positive material that the need to systematize it in each separate area of research and to arrange it from the point of view of internal communication has become irremovable. In the same way, it became inevitable to bring together certain areas of knowledge between themselves. But, doing this, natural science falls into the theoretical field, and here the methods of empiricism are powerless, here only theoretical thinking can help. But theoretical thinking is a congenital property only in the form of ability. It must be developed, improved, and for such a development there is still no other means than studying the history of philosophy. “ [3].

At each given historical stage of its development, philosophy represents a definite understanding of the universal connection of phenomena. While the individual, private sciences are engaged in the study of any segment of nature, a known part of it, philosophy sought to always reveal the universal connection of the whole. Engels sees the advantage of Greek philosophy over the metaphysics of the XVII and XVIII centuries in that it took the view of the whole and sought to penetrate the universal connection of the existing, while the metaphysics of the new time

“Shielded her path from understanding the individual to understanding the whole.” “Since the Greeks,” writes Engels, “have not yet reached the dismemberment, to the analysis of nature, then they have considered it as a whole, in general and in general. The universal connection of phenomena in the world is not proved in detail: for the Greeks, it is the result of direct contemplation. This is a lack of Greek philosophy, thanks to which it was later to give way to other types of outlook. But in this lies its superiority over all its later metaphysical rivals. If metaphysics is right in relation to the Greeks in detail, then the Greeks are right in relation to metaphysics as a whole. “ [4].

Engels quite correctly sees in metaphysics a necessary stage in the development of human thinking, since understanding of the processes and interconnection of phenomena requires an understanding of objects, an understanding of individual phenomena. But metaphysics therefore remains metaphysical, because it sees in the dismemberment of nature the final result of the research and is unable to rise to synthesis. On the other hand, the disadvantage suffered by the Greek philosophy was that for her the whole, the general connection of phenomena was represented by direct contemplation, and not mediated by the dismemberment of the whole understanding.

The materialistic dialectic historically and logically directly adjoins the Hegelian dialectic, being its continuation and further development, since it was subjected by Marx and Engels to processing on the basis of materialism. Dialectics is the result of the development of the entire history of human thinking, the highest product of science, philosophy and practical creativity of man.

“Dialectics,” says Engels, “is for modern natural science the most correct form of thinking, for it represents an analogue – and, therefore, a method of explaining development processes occurring in nature – for nature’s universal connections, for transitions from one field of research to another.

“The current state of science is such that it cannot be satisfied with the mass of accumulated empirical material, the vast wealth of isolated facts, observations, phenomena, or even laws. One feels an overwhelming need to connect all these observations and patterns both in each separate field and in the whole set of sciences, uniting the separate branches of knowledge into one whole. Under such conditions, empirical natural science is forced to rise to the level of theoretical thinking, i.e. Closely connect natural science with philosophy.”

This link of natural science with philosophy can be realized only on the basis of materialistic dialectics.

“Modern naturalists- wrote Lenin in 1922, – will find (if they manage to search and if we learn to help them) in the materialistically interpreted dialectic of Hegel a series of answers to those philosophical questions posed by the revolution in natural science and in which intellectual admirers of bourgeois fashion “get lost” Without knowledge of dialectics, Lenin said, naturalists will be helpless in their philosophical conclusions and generalizations. “For natural science is progressing, going through a period of such a deep revolutionary break in all areas, that without the philosophical conclusions of natural science can not do in any case” [5].

Modern natural science, as it seems to us, has already entered a new line of development predicted by Engels and Lenin. Since the major natural scientists are forced by the very course of the development of science to theoretical comprehension of it, they move on or begin to switch to the dialectical point of view.

Modern science is experiencing a period of “turmoil” – this is undoubtedly. We are, perhaps, on the eve of some restructuring of the entire building of modern science. Therefore, it is not surprising that many natural scientists are slipping into idealism and even mysticism, not being able to theoretically comprehend the contradictions that have accumulated in this or that scientific discipline. To overcome the latter, the old formal logic turns out to be insufficient. It must be replaced by dialectical logic.


Hegel distinguishes between natural logic and scientific logic. Natural logic is the logic of pre-scientific thinking. But pre-scientific thinking, although different from scientific thinking, is nevertheless connected with it and represents the degree of the latter in the sense of its preparation. Prescientific thinking i.e. natural logic has something in common with scientific logic that it also uses categories already. But the use of categories of natural thinking occurs unconsciously, while scientific logic consciously applies categories. Categories in their unconscious application we have in the language in general. Thinking and speaking are intimately connected with each other. Without speech, there is no thought in its developed form. This is not the place to dwell on a very important and essential issue – on the mutual relation of thinking and speech. But we must emphasize that each sentence on the part of its logical composition represents an internal connection and a movement of forms of thinking, i.e. categories. If I say: this leaf is green, says Hegel, then we have here the categories of being, individuality, etc.

Scientific logic deals with categories in their true purity. The development of science moves from empirical and sensual knowledge, preparing higher forms of thinking. At the lower levels of knowledge, we again use all sorts of categories; like, for example, the whole and the part, the thing and the properties. Without such definitions, human knowledge cannot do. But the higher we rise from sensual and empirical knowledge to higher forms of thinking, the more definite are the categories of greater concreteness. Hegel gives an example from physics. In physics, the category of force has changed in modern times to the category of polarity. This last category, according to Hegel, is of infinite importance, since, unlike the concept of force, it more specifically combines the unity of various definitions, the unity of opposites.

Forms of thinking, according to Hegel, are essentially the result of the development of natural logic and sensory-empirical knowledge, since the latter historically precede pure logic. Categories are first given to man in inseparable connection with sensory objects, views and ideas. Only at a certain stage in the development of knowledge, logical categories are made the subject of independent research. They are separated from the concrete content with which they are merged and given in unity. Hegel praises Plato and Aristotle precisely because they made this transition to pure thinking. “Indeed, the need to indulge in pure thinking,” says Hegel, “suggests a long way, already traversed by the human spirit ... “ In short, logic itself is in this sense a product of the historical development of thought.

The release or separation of logical categories from a specific subject content makes it possible to turn logic into an independent science. Logic is the science of thinking. Man does not begin by analyzing his thinking. First of all, he really, practically thinks. Practice and here precedes the theory. Thinking becomes a subject of science only after mankind has used it for a long time and has accumulated a large amount of empirical material to turn it into a subject of independent science. But what is the content of this science?"If logic is generally recognized as a science of thinking,” says Hegel, it is usually understood that this thinking is only a form of knowledge, that logic is distracted from all content. “that it is dissected into two halves, one of which – the content – lies outside of thinking, and the form is inherent in him alone. Such a formulation of the question is fundamentally erroneous. The content of logic, Hegel considers pure thinking, which has pure knowledge as its principle. Logic has, by its content, the very concept of science and its method.

It is necessary to subject to some “testing” the concepts of pure thinking and pure science. The content of pure science, according to Hegel, is objective thinking ...

“Pure science contains thought, because the latter is also a thing in itself, or a thing in itself, since it is also a pure thought. As science, Hegel says, truth is a pure self-developing self-consciousness and has an image of selfhood that is in itself and for itself a cognitive being, a concept as such is a being in itself and for itself. This objective thinking is the content of pure science. The latter is therefore just as formal in the same small measure, so devoid of matter for real and true knowledge, that its content, on the contrary, is the only absolutely-true, or, if you can still use the word “matter,” true matter, but the form of which is not something external, since this matter is actually pure thought, therefore, an absolute form. Logic should therefore be understood as the system of pure reason, the realm of pure thought. This kingdom is truth, as it is without cover in itself and for itself. It can therefore be expressed that this content is the image of God, what is it in its eternal essence before the creation of the world and the final spirit “ [6].

What is the meaning of these statements of Hegel and what is their mistake?

There is some pure science which has pure thoughts as its subject. Therefore, logic is nothing else than the system of pure reason, or the realm of pure thought. Logic, in its very essence, must represent a doctrine of scientific thinking, or, more precisely, a theory of scientific thinking. In this sense, logic lies at the basis of all the sciences, making up their foundation and foundation. Its object is not any specific sensory and empirical subjects, but those general logical categories that underlie all sciences.

What should be understood by categories? It is usually assumed that categories are the most common abstract concepts, abstractions from many empirical objects. But categories are common, fundamental, basic concepts and express mainly interconnections of phenomena. If we take a concept like causality, then it is not just an abstract concept in the sense in which man is an abstract concept in general.

Categories are universal principles, the basic elements of all thinking and being.

Causality is not an abstract concept in the sense of formal logic, but a certain law of thinking and reality. The same applies to all other categories. We cannot think without concepts of a thing and its properties, number, quality, measure, essence, etc. Therefore, logic has as its subject the basic laws of being and thinking. And since every science, as it is a science, is based on these primary categories, it is obvious that logic is a universal science, analyzing the prerequisites of all knowledge, and at the same time an independent scientific discipline with its particular object and content.

Categories are laws in which we generally think everything, without which there is no scientific thinking and knowledge. The sentence: “This leaf is green” includes the notion of a thing (leaf), properties (green), being (is) and singularity (this). This applies to any judgment. We always deal with certain basic forms in which the thought “moves,” to which it is logically subordinate. In this sense, it can be said that logic (or philosophy) is the grammar of science, just as grammar, in turn, is the logic of language.

What is the function of categories? The answer to this question reads as follows: categories have as their task the compilation and establishment of relationships, connections and the order of phenomena.

By pure science, Hegel understands the system of pure reason, the realm of pure thought, as it is expressed. We have the right to distract logical forms from the content and subject them to independent scientific analysis, – nothing can be opposed to such a method of research. But Hegel makes a huge mistake, turning these categories into independent entities. Hegel, who fundamentally defends concrete knowledge, himself became a victim of formal and abstract knowledge. Hegel changed his own method. He uses the concepts of “pure thinking” and “pure science” to justify the existence of a “realm of pure thought.” According to Hegel, therefore, it “comes out” that truth exists “without cover,” in its eternal essence, before the creation of the world and the finite spirit. Here we see the basis of Hegelian idealism and mysticism, as they are expressed in his logic.

Mathematics has as its subject a quantitative relationship between phenomena. It, undoubtedly, represents an independent scientific discipline. But we would have fallen into the roughest mysticism, if we had admitted that numbers, magnitudes exist by themselves, exist independently of things, or that they are “without cover,” in their “eternal essence,” lived somewhere before the creation of the world, subsequently “embodied” in things. But it is from this mystical absurdity that Hegel comes when he postulates the existence of the realm of pure thought.

Thought, or concept, is, according to Hegel, the essence of things, reality itself, the substance of the world. In agreement with Plato, Hegel argues that “Only in its concept something has reality; detached from its concept, it has ceased to be valid and is destroyed “. Of course, if the concept is the substance of the world, then the world has reality only in the concept. But the fact of the matter is that Hegel approached this question roughly dogmatically and only postulated the concept as the essence of the world, and did not prove this thesis. How can you prove it? From what we think in terms, it does not at all follow that concept is the essence of the world.

Hegel hypostasized human thought, turning it into a substance. It is true, of course, that we think in concepts, but concepts are the essence of the form of our comprehension of the world, and not its content. In concepts, we think of certain content. And so, instead of uncovering the objective content of thought, Hegel turns into the substance the very functions, or forms of thought. With the help of thinking, we know reality. Thinking is only an instrument of knowledge of reality. Hegel turns this weapon into reality itself.

Since thought (or concept) is the only reality, and reality is thought, then the question of the form and content of logic is resolved, as it were, by itself, or rather, is
eliminated. Hegel therefore agrees with the old metaphysics in the main. He says:

“The old metaphysics had ... a higher concept of thinking, something that had power in modern times. The first proceeded precisely from the fact that the only true thing in things is that which is known about them and in them through thinking – hence, not in their immediacy, but only when they are raised as thinkable in the form of thinking. This metaphysics thus stood on the fact that thinking and definitions of thinking are not something alien to objects, but rather their essence, or that things and thinking about them (like our language express their affinity) coincide in themselves and for themselves thinking in its immanent definitions and the true nature of things are one and the same content “ [7].

Hegel as an idealist is on the view that thought is the essence of things, that things and the thought of them “Coincide in themselves and for themselves.” This basic belief of Hegel should always be borne in mind when studying not only his system, but also logic. But this point of view of Hegel on the identity of thought and thing is a return to the old idealistic metaphysics. In this respect, Hegel did not overcome the old metaphysics, and therefore both his dialectic and logic as a whole are imbued with more metaphysical elements.

Hegel is right when he insists that direct knowledge, i.e. knowledge of the thing as it is represented directly is not enough that it does not provide complete knowledge and that the true essence of things is revealed in thinking or, more precisely, by means of thinking. However, Hegel makes here a completely wrong logical conclusion: from the fact that direct knowledge is insufficient and incomplete, from the fact that true essence, i.e. the objective nature, things are revealed by means of thinking; it does not at all follow that thought is the essence of a thing, that thought and thing are one and the same. Hegel’s reasoning does not stand up to criticism and it’s as if I said: since with a microscope, things that are not visible to the naked eye are made available to me, the microscope is the essence of these things, the microscope and things are one and the same. Thinking is an instrument of knowledge; the instrument of knowledge and the object of knowledge are not the same thing.

Proceeding from his principled position that thought and thing are one and the same, Hegel establishes that the categories in which logic is concerned are pure spirits. It follows that logic is a system of pure spirits, or ideas. Since the philosophy of nature and the philosophy of the spirit are, from Hegel’s point of view, applied logic, so too do the “pure spirits” living in them, which form their soul. In logic, as before the creation of the world, pure spirits are given “without cover,” in their “pure” form; in the philosophy of nature and the philosophy of the spirit, pure spirits are clothed, so to speak, in flesh. This is the purest mysticism. Therefore, Marx and Engels criticized the Hegelian system and began to criticize these mystical foundations of his entire philosophy. To imagine the matter in such a way that quality, quantity, measure, being, cause, form, etc., are the essence of “pure perfume,” that they lead an independent existence as such “pure spirits” is truly the height of absurdity. It means to put pure abstractions into a concrete existence, which fundamentally contradicts any dialectic.

In fact, what does Hegel do? He argues something like this: since, by studying the world of things, we create for ourselves abstract thoughts about him, then in reality there are not things, but only these thoughts about things. Take his argument on materialism. Materialism, he says, recognizes that one matter is truly objective.

“But matter itself is an abstraction, which, as such, cannot be perceived by us. It can therefore be said that matter does not exist at all, for in the form in which it exists, it always represents something definite, concrete. And yet this abstraction, which we call matter, is, according to the teachings of materialism, the basis of all that is sensual, is sensory in general, absolute disunity within itself, and therefore it is something that exists outside of each other. Since for empiricism this sensible is only something given and remains such, it is the teaching of non-freedom, for freedom consists precisely in the fact that I have no absolutely other opposing myself, but I depend on the content, which is myself. “ [8].

What does Hegel want to say here? Since we know matter in its particular, specific forms, matter does not exist. And since, further, matter, as a concept, is an abstraction from its concrete and sensual forms, in reality there is not matter, but only thought. By virtue of the fact that we think of matter, there exists, they say, not matter, but thought. This is, after all, the usual way of reasoning all vulgar idealists and metaphysicians. And Hegel really “finds” himself in all these arguments as a metaphysician.


Hegel is an objective or absolute idealist. Therefore, the forms of thinking, categories, for him are not only subjective, but also objective. In this sense, Hegel takes a step forward in comparison with Kant. He’s writing:

“If all these categories, such as unity, cause, action, etc., are conscious of our thought, then it does not follow from this that they belong to us and do not constitute at the same time definitions peculiar to the objects themselves.”

This is a perfectly valid remark, which, however, also applies to matter. Nothing could be argued against him if Hegel did not associate mystical ideas with the concept of objectivity. Indeed, from the point of view of Hegel, as we have already found out, categories are therefore not subjective, because they themselves exist objectively as spirits, as pure thoughts, and since they are “embodied” in specific objects, they constitute their “soul.” It is in this last sense that they are “peculiar to the objects themselves.” Therefore, when Hegel says that logic does not deal only with forms of thought, but also has content, this is quite true, but Hegel first of all rejects content that is borrowed from experience, whereas in reality there is no other content than experienced one. Secondly, Hegel understands pure thought as the content of logic, i.e. the same categories that make up the form of thinking. The form and content are identical here. By content, Hegel understands the same forms, since they have an objective existence, because they are objective thoughts, and by forms he means the same content, i.e. the same categories, or pure thoughts, as they are “Forms of conscious thought.”

Hegel is right in his statement that the categories of our thought are at the same time objective categories. But while materialism sees in subjective forms the reflection of objective forms, Hegel, on the contrary, believes that “Logic considers the thoughts, the very content of which belongs to the thinking and originated from it.”

Hegel gives the following example:

“Consider a piece of sugar; he is hard, white, sweet, etc. We say that all these properties are combined in one subject, but this unity is not the subject of sensation. The situation is the same when we consider two events as being related to each other in relation to cause and effect. Perceived here are two separate events following each other in time. But that one event is the cause, and the other is the effect (the causal link between the two events) is not perceived, but exists only for our thought. “[9].

It is completely wrong if “Determining the causes and actions are not drawn from observation,” i.e. from experience. In this example, we once again convinced of the wrongness of Hegel and idealism in general. From the fact that we do not directly feel the actions of the cause, Hegel concludes that we did not draw on the definitions of the causes and actions from experience, but belong to our thoughts. In nature, there is much that is not given to us in direct sensation, and as to what we draw these or other logical conclusions, based, however, on what is given to us in perception or sensation. Why do I consider one event to be the cause, and another to act? Obviously, first of all, both events are given to me in perception, and one is given as the previous one, the other as the next one as the “generating” the other, and the other as the “generated” the first, etc. All this proves with sufficient convincingness that we determined the definitions of the cause and action precisely from observation and experience, and not at all from the sphere of pure thought. The same applies to all categories that are nothing more than a reflection, result, and generalization of experience. But observation and experience are not limited to direct sensation and perception. Without thinking, there is no scientific experience.

In this regard, should briefly dwell on the question of the relationship between logic and the real sciences, as they are usually called. Hegel believes that it is not enough to study one category and even their whole system. In his opinion, from logic, which deals with “empty” categories, one should move to real spheres, to nature and spirit. But it turns out that in this transition the logical idea is not enriched with new, Hegel says “alien,” content, and “Is defined and revealed in the forms of nature and spirit.”

In reality, however, the situation is just the opposite. Logic historically, as we have already seen and as Hegel himself confirms, emerges later than the so-called real sciences. In other words, it develops with them, representing a generalization and result of the historical development of human knowledge in general. Hegel, as an idealist, believes that a logical idea, or pure thought, is itself “defined and revealed in the forms of nature and spirit.” Logic, according to Hegel, precedes history. Here everything is on your head. Pure thought cannot “spawn” nature and spirit from itself. The development of nature and man, as part of it, leads to the fact that “alien” content becomes the subject of thought. In short, logic is based on nature and “spirit.” Representing an abstract generalization of the science of nature and spirit, i.e. to man and his historical development, logic, as the highest product of thought, itself in turn enables the real sciences to use the known laws gained on the basis of this broad historical generalization and experience. Therefore, the logic is developing as well as everything in the world, not being something once and for all given and complete.

Returning again to the question of pure thought and pure science, it is necessary first of all to note that logical categories are abstractions, distractions from real things and their relations – therefore, they have no independent existence. Contrary to his dialectic, Hegel believed, first, that categories as pure thoughts, as pure disembodied spirits are endowed with independent life, themselves moving, hence his self-movement of the concept; secondly, he considers them to be eternal entities, the embodiment of which is real nature and history. Based on this incorrect Hegelian understanding of the relationship between categories and the real, material world, “Hegelians” like Proudhon came to a completely wrong understanding of the bourgeois system. Marx, in his criticism of Proudhon, showed that the latter also deified categories,

“Abstraction, category as such, i.e. separated from people and their material actions- Marx wrote about Proudhon, – is for him immortal, immutable, motionless. It is a being of pure reason, which simply means that abstraction, as such, is abstract. What a delightful abstract tautology! “

The categories for Proudhon, as for Hegel, are independent driving forces. It is they that give rise to nature and certain social relations. We will see later how
an independent movement of categories generates, according to Hegel, the whole world.

But in this connection it is not useless to ask yourself: is pure thinking possible at all?

Hegel believes that pure thinking is a property not of the “finite spirit,” but of an objective, absolute spirit. But to talk about the thinking of thinking itself as such is completely ridiculous. You can talk about thinking only man. By pure thinking, Hegel understands such thinking, which is not caused by anything. But does such thinking even exist? For a materialist, it is absolutely clear that thinking is the result of the development of all nature, the organic world and man, that in this sense it is entirely due to it. However, it is not only conditioned in the sense of its origin, but all its content comes from the outside, from the external world “alien” to it. What is thinking without sensory perceptions, without sensuality at all? Nothing. Yes, thinking itself is a universal organ of sensuality, universal sensuality, just as sensuality is a primitive form of thinking. If by pure thinking we mean the activity of the mind free from all sense perceptions, then such pure thinking is a fiction, for thinking freed from all ideas is empty thinking. They will say, perhaps, that thinking deals with the concept and that the thinking freed from perceptions and ideas retains concepts. But where do concepts come from? After all, concepts are nothing but recycled perceptions and ideas. In a word, thinking is preceded by sensations, perceptions, ideas that thinking deals with a concept, and that freed from perceptions and representations thinking retains concepts. But where do concepts come from? After all, concepts are nothing but recycled perceptions and ideas. In a word, thinking is preceded by sensations, perceptions, ideas etc., and not vice versa. Yes, thinking itself, in the sense of its higher ability to form concepts, categories, is the product of historical development.

The most thorough and deep criticism of the Hegelian dialectic was given by Marx and Engels. But they did not just throw away the Hegelian dialectic, but theoretically, they overcame it and thus raised the dialectic to a higher level. Although this truth is usually repeated many times, it is nevertheless necessary to say that the question of the nature of Marx’s overcoming Hegelian dialectics has not yet been clarified. Unfortunately, Marx did not give us a detailed and systematic exposition of his criticism of Hegelian dialectics. But what we know provides enough material to establish in which direction Marx criticized Hegel.

It is not enough to say that Hegel’s dialectic was on its head, and Marx put it on its feet, or that Hegel’s starting point was the idea, and Marx the material reality. It goes without saying that all this is absolutely true and is witnessed by Marx and Engels themselves. However, Marx’s criticism went deeper. This criticism was also a methodological criticism. He criticized Hegel’s dialectic from the height of his dialectic, proving that Hegel’s dialectic itself contradicted the essence of the dialectical method and that Hegel’s abstract understanding of dialectics caused this, i.e. his idealism.

In another place I had to point out that, since the dialectic is concrete in its essence, it already fundamentally contradicts all idealism and is compatible only with materialism.

Engels, in his review of Marx’s book “Criticizing Political Economy,” wrote, among other things, that when Marx began his work, he faced the question of how to deal with science i.e. question about method. It turned out that"There was a Hegelian dialectic in that completely abstract form in which Hegel left it behind.” Elsewhere, Engels again emphasizes that the form of Hegelian thinking was “extremely abstract, abstract.” Marx’s transformation of Hegelian dialectics was expressed primarily in the fact that he transformed it from abstract to concrete. If Hegel’s sensual, material world has acquired a purely abstract, formal character, then Marx’s task was to overcome the abstract-formal, to a certain degree negative, Hegel’s dialectic and to transform it into a positive-specific dialectic.

The main internal contradiction of the Hegelian method, a contradiction arising from its idealistic “starting point,” is reduced, therefore, to a contradiction between concrete and abstract, material and ideal. The concrete, sensual being is absorbed by a purely formal and abstract “pure” being or pure thought; the abstract is nothing but the bloodless, sensual, concrete. Hence the “mystification” or the mystified form of Hegelian dialectics, which Marx and Engels constantly talked about. In Hegel, we have not only a mystic, but also a mystification, consisting in the substitution of material and concrete with ideal and abstract, living content – a dead form, which supposedly is this living, concrete content. When studying Hegel, one must especially bear in mind this contradiction, this side of the matter.[10].

Eugene Schmitt in his book The Secret of Hegel’s Dialectics revealed these internal contradictions of the Hegelian method.

I will allow myself to quote some quotes from his work. Forms of thinking, he says, dissolve in Hegel into indefinitely pure thinking, into “absolutely negative.” The Hegelian dialectic penetrates, it is true, into concrete content, into the matter of pure thinking, but “This matter is rather” again only an indefinite, pure thinking “. The concrete in Hegel is something mystical, illusive, elusive; this is what “evaporates into a bare empty fog of abstractions when it is approached and when they try to grab it in its living immediacy[11]. In another place, our author formulates Hegel’s point of view in the following words: “Abstract forms, not concrete, reveal themselves in some way that really moves in this process, and this is precisely the fallacy or, as the author expresses, the basic illusion of Hegel’s abstract dialectic. The essence of Hegelian dialectics is reduced to the need to penetrate the forms of thought into the concrete essence of abstraction, but this concrete is concrete – the sensual basis of all abstract, the basis of movement, activity, life, transition etc.; Hegel, on the other hand, lacks this concrete insight, the concrete for him is translucent only through the curtain of abstraction as the truly primary essence of his logical forms. “ [12].

Schmitt’s main idea is that Hegelian logic, in its tendency and task, seeks to overcome the abstract and create material logic in place of the old formal, but Hegel did not cope with his task, since he himself stands on the basis of abstractions. The further development of Hegelian dialectics requires overcoming this contradiction. A dialectic understanding of thinking is necessary, because the basis of thought is non-thought, because its hidden and yet everywhere and translucent essence is concrete, sensual, the word is the basis of thought, its opposite, sensuality, concrete, material. From his idealistic and abstract point of view, Hegel could not reach the general basis of philosophy and natural science, which basis is the sensory world.

Hegel asserts that “the supersensible is sensual and perceived, as they exist in truth.” “Supersensual” is the ideal expression of the sensual and concrete. Hegel, however, stops at this ideal, which alone is the truth.

Thus, the real world disappears and dissolves in the fog of abstractions. But truth is concrete; it requires that we reproduce this concrete and sensual in the human mind. Hegel, understanding the unity of sensuality and thought, remains on the point of view of thought, identifying with it the sensual, material world. The latter is the opposite, which defines the abstract, abstract. In this extreme, an abstract thought finds its boundary. The logical and the abstract have their opposite and find their common definition in the concrete, non-logical. The concrete, the sensual, the material is the negation of the abstract, the negation of thought, its other, immanent negativity of the logical idea, its real content. Thought and from the point of view of Hegel should cease to be a pure abstraction, i.e. turning into its opposite, into material content. In a word, we can formulate this point of view in the following way: the truth of the formal and the abstract, the truth of the ideal is concrete, sensual, material.

For us there is no doubt that Schmitt in his criticism of the Hegelian dialectic is influenced, on the one hand, by Feuerbach, and on the other, perhaps by Marx, although his work bears the stamp of complete independence and independence. But whatever the matter with the question of the influence of Marx on Schmitt, one thing is sure; Schmitt’s criticism basically coincides with that of Marx and Engels,


We have already quoted the above opinion of Engels on the Hegelian dialectic as extremely abstract and abstract. Marx first pointed to its mystifying form, opposing the latter to a rational form. “In his mystified form,” Marx wrote, “the dialectic became fashionable in Germany, since, apparently, made it possible to throw a veil over the existing state of affairs.” The mystical shell hid real, real relationships, turning the concrete into a logical ghost, and this latter into the only reality. “My dialectical method,” wrote Marx, “is not only radically different from Hegel’s, but represents its exact opposite. For Hegel, the process of thought, which he, called Ideas, turns even into an independent subject, is a demiurge of reality, representing only its external manifestation. For me, on the contrary, [13].

Thus, the Marx method is different from the Hegelian in two respects: first, it differs in its starting point, in its theoretical-cognitive basis (in the sense of resolving the issue of the relationship between thinking and being), and in its world outlook in general; secondly, and this circumstance is also of great importance, the method of Marx is opposed to the Hegelian in the sense of a different resolution of the question of the relation of the abstract and concrete, the formal and the material, which is directly related to Marx’s materialistic world outlook. What Marx understands as the mystical and mystifying form of the Hegelian dialectic is revealed as a truly concrete form that has taken the form of a ghost of a logical scheme from Hegel. Therefore, Marx had first of all to reveal the rational form behind the mystical form.

In the above-mentioned epilogue to the second edition of the first volume of Capital, Marx writes: “I criticized the distorting side of Hegelian dialectics almost thirty years ago, at a time when it was still very fashionable.” Marx was referring to the “Critique of the philosophy of law of Hegel” and “Preparatory work for the Holy Family” published only by Comrade Ryazanov, where we find a special chapter entitled “How should we deal with Hegelian dialectics?” [14]. We are deprived here of the opportunity to subject these works of Marx to theoretical analysis. We only consider it necessary to emphasize that Marx’s criticism of the Hegelian dialectic has as its task to reveal the contradictions already indicated between the abstract and the concrete by Hegel himself, in order to approve, so to speak, the rights of the concrete. Marx with great knowledge shows how everywhere behind the ghostly reality, which Hegel operates, there is a movement of real reality. In this respect, the work of the young Marx is of great interest. In confirmation of our thoughts we give a few quotes. “The specific content,” he writes, “the actual definition, acts as a formal moment; a completely abstract definition of form appears as a concrete content. The essence of state definitions is not that they are the definitions of the state, but in that in their most abstract form they can be viewed as logical and metaphysical definitions. The center of gravity of interest lies not in the sphere of the philosophy of law, but in the sphere of logic. Hegel’s philosophical work is not aimed at filling abstract thinking with concrete content of political definitions, but at evaporating the content of existing political definitions and turning them into abstract thoughts. Not the logic of the case, but the business of logic is a philosophical moment. It is not logic that serves to justify the state, but the state – to justify logic. “ [15].

Marx tirelessly hits at one point. He constantly argues that for Hegel, real being is an abstraction, and abstraction is real being; that real entities he takes only in their abstract form as abstract entities and the alienation of the pure, because of. abstract, thinking. “And like Doge as an entity, an object, it is always an abstract entity,” writes Marx, “so the subject is always consciousness, or self-consciousness, or rather, the
object is always only as an abstract consciousness, and man is only as self-consciousness."[16]

Abstract forms of thinking in the understanding of Hegel, says Marx, are inherent in every content and are indifferent to every content, for they are divorced from real nature and real spirit. “The positive side of Hegel made here in his speculative logic is that certain concepts, common and unchanging forms of thinking, represent in their independence in relation to nature and spirit the necessary result of the universal alienation of the human essence, and therefore of human thinking, and that Hegel therefore depicted them as moments of the process of abstraction. “ Hegel’s being is removed by essence, Marx says, essence is a concept, a concept an absolute idea. The absolute idea is again shooting itself ... by nature. Abstraction, comprehending itself as an abstraction, i.e. an absolute idea, knows that it is nothing. “She must give up on herself, i.e. abstraction, and so it comes to the essence, which is the direct opposite of it, it comes to nature. Thus, all logic is evidence that abstract thinking is nothing for itself, that absolute idea is nothing for itself, that only nature is something. “[17].

But the nature, considered in the abstract, is also nothing. For abstract thinker, all nature is only a repetition of logical abstractions in sensual form. “Just as before (that is, in logic), nature represented an absolute idea, abstraction (Gedankending) in its hidden from the thinker and mysterious form, so now the thinker, letting nature go from him, only actually let go of this abstract nature. an abstraction (Gedankending) of nature, although with the certainty that it is the otherness of thought, that it is a real, contemplated nature, different from abstract thinking. Or, speaking in human language, contemplating nature, the abstract thinker learns that beings who, in divine dialectics, he imagined to create for himself as pure products, self-sufficient and never looking at the reality of thought work, [18].

Marx’s criticism of Hegelian logic followed the line of criticism of formalism and abstract thinking. Marx contrasts Hegel’s abstract logic with concrete and material logic. This is the fundamental difference between Marx’s dialectic and Hegel’s dialectic. Marx continues Hegel and completes the development of dialectics, but on a new basis.

However, it would be completely wrong if, in view of the severe criticism by Marx of Hegelian dialectics, we simply rejected the latter, as many try to do. Hegelian logic should serve for us as a starting point in the development or construction of materialist dialectics, even if only by the fact that “the mystification that the dialectic underwent in Hegel’s hands did not prevent the fact that Hegel gave an exhaustive and conscious picture of its common forms movement, as Marx put it.

The second question on which Marxism and Hegel stand in different positions is the question of the relation of thinking and being. For Hegel, the true reality is the concept or idea. His logic is therefore constructed in such a way that the most true is at the end of logic. Being is not true and is removed by the essence, which is its foundation; but the essence is removed in turn by a concept that reveals itself to be more true than the essence. The world unfolds in such a way that it reveals its truth and reality at the end of development, when its nature was revealed completely. But it is obvious that therefore, the idea could find itself as true reality at the end of the development process, because at the very beginning it constituted the true essence of the world, so that all categories – being, essence, etc. – were just shells, external forms of manifestation of the same concept, which say drape into multifarious forms. Finally, the moment comes when it throws off the drapery, the shell, and appears before us in all its purity and at the same time in all its concreteness in the sense of enrichment with all previous content.

The concept at the first stage of the development of logic appears in the form of being. This is the first definition of the concept. The rational content of the Hegelian concept can be understood only in the sense that since everything that we know we know in concepts, then being is one or the first definition of the object that must be comprehended by us in a logical concept. The essence of the world, as well as the whole world, is reflected in the logical, i.e. human, concepts. Since this is so, we can say that the process of knowledge is a movement of concepts, a change of its various forms. But Hegel is different. The concept for it is reality itself, and since the concept moves and develops, it is a process of movement and development of reality itself. The concept and reality are identical, constitute the same subject. Being is thought, thought is being. Therefore, Hegel does not have, in fact, the problem of the relationship between being and thinking. The contradiction between being and thinking, since it exists, is, so to speak, a play of thought with itself. She asserts herself, denies and repels, and again asserts. Or, in other words, the contradictory nature of the movement of thought is expressed in the identification of its own predicates. Then she appears in the form of being.

Another distinctive feature of Hegelian logic is its ontological character. Since the concept is objective or absolute reality, the movement of this concept is the true movement of reality itself. The concept in its movement generates quality, quantity, measure, essence etc. The process of developing categories i.e.purely logical process, and there is a process of development of reality itself. Pure being gives rise to itself in union with pure “nothing” becoming, which in turn generates the so-called existing being, etc. This is, of course, the purest “mystification,” which turns the real relationship upside down. We will return to this question below. So far it is enough to emphasize that the recognition of the possibility of the emergence of the whole diversity of the world from pure being (which means pure thought) is tantamount to recognizing the emergence of the world from nothing. From Hegel’s point of view, this is possible because for him thought, idea, concept, spirit constitute the substance of the world. But from the materialistic point of view, this is the purest absurdity. The world does not arise from thought or from pure being, but is an eternally existing “aggregate” of matter, which in its movement, in its development, really gives rise to the whole diversity of phenomena.

Therefore, Plekhanov is right in saying that Hegel did not resolve the contradiction between being and thinking, but simply removed one of the sides of this relationship, thereby changing his dialectical method and taking the standpoint of abstract monism or identity.

Before entering the field of logic, it is necessary to resolve the issue of gnoseological, the question of the relation of our thoughts to objectivity, to being. Hegel devoted a special study to this question. We mean the “Phenomenology of the Spirit,” which is an introduction to logic. The Phenomenology of the Spirit explores in depth the question of the relation of thinking to the subject. It subjects to a historical and systematic consideration all forms of the relation of thinking to the subject in order to arrive at the point of view of absolute knowledge, consisting in the identity of thinking and being. Having achieved this result, Hegel builds his logic on the basis of the identity of thought and object. It goes without saying that the theory of knowledge, in turn, already implies logic. Logic constitutes the premise of the theory of knowledge, the theory of knowledge presupposes logic. At first glance, we have a contradiction here;

But in this regard, we are interested in the question of the relationship between being and thinking. Hegel, therefore, solved the gnoseological problem in the sense of the identity between thought and object. In the Phenomenology of the Spirit, Hegel depicts on a historical basis the movement of thought and object, their mutual struggle, which is resolved in the sense of the victory of thought over the object. The thought takes possession of the subject, turning it into its content. “In the Phenomenology of the Spirit,” says Hegel, “I depicted consciousness in its movement from its first direct opposition to subject to absolute knowledge; this path goes through all forms of the relation of consciousness to an object and results in the concept of science. “ Logic has already its subject pure thoughts, free from content borrowed from the sphere of experience. Historical experience and related ideas precede logic, i.e. true, true science. Pure science arises only at a certain stage of the historical development of human consciousness. However, logical thought precedes experience, for the very ideas, from Hegel’s point of view, are the product of thought. “... At first, the content of human consciousness produced by thinking is not in the form of thought, but in the form of feeling, contemplation, representation – in such forms that differ from thinking as form.” At the base of various forms of consciousness is the same content. “The content of our consciousness, of whatever kind, may be defined as feeling, as contemplation, as an image, a representation, a goal, an obligation, etc., as well as thought and as a concept. All these are different forms of this content, which remains the same, whether it will be felt or contemplated, imagined, desired, and moreover without admixture or with a mixture of thoughts, or it will be purely conceivable. In each of these forms or in a combination of several, the content is the subject of consciousness. But in this case, the distinctive definiteness of these forms creep into their contents, so that each of these forms gives, apparently, the existence of a new subject, and what is identical in itself seems different in content. “

And so, the starting point for Hegel is consciousness, with its content from unknown origin. The content of consciousness is the subject of knowledge. The content of human consciousness is not produced by the existing world outside us, but by thinking. The content of consciousness produced by thinking is first in the form of feeling, contemplation and representation, and, finally, in the form of a concept, that is, pure thoughts. Therefore, the feelings of contemplation and representation are only forms, or phenomena, thinking. Thinking through feelings, contemplation and representation comes to itself, to pure thoughts, to the concept. “Representations (that is, feelings, contemplation, desire),” says Hegel, “can generally be viewed as metaphors of thoughts and concepts.” At the base of the ideas are thoughts and concepts. It is therefore natural that concepts and thoughts correspond to feelings, contemplation and representation,

In Hegel, the contrast between abstract thinking and sensual reality manifested itself most vividly. The content of our consciousness is determined by thinking as feeling, contemplation and representation. This means that the sensory consciousness acts as an abstract sensory consciousness, as Marx expressed. Hegel never comes to real sensuality or sensual reality, that is, s. to the real material world. Hegel stands on the point of view of the identity of subject and object, thought and object. The point of view of identity and leads to the so-called absolute knowledge. For Hegel, man, or subject, is always consciousness or self-consciousness. This abstract person believes only an abstract thing or thought. The struggle between the subject and the consciousness that takes place throughout the “Phenomenology of the Spirit,” there is a struggle between abstract consciousness and its own abstract products. Abstract thinking considers itself as feeling, as contemplation, perception, representation, etc .; at the very highest stage, it considers itself as a thought, as a concept. It is thus cleared of all impurities and establishes that the true object of thought is thought itself. In logic, therefore, we already have a movement of pure thoughts, self-movement of ideas, categories, concepts.

It is quite natural that it is impossible to agree with the Hegelian general-segmental setting, that it is fundamentally erroneous and also contradicts the dialectical understanding of reality. Thinking has, as it was already emphasized above, as its opposite, being, nature. Man is a product of nature. In man, nature comes to the knowledge of itself. Nature generates from its depths the thinking that cognizes it. Being and thinking are opposites that never cover each other, i.e. not identical. But they constitute unity. Between the subject and thinking is sensuality. There is no thinking without sensuality, without contemplation, but there is no sensuality, contemplation and representation without object. Even the most extreme idealist cannot actually completely ignore nature or object, as well as feelings and notions. Because of this, he has to resort to all sorts of fantastic constructions. Hegel therefore believes that the content of our consciousness is defined as feeling, contemplation, representation, etc., i.e. that thinking itself is considered as feeling or contemplation. The object of
thought ultimately manifests itself as the thought of an object. But in reality this is not the case. The object is a real, material object, which is opposed in all its independence to the subject. Thinking cannot penetrate into the object except through feelings. Consequently, the subject is not an abstract consciousness or self-consciousness, as Hegel, along with all idealists, believes, but a concrete, sensible and thinking being. In other words, the subject is not a pure spirit, but a sensing and thinking body.

If things are not the essence of thought, then it is natural that they are not identical, but different. But between things and thought, between objects and concepts there is no abyss, there is no gap, but there is a connection and unity. The world of things is reflected in our mind. We perceive it with external feelings and in a certain way recycle. Therefore, between our ideas about objects and the objects themselves there is no identity, there is no complete coincidence, but there is a certain correspondence in the sense of reflecting the world in our consciousness. With the help of thinking, we process sensory perceptions, clearing them from subjective moments as far as possible and achieving objective knowledge. Thinking, unlike feelings, is distinguished by a greater degree of objectivity, being inextricably linked with feelings, on the basis of which thinking grows.


The starting point of the materialist dialectic is completely different from the starting point of Hegelian logic. Hegel stands on the basis of the identity of thinking and being. And that is why he is forced to infer from the concept of being. Thought, in the end, must give birth to being. At the beginning of logic, we have a position in which thought and being are one and the same. Thought is being, being is thought. But since being is not thought and thought is not being, since thought and being are opposites, Hegel cannot reveal or explain the transition from thought to being. How a pure being passes into a certain being remains a mystical secret. Pure Being is Nothing, Nothing is Pure Being. From such pure being and pure nothing a definite being can arise. This is equivalent to the emergence of something from nothing. A definite being cannot arise through becoming, since in the sphere of “nothing” there is no becoming, no change or movement. “Pure being,” says Hegel, “forms the beginning, because at the same time it is both pure thought and indefinite simple immediate thought, and the first principle cannot be something mediated and having further definitions.” [19]. When we begin to think, says Hegel, we have nothing but thoughts, and thoughts in its pure uncertainty. This indefinite thought is an immediate thought, because it was not obtained by distracting from any definitions; she is an indefinite thought to any certainty. This thought, Hegel says, we call being. “It can neither be felt, nor contemplated, nor imagined; it is pure thought, and, as pure thought, it forms the beginning.

So, the beginning of logic is pure being, which in turn is pure thought. Logic as a science, which aims at the development or disclosure of all the general definitions of the real world, must begin somewhere. The question is, what should be the basis of this beginning? This beginning cannot be given immediately with all the richness of the content of reality or the absolute, in Hegel’s expression. The content must be developed, it must be revealed in the process of knowledge. If they knew the content from the very beginning, then there would be no need for science at all. Obviously, science begins with the simplest definitions, which, all enriched by new ones, will lead us to the disclosure and development of the content contained in this absolute. The beginning of science should be immediate in the sense that it does not imply any prerequisites for otherwise the prerequisites should have been the beginning. Therefore, the beginning is a definition that does not need any prerequisites and which itself is the first prerequisite.

Hegel’s pure thinking, which is equal to pure being, is the first starting point of pure science. As we remain in the realm of thinking, we are forced to begin to distract ourselves from all that is specific in thought. And then we get the actual pure activity of thought without any specific content. This indefinite thought as a direct thought is at the same time being. Such an unjustified logical conclusion is that pure thought is at the same time pure being, Hegel can do it only because for him the thought and the subject are identical. It is assumed that in thinking, the opposition between nature and spirit has already been removed, and that thinking constitutes their unity. But this unity is bought at a high price, for it eliminates nature, the real thing. The Hegelian “unity” of the subjective and objective gets its resolution only in thinking. Since thinking in this case took in itself the subjective and objective, its movement is at the same time a movement of nature and spirit. Therefore, pure thought is pure being. As an absolute principle, which is the real principle of the world of phenomena and of the spirit, Hegel accepts the concept. The concept of being is the first i.e. the lowest definition of a concept as a real principle. The objective beginning of a system is this very concept of indefinite, or pure, being; the subjective beginning is the first act of thinking, which assumes this abstraction of pure being.

Leaving aside the question of the relationship between these three moments (that is, the absolute, objective and subjective), it is necessary, however, to criticize the meaning of the “absolute” principle as a real principle underlying all phenomena. This real principle is a concept, or absolute spirit. And all logical definitions are the definitions of the absolute spirit, which will appear before us in all its richness of definitions, but only at the end of logic, but which seems to be invisible already at its very beginning. The true beginning of science, therefore, is the end, since “at the end” the true nature of the real principle with all its definitions is revealed. The end is contained at the beginning in a collapsed, or potential, form, and the whole process of science consists in expanding the content that was given at the beginning potentially.

Looking a little ahead, we can, unlike Hegel, say that the absolute beginning, i.e. the real principle of all phenomena, for us, will not be the concept of absolute spirit, but material substance, matter, which alone can have absolute existence. The absolute spirit of Hegel is none other than God. Neither god nor spirit as such can be imagined or imagined by us. All that is is material existence and its manifestation, its properties. Being in its very essence is a material category. In order to give a correct definition of the concept of being, it is necessary to really really solve the problem of opposites and unity of thinking and being. That the Hegelian resolution of this question is completely unacceptable is clearly self-evident. The materialistic understanding of the question of the relationship between thinking and being gives the only correct setting. In the light of the materialistic theory of knowledge, the matter is presented in such a way that being is different from thinking, opposite to it, but at the same time it is one with it, at least in the sense of reflecting being in thinking. But this is the only correct dialectical resolution of the question. Thought has its opposite in sensual reality, being itself at the same time sensual thinking. For Hegel, pure being is not real, sensual being, which is somehow reflected in human thought, but pure abstraction, idea, thought.

In Hegel, the objects of thinking are no different from the thinking itself. Thinking objects are only definitions of the thinking itself. Therefore, Feuerbach says: “Thinking remains here (that is, in Hegelian logic. – A. D.) in an inseparable unity with itself; its objects are only definitions of thinking, arising self-sufficiently in it, not containing anything in themselves that would lie outside thinking “. [20]Therefore, the Hegelian unity of object and subject is in fact not a unity, but an identity. The unity of subject and object is primarily expressed in the fact that the subject is a physical, material being, and this is precisely why the body’s initial opposite of the subject is a body that is inseparably connected with it. In contrast to abstract thinking, the body is an objective world. “Through the body,” I “is no longer” I, “but an object,” says Feuerbach.

Idealistic philosophy seeks to bring the whole objective world out of thinking. But true science and philosophy deals with objective reality, and therefore thinking must turn to its opposite, namely, to the sensual world.

Returning to the question of the beginning of philosophy, it is necessary first to clarify what should be understood by pure being and certain being. Being itself is an empty sound. The concept of being without a certain content of being is really nothing, i.e. is not a general concept of being. “Only a certain being is being,” Feuerbach rightly says; – in the concept of being lies the concept of absolute certainty. I have the concept of being from being itself, but all being is a definite being. “ “Being is one and one with the thing that is. By taking away being, you are taking away everything. Being does not allow a special concept; for a reason, at least it is all “[21].

Pure being is a concept vague, simple and immediate, says Hegel. Pure being is an abstract concept obtained by us by denying any particular being, any definiteness of being. But that is why pure being is mediated by non-pure being, the thought of being is mediated by sensual being. Indefinite being is mediated by a definite being by negating its specific definitions. Thus, the pure being, which Hegel considers direct, in fact implies a concrete being, which is indeed immediate in the sense of its givenness and existence. The immediate being, in the sense of Hegel, is revealed as mediated through the negation of everything positive, of everything sensually real. Therefore, pure being is absolute negation, and so far as it is, of course equal to pure nothing. Hegel, oddly enough, stands here on the point of view of formal logic. Instead of taking a concrete concept as the basis of philosophy, he constructs lifeless abstractions, devoid of any content. This circumstance, once again, convinces us that true dialectics is possible only on the basis of materialism, since the dialectic is in its very essence concrete. “Thinking,” says Feuerbach, “only the existing can think, for it is itself an existing, actual activity. Pagan philosophers were reproached for not overcoming the eternity of matter, of the world. But matter has the meaning of being only for them, it was for them only a sensual expression for being; therefore they are reproached only for thinking of her. “ he constructs lifeless abstractions devoid of all content. This circumstance, once again, convinces us that true dialectics is possible only on the basis of materialism, since the dialectic is in its very essence concrete. “Thinking,” says Feuerbach, “only the existing can think, for it is itself an existing, actual activity. Pagan philosophers were reproached for not overcoming the eternity of matter, of the world. But matter has the meaning of being only for them, it was for them only a sensual expression for being; therefore they are reproached only for thinking of her. “ he constructs lifeless abstractions devoid of all content. This circumstance, once again, convinces us that true dialectics is possible only on the basis of materialism, since the dialectic is in its very essence concrete. “Thinking,” says Feuerbach, “only the existing can think, for it is itself an existing, actual activity. Pagan philosophers were reproached for not overcoming the eternity of matter, of the world. But matter has the meaning of being only for them, it was for them only a sensual expression for being; therefore they are reproached only for thinking of her. “ – only the existing can think, for it is itself an existing, actual activity. Pagan philosophers were reproached for not overcoming the eternity of matter, of the world. But matter has the meaning of being only for them, it was for them only a sensual expression for being; therefore they are reproached only for thinking of her. “ – only the existing can think, for it is itself an existing, actual activity. Pagan philosophers were reproached for not overcoming the eternity of matter, of the world. But matter has the meaning of being only for them, it was for them only a sensual expression for being; therefore they are reproached only for thinking of her. “ [22].

There is no need to subject the thought expressed here by Feuerbach. For us it is important to emphasize only that the concept of being has great importance in the field of science and philosophy, but that this concept can only be thought of as materialistic, otherwise as matter, which, according to Feuerbach, is a sensual expression for being. Concrete being is sensual, material being; all that is, all that has real being, is matter. Therefore, the “pagans” were absolutely right, identifying being with matter. “When we speak of being, and only of being,” writes Engels, “that unity can only consist in the fact that all the objects in question, the essence, exist.” The unity of the world is not in its being, although its being is a prerequisite for its unity, because the world must first be before it can be one.

“The question of being generally remains open outside our field of vision. The real unity of the world lies in its materiality, and the latter is proved not by a couple of cunning phrases, but by means of data obtained in the course of a long and gradual development of philosophy and natural science “ [23].

So, being is, from the point of view of Engels, a prerequisite for the unity of the world, but the real unity of the world consists in its materiality. On the question of pure being, Engels expresses himself in the same negative sense in which Feuerbach speaks about him.

Everything that we have said about pure being is equally applicable to the concept of pure nothing. Pure nothing, like pure being, has no real meaning. “Pure being,” says Hegel, “forms the beginning, because it is pure thought.” Thought and being are identical. Since “pure being is pure distraction and, therefore, absolute negation, it, taken also in its immediacy, is nothing,” writes Hegel. We have already emphasized above that the Hegelian principle is dictated by the interests of its system and is in conflict with the dialectical method. The beginning of Hegel is also of a formally logical nature, which again contradicts the dialectic.

In fact, the concept of being is so devastated that there is not an atom of reality in it. Pure being is pure emptiness, and therefore it is equal to non-being, “nothing,” which in turn is emptiness. Being and nothing are different from each other, they are absolutely identical. Meanwhile, according to Hegel, a concrete concept is the unity of opposites. But being and nothing in Hegel’s interpretation are only identical. Hegel himself emphasizes that the distinction of pure being from nothing is only imaginary. This means that pure being is no different from nothing; if this is so, then from here no formation can come about. Absolute emptiness can not generate from itself anything definite, no movement, no becoming. Nothing comes from nothing. Hegel himself in the Science of Logic writes the following:

“The beginning is not pure nothing, but nothing from which something must come; therefore, in the beginning is being, from which something must come. So, the beginning contains both the one and the other, being and nothing; it is the unity of being and nothingness; or, alternatively, it is non-being, which is together being, and being, which is together non-being.

“Further, being and nothingness are given at the beginning as different: for it indicates something else; it is non-being, relating to being as another; beginning yet; it is only directed towards being. So, the beginning contains being as such, which moves away from non-being or removes it as something opposite to it. “Further, what begins already exists, but to the same extent it does not exist yet. Opposites, being and non-being, are thus in it in direct connection; or it is their undistinguished unity “ [24].

The unsatisfactory and even confusion of Hegel began to be revealed very vividly in the given words of Hegel himself. The brilliant idea that the principle, or law, of motion lies at the basis of everything (expressed in the most abstract form as the principle of becoming i.e. changes in general, as a contradiction, obscured by an idealistic bias towards the theory of pure being and nothing. Hegel sought to affirm the idealistic character of his system at the very beginning of logic.

The beginning of science is generally abstract. But this distraction cannot be absolute, since such an absolute distraction leads to the rejection of all concrete content and to the assertion of only one empty form or one mere thought. Without content there is no form, this is what Hegel himself teaches. But since the movement of logical thought is, from Hegel’s point of view, at the same time the process of the formation of the cosmos, our thinker conducts his research in such a way as to show that the world is a product, a result of the development of thought. In the beginning there was a thought – this is what his reasoning comes down to. This first pure thought is identical with pure being, and the further process of the development of thought is at the same time the process of the development of the world. “The position that being enters into nothingness, and nothing enters into being, the position of becoming,” says Hegel, [25].

Now it seems even clearer why Hegel needed his beginning about pure being and nothing. It turns out that if we do not accept this beginning, we will be forced to “recognize the eternity of matter” i.e. we will be forced to take a materialistic point of view.

The doctrine of the emergence of the world from pure thought is consistent with the Christian doctrine of creation.

“The ancient philosophers clearly saw that simple conclusion that the position: something comes from something or nothing nothing arises, actually destroys becoming, for what becomes and what it becomes from is the same the most; here there is only the abstract-rational position of identity. But it must seem very strange that these provisions are proclaimed without any reservations also in our time, and at the same time they do not realize that this provision is the basis of pantheism, and they do not know that the ancients made comprehensive conclusions from this provision [26].

Hegel again, as we see, “scares” pantheism of those who recognize the position: nothing arises from nothing. Another, more substantial argument of Hegel in favor of the situation: nothing comes out of nothing, it is that its negation leads, as it were, to the negation of occurrence, to the negation of variability in general. But Hegel is wrong; on the contrary, his point of view, which is that the emergence implies the absolute non-existence of that from which something arises, leads in essence to the denial of the emergence and all development in general. Indeed, the negation of the eternity of matter is tantamount to the recognition of the thought that matter originated from nothing. Hegel stands here at some abstract and absolute point of view, which again goes against the dialectical method. Hegel interprets the occurrence as an absolute occurrence – hence, as a metaphysical, rather than a dialectical process. He reproaches the materialists for denying the very emergence, i.e. the process of development, only because they believe that something arises from something, for in that case the result and the one from which it arises are one and the same. Is Hegel right? No, not right. Not only is it not right, but we are compelled here to reproach Hegel for the metaphysical nature of his reasoning. Of course, the resultant and the one from which it arises is not the same, but there is no absolute gap or absolute opposite between them, or, in other words, there is an identity and a difference between them. This is the only correct dialectical question. Hegel, in this case, stands on the point of view of the absolute gap between the arising and that from which it arises. But from this absolute discontinuity there can be no appearance at all. After all, Hegel himself in the above quotation says that “the beginning is not pure nothing, but nothing from which something must come; therefore, in the beginning is being. “ The beginning is non-being, which is being together, and being, which is together non-being. But if this is so, then one cannot speak of pure being as an absolute negation and one cannot stand on the basis of the negation of the eternity of matter. Nature is inherent in self-movement; matter and its movement are eternal and unique. We can express our thought a little differently. Speaking of being, we always mean the being of something. Without “something,” which is inherent in being, there is no being. On the other hand, being in philosophy often means the very substance, or nature, one cannot speak of pure being as an absolute negation and one cannot stand on the ground of the negation of the eternity of matter. Nature is inherent in self-movement; matter and its movement are eternal and unique. We can express our thought a little differently. Speaking of being, we always mean the being of something. Without “something,” which is inherent in being, there is no being. On the other hand, being in philosophy often means the very substance, or nature, one cannot speak of pure being as an absolute negation and one cannot stand on the ground of the negation of the eternity of matter. Nature is inherent in self-movement; matter and its movement are eternal and unique. We can express our thought a little differently. Speaking of being, we always mean the being of something. Without “something,” which is inherent in being, there is no being. On the other hand, being in philosophy often means the very substance, or nature, i.e. nature, or matter, is identified with being. In this sense, as we have seen, Feuerbach says that the ancients understood matter as being. And in fact, if I say: yes, then I suppose that which is. Therefore, Engels rightly says about the ether: “If it exists at all, then it must be material, it must fit the concept of matter"[27]. In this sense, being and materiality are one and the same. Matter is being; it fills the whole of nature; being is identical with matter. Hegel takes being as pure thought, while our task is to comprehend being as a real, material existence.

Does this mean that the dialectic of being and non-being, i.e. The first elementary form of the dialectic process in general, as developed by Hegel, has no rational sense for us? We think that there is a rational sense in this, if we understand this process not in an absolute, but in a relative sense.

In fact, Hegel’s abstract being and nothing is so exsanguinated that nothing real can come out of them, no movement or becoming can be. To depict the process of becoming, we are forced to proceed from an as yet undetermined being, which at the same time is quite definitely in itself. The same applies to non-existence. Absolute non-existence cannot generate anything from itself. We can talk only about relative non-existence, about non-existence in relation to a certain something. To be better understood, let us use the argument of Hegel himself. “Things are not there yet when it begins, but in its beginning it is not only its nothingness, it is also its being already. The beginning is itself becoming, but we are talking about the beginning, when, moreover, further forward movement is meant. “ What Hegel says about the beginning is also true in relation to all becoming. Things not yet when it starts. But all that means is that a certain thing does not yet exist in the new form in which it should turn out as a result of becoming. But at the same time behind a thing that does not yet exist, there is no absolute non-existence, so to speak. She arises from another thing i.e. from a certain being. But its being is non-being in relation to a new thing not in an absolute, but only in a relative sense. After all, Hegel himself says that although things do not yet exist when it begins, however its beginning is not pure nothing, it already contains its being. Therefore, there is no absolutely indefinite being; there is only relatively indefinite, and therefore relatively definite. Matter, which as a “substrate” underlies all emergence, every process, and which is identical with being, cannot arise, or disappear, but can only change its forms.

Being, in which there are absolutely no definitions, cannot “generate” a certain existing being from itself. Matter, or being, always exists in any form, somehow defined. Consequently, any being, however little differentiated it may be, is nevertheless quite definite and concrete enough. Therefore, we cannot proceed from an absolutely indefinite, immediate and simple being, but should put in the basis of the study a relatively indefinite and relatively simple being, a relatively undifferentiated being. Therefore, the beginning will be such a being in which “definitions and various relations of its moments are given.”


Thus, we come to the question of the beginning and the general character of all scientific research. The scientifically correct method, as Marx says, is the ascent from the abstract to the concrete. But in abstract definitions, although the most simple, but real relationships are given. In this simple “cell” the essence of the definable should be contained, but in an undeveloped form, not in a concretized form. “The simplest economic category, such as exchange value,” says Marx, “implies a population, a population producing under certain conditions, as well as certain forms of a family, community or state etc. It can only exist as an abstract, one-sided relation of a given concrete and living whole. “ [28].

Marx rejects the Hegelian concept about the process of the emergence of the concrete. Hegel believes that the method of ascent from the abstract to the concrete is the process of the emergence of the concrete itself. According to Marx, this method is only “the way in which thinking acquires itself the concrete, reproduces it spiritually as a concrete.” The concrete is the starting point of contemplation and representation. Here comes, so to speak, the link between being and thinking, which develops categories not from itself, but having a concrete, like being, in front of itself. In the future, the process of spiritual reproduction of the concrete, which does not coincide with the process of the emergence of the concrete, is accomplished by isolating abstract, simple, one-sided relations of a given concrete whole. This very important discrepancy between Marx and Hegel must be borne in mind when constructing materialist dialectics. For Hegel, the real is the result of developing thinking, but for Marx, thinking is the result, the reflection, the reproduction of reality. Therefore, abstract categories cannot exist on their own, regardless of a particular whole. For Hegel, the movement of categories is presented as a valid creative act. In the light of dialectical materialism, the case is presented in such a way that “concrete integrity, as mental integrity, mental concreteness, is actually a product of thinking and understanding, but it is not a product of a concept that reflects and develops beyond visual contemplation and representation, but processing contemplation and representation in concepts “(Marx). The relationship between being and thinking here in Marx is expressed with complete clarity, leaving no room for any misunderstandings. The real subject, as Marx says further there, exists as something independent and independent outside the head; the thinking head “interprets” the given world, reproducing it spiritually, theoretically.

Now, a new question arises before us, which has enormous theoretical and methodological significance. This is the question of the relationship between the logical process and the historical process. The logical process of ascent from the simple to the complex can be understood at the same time as the genetic process. Marx, like Hegel, did not consider the method of descent from complex to simple to be correct, i.e. analytical method for the most part. The method of ascent from simple to complex is, according to Marx, a reproduction of the real process of nature and history. This is the process of development, the genesis of forms, in contrast to the method of analyzing data that historically developed forms into their elements. On this occasion, Marx writes: Classical economy often “tries directly, without intermediary links, to reduce everything to unity and prove the identity of sources of various forms. But this necessarily follows from its analytical method, from which the criticism and explanation should begin (my emphasis. – A. D.). She is not interested in genetically developing various forms, but in analyzing them to reduce them to unity, since she proceeds from them as from these prerequisites. But analysis is a prerequisite for genetic presentation,[29].

Therefore, Marx’s dialectical method (like Hegel’s) is fundamentally different from the usual method of thinking and research, since it is a method that reproduces the real genetic process of development. This is precisely the meaning of the formula of ascent from the abstract to the concrete, from the simple to the complex.

Returning to the question of the relationship between the logical historical course of development, it is necessary here first of all to recall the thoughts expressed by Engels on this question:

“Criticism of political economy and after choosing a method,” he says about the Marxian concept, “could be built in two ways: historically or logically. Since in history, as in its literary reflections, development in general, comes from simpler to more complex relationships, the literary-historical development of political economy gave a natural guideline that criticism could follow, so that economic categories would generally follow in the same order as in logical development. At first glance, this form has the advantage of greater clarity, since real development can be traced; in fact, such a construction would, at best, only contribute to the greater popularity of the presentation. Historical development is often irregular and zigzagging, and it would have to be traced in all its vicissitudes, due to which not only it would have to place too little material and low-value material, but it would also often have to interrupt the train of thought ... The logical method of research is therefore the only suitable one. The latter, however, there is the same historical method, only freed from its historical form and from violating the harmony of presentation of historical accidents. The logical course of thought should begin from where history begins, and its further development will be nothing more than a reflection in the abstract and theoretically consistent form of the historical process, a corrected reflection, but corrected according to the laws taught by historical reality itself. because the logical method of research makes it possible to study every moment of development in its most mature stage, in its classical form. “ [30].

Everything that is said by Engels here relates to a specific scientific field – political economy. But this question becomes much more complex when we deal with logic as such. In what sense can we speak here about the sequence of categories, their mutual connection and their transition into each other? Logic is the science of the laws of the development of reality. Speaking here about logic, we, of course, mean dialectical logic, as opposed to formal logic, which deals only with the forms and laws of our thinking. Logic, or dialectic in the Hegelian sense, represents the science of categories that have not only subjective, but also objective significance. The aggregate of categories constructs the internal organization of reality. These are objective forms, or laws of the connection of phenomena. Hegelian logic is built on the assumption that the movement of categories is at the same time the very creative work of reality, with which, of course, no materialist can agree. On the other hand, logic reproduces the historical process of human knowledge. In this last sense, the consistent movement of categories seems to coincide with the historical movement, or development, of scientific and philosophical thought. Each category is a general expression of a certain stage of the historical development of thought. For example, the category of being, constituting the beginning of logic, is at the same time the beginning of the history of philosophy (the Eleatic). The category of formation is historically connected with the philosophy of Heraclitus. etc.

In addition to the historical section, it is necessary to pay more attention to a purely logical section. A set of categories is a logical system. Each category logically, develops the following category necessary of itself – such is the thought of Hegel. This is a purely logical process in which categories are internally connected by the necessary logical connection and where each category takes its specific place, each lower category, i.e. more abstract and simple, enters, as a subordinate moment, into a more specific category. Such is the inner meaning of the history of philosophy, where each philosophical system enters, as a subordinate abstract moment, into a subsequent philosophical system that turns out to be more specific in its principle and content than the preceding philosophical systems.

Having outlined the three main sections of Hegelian logic, we must now, at least in a few words, define our attitude to the Hegelian construction. It goes without saying that we reject Hegel’s whole basic idealistic attitude that the world is nothing but applied logic. “According to Hegel,” says Marx, “everything that happened, and everything that happens else in the world, is identical with what happens in his own thinking. Thus, the philosophy of history turns out to be only the history of philosophy, and, moreover, its own philosophy. There is no longer a story “corresponding to the order of time”; there is only a “sequence of ideas in the mind.” He imagines that he is building the world through the movement of thought, [31].

Therefore, logic gives a systematic arrangement, by a certain method, of those thoughts that we have about the relations of the objective world. In Hegel, as in all idealists, categories are abstracted from real relationships and turned into independent entities. If this is so, then we are forced to look for the origin of these thoughts, categories and movements of pure reason. “Is it possible to be surprised at that,” writes Marx, “that in the last degree of abstraction,” since we are dealing here with abstraction rather than analysis, every thing is in the form of a logical category? Can one be surprised that by eliminating little by little everything that makes up the distinctive feature of a given house, distracting from the materials from which it is built, from the form that is peculiar to it, we finally get only the body in general; that, distracting from the size of this body, we leave only space as a result; that, distracting from this space, we finally arrive at the fact that we are dealing only with the quantity in its pure form, with a logical category of quantity? Thus, consistently distracting from any subject, from all its so-called random signs, animate and inanimate, people or things, we can say that in the last degree of abstraction we only have logical categories as the only substances. On their own side, metaphysicians, who imagine that these abstractions constitute analysis, and think that, moving further and further away from the subject, they approach its understanding, metaphysicians are right in their own way, saying that in our world things are only patterns for which logical categories serve as canvas “ finally, we come to the fact that we deal only with the quantity in its pure form, with a logical category of quantity?[32]. In the future, Marx emphasizes the need to study specific forms of motion, for “it is only to distract from the distinguishing features of various kinds of motion in order to arrive at motion in an abstract form, towards a purely formal movement, towards a purely logical formula of motion.”

Thus, logical categories should be regarded as theoretical, ideal expressions of the real relations of things, without which no categories exist at all.

When studying categories as forms of the existence of things, one must always keep in mind that they constitute logical abstractions. But taking the main categories inherent in all reality, such as quantity, quality, measure, causation, form, content etc., and remembering that they themselves do not have any existence, we still on the basis of specific material have the opportunity to expose them to scientific analysis. As for the order, the sequence in which we should consider them, this question, it seems to us, should be resolved in the sense of their logical coherence, corresponding to the objective unfolding of certain forms of movement and the sequence of the process of cognition and research. More simple and abstract categories must precede more complex and specific. It is necessary, therefore, to have the categories in the order of their sequential concretization. This is the real development of all reality and of any of its segments.

Everything in nature develops by progressively complicating the simple and the immediate. At the same time, however, it is necessary to bear in mind the other side of the question, namely: that the simplest categories in turn are historically fully developed under more specific conditions. It would be completely wrong to start a science from establishing an entity, for example, stating laws, for the simple reason that if we knew the laws and the essence of phenomena from the very beginning, then we would have science to science, as Marx puts it, i.e. we would have no need to do science at all. Science has as its main task the disclosure of laws, the essence, the inner connection of phenomena, and this is given not at the beginning or before science, but only as the end result of our study and research. Therefore, we are essentially forced to begin with the immediate, as given in the contemplation of the representation, the object and with the description of its external forms of communication, in order to be able to penetrate deeper into its internal relations and mediation through such a consistent study.

Having before us any object of study, we, naturally, first of all study its external properties, establish its qualitative-quantitative characteristic, the relationship of quality and quantity, as well as their transition into each other. And only after that can we descend deeper into the search behind the internal relations and laws that underlie “being.” This should be the method of all scientific research: from the immediate through the mediated to the concrete scientific concept. And this method of ascent from the abstract to the concrete is the way by which thinking reproduces the spiritually concrete. Therefore, the sequence of categories expresses the sequence of steps of the process of cognition, as well as the reproduction of the historical process of the development of thought and object.


If we ignore the main defects of Hegelian logic that we have indicated, then we must recognize that, in general, Hegel’s construction must be considered correct from the materialist point of view. By this we do not at all want to say that all categories in Hegel stand firmly in their proper place, that no movement of them is absolutely unacceptable. It is important for us only to emphasize that the main lines in Hegelian logic are correctly drawn. We are not dealing here with a whole number of issues in which we differ from Hegel. We have not even touched upon the question of the connection between the system and the method, the transition of categories into each other, etc. All this would require too much space. As regards, in particular, the question of the transition of categories into each other, their artificiality and artificiality are explained primarily by the fact that Hegel is dealing with a purely logical process, in which categories, like logical entities, go into each other. Naturally, in these transitions, more than anywhere else, the influence of the system on the method is felt. Categories can not go into each other. In Hegel, the categories, as laws of thought, are generally a priori in nature and are really imposed on nature and history. But, on the other hand, it is necessary to understand that even Hegel’s categories are actually derived from reality. Here again we have that mystification of which Marx and Engels speak. But we, materialists, must consciously deduce the laws of dialectics from real nature and history. For Hegel, nature and history are applied logic. For a materialist, the situation is different: categories are abstractions, ideal expressions of real relationships; But since these laws, or categories, are derived, open and installed, they are naturally used hereafter as an instrument of research. The law of transformation of energy, for example, being once discovered in nature itself, is subsequently applied to different areas; it becomes a prerequisite for scientific research. It is not required to reopen this law every time. This circumstance makes many believe that the laws of dialectics are an a priori construction, a scheme that is supposedly imposed on nature by thinking. There can be no talk of a priori here. All laws are derived from reality. But once taken out or opened, they become a strong property of theoretical thinking and turn into an instrument of research. being once open in nature itself, it is subsequently applied to various areas; it becomes a prerequisite for scientific research. It is not required to reopen this law every time. This circumstance makes many believe that the laws of dialectics are an a priori construction, a scheme that is supposedly imposed on nature by thinking. There can be no talk of a priori here. All laws are derived from reality. But once taken out or opened, they become a strong property of theoretical thinking and turn into an instrument of research. being once open in nature itself, it is subsequently applied to various areas; it becomes a prerequisite for scientific research. It is not required to reopen this law every time. This circumstance makes many believe that the laws of dialectics are an a priori construction, a scheme that is supposedly imposed on nature by thinking. There can be no talk of a priori here. All laws are derived from reality. But once taken out or opened, they become a strong property of theoretical thinking and turn into an instrument of research. as if the laws of dialectics are an a priori construction, a scheme that is supposedly imposed on nature by thinking.

So, in the place of self-development of the idea, we put the self-development of the material world, in the place of logical transitions, we put real transitions in the development process. In Hegel, we have, in spite of the artificiality of the transitions of categories into each other and the idealistic character of all his logic, an abstract theory of dialectics, which, in general, nevertheless expresses – if in a mystified form – the real process of development.

Engels reduces the entire dialectic to three basic laws. It does not at all follow from this that Engels rejects all the secondary laws of dialectics as formulated by Hegel. It suffices to analyze the “Capital” of Marx to make sure that we have here all the basic laws of dialectics as applied to political economy. Engels only summarizes the contents of the Hegelian dialectic in three basic laws: the law of the transition of quantity into quality, and vice versa; the law of mutual penetration of opposites and the law of negation of negation. “All these three laws,” says Engels, “were developed by Hegel in his idealistic manner as simple laws of thinking: the first in the first part of Logic is in the doctrine of being, the second occupies the entire second and most significant part of his Logic, about the essence Finally, the third appears as the main law in the construction of the entire system. The mistake is that these laws are not derived from nature and history, but are imposed on the latter as laws of thought. Hence the whole tortured and often terrible construction: the world – whether it wants it or not – must be consistent with a logical system, which itself is only the product of a certain stage in the development of human thinking. If we turn this relationship around, then everything takes a very simple form, and the dialectical laws, which seem extremely mysterious in idealist philosophy, immediately become simple and clear. However, – Engels hastens to add, – the one who is at least a little familiar with Hegel knows that Hegel gives hundreds of times from natural science and history striking examples in support of dialectical laws. “ and imposed last as laws of thought. Hence the whole tortured and often terrible construction: the world – whether it wants it or not – must be consistent with a logical system, which itself is only the product of a certain stage in the development of human thinking. If we turn this relationship around, then everything takes a very simple form, and the dialectical laws, which seem extremely mysterious in idealist philosophy, immediately become simple and clear. However, – Engels hastens to add, – the one who is at least a little familiar with Hegel knows that Hegel gives hundreds of times from natural science and history striking examples in support of dialectical laws. “ and imposed last as laws of thought. Hence the whole tortured and often terrible construction: the world – whether it wants it or not – must be consistent with a logical system, which itself is only the product of a certain stage in the development of human thinking. If we turn this relationship around, then everything takes a very simple form, and the dialectical laws, which seem extremely mysterious in idealist philosophy, immediately become simple and clear. However, – Engels hastens to add, – the one who is at least a little familiar with Hegel knows that Hegel gives hundreds of times from natural science and history striking examples in support of dialectical laws. “ which itself is only a product of a certain stage of development of human thinking. If we turn this relationship around, then everything takes a very simple form, and the dialectical laws, which seem extremely mysterious in idealist philosophy, immediately become simple and clear. However, – Engels hastens to add, – the one who is at least a little familiar with Hegel knows that Hegel gives hundreds of times from natural science and history striking examples in support of dialectical laws. “ which itself is only a product of a certain stage of development of human thinking. If we turn this relationship around, then everything takes a very simple form, and the dialectical laws, which seem extremely mysterious in idealist philosophy, immediately become simple and clear. However, – Engels hastens to add, – the one who is at least a little familiar with Hegel knows that Hegel gives hundreds of times from natural science and history striking examples in support of dialectical laws. “ [33].

Thus, Engels, while criticizing the idealistic basis of Hegelian logic, recognizes at the same time its general structure as correct, reducing the essence of the first part of “Logic,” which deals with being, to the law of the transition of quantity into quality and quality into quantity, with all the “secondary” by categories. The content of the doctrine of essence Engels rightly reduces to the basic law of the mutual penetration of opposites, and Engels sees the essence of the dialectic in the theory of essence. The law of negation of negation passes, in fact, through the entire “Logic” as one of the most comprehensive and widely-functioning laws.


We are unable to give a more or less complete overview of Hegelian logic; we also do not intend to engage in materialistic criticism and interpretation. The only thing we consider necessary to do is to make a number of criticisms regarding the Hegelian construction as a whole. It seems to us absolutely impossible to go into details, for this would require too much space.

We have already stressed above that Hegelian logic is essentially a priori and idealistic. The deployment of categories is done in a purely logical way. This deployment is nothing more than a process of self-development of an idea that reveals its definitions in a certain logical sequence. One concept of an idea, owing to its one-sidedness and narrow-mindedness, itself transforms into another concept, which, in turn, turns out to be contradictory and forced, and by virtue of this, it goes into another concept etc. Thus, the concept is taken as a real entity, which supposedly moves and develops. In fact, such a formulation of the question does not hold water. Concepts themselves do not transform and cannot transform into each other. Only a thinking subject deals with concepts, therefore, the transition into each other, their translational movement is the work of our thought; it is we who force them to go into each other and in general move, develop, unfold; we actually deal with the process of our thought, with the development of our logical concepts with the help of our thinking ability, but we attribute this course of development of thought to objective reality, hypostasizing it and turning it into a real process. This is the mystification of which Marx speaks.

Therefore, the logic of Hegel is inherently inherently wrong; it really stands on its head, considering the development of the real world as the development of logical concepts, while in reality our concepts and the process of their development are only a reflection of the development of the real world. The transitions from one category to another or from one contradiction to the next, Engels wrote, are almost always arbitrary. Often this happens with the help of wit. Engels is quite right in his criticism. It goes without saying that with the Hegelian principle installation, the transitions must be artificial, arbitrary, and tortured in nature, since no one has yet observed how one logical category transforms into another. But, on the other hand, Hegel, by virtue of his principled position, for it is obliged to give us a purely rationale for the transition of one category to another, and this rationale for transitions is not always badly performed by Hegel. It is only necessary to remember that the logical transition is not identical with the real transition. Therefore, it is natural that in materialistic logic the matter should take a completely different look. Since the categories of independent existence do not have, since the categories are only ideal expressions of real relations, the ratio of categories also changes with the change of the latter. If we establish, for example, a real transition of quality to quantity, then we can speak in an abstract form about the transition of a quality category to quantity, but it should be borne in mind that the concept of quality has become the concept of quantity only in our thoughts and thanks to that in the material world some real quality has passed into quantity. There is no quality as such, as there is no quantity as such. Quality and quantity are equally “predicates” of material things. The same applies generally to all categories. Therefore, the categories by their very essence cannot transform into each other, since they do not exist as independent entities.

At the same time, however, it should be emphasized that despite the fact that Hegel proceeds from the movement of concepts, that his construction is nothing but a priori deduction of the categories that he constructs reality from pure concepts, nevertheless his logic is In a sense, unconscious reproduction in abstract notions of reality itself. Therefore, the logic of Hegel is a kind of creation, in which “under the irregular shape and artificial connection” lies the great and the ingenious. “Hegel’s perversion of dialectics,” Engels correctly says, “is based on the fact that he must have” self-development of thought, “and therefore the dialectic of things is only its reflection. But in fact, the dialectic in our head is only a reflection of real development,

From the point of view of Hegel, logos, reason dominates the world; this mind thinks; the world is the thinking mind. Concepts are not for Hegel the subjective forms of the thinking subject, reflecting the objective world. Concepts constitute the objective essence of things. Object means, according to Hegel, the reality of the concept. Therefore, we are able, completely independently of experience, solely by the activity of pure reason, to develop all
a set of concepts that make up an integral closed system. The mind develops from itself all the richness of the content of concepts, and it is also the unity of all these concepts forming its content. The mind is an infinite form, giving itself its content and developing it in a certain logical sequence, where each concept takes a certain place as a necessary link or moment of the whole – an idea. This process of unfolding a single holistic idea into a series or, rather, a range of concepts that are internally interconnected and necessarily passing one into another, constitutes, as has been said, a purely logical, timeless process of self-development of concepts. The contradiction inherent in each individual concept, the “negativity” contained in it, constitutes the driving spring of self-movement of the concept. This moment of negativity forms, in fact, the dialectic of concepts. At the same time, it is necessary to emphasize that Hegel’s dialectic suffers, besides those indicated, by two more shortcomings stemming from its idealistic character: this is, firstly, that it gives supposedly absolute knowledge. The set of concepts that make up the unity of the idea gives us absolute knowledge in the sense of complete exhaustion in time and space of all the phenomena of the world. According to Hegel’s plan, in his logic all the possibilities of the world are exhausted, so to speak. In the integrity of the “idea,” not one of the concepts can be added or subtracted, for they encompass the whole of reality.

In this sense, Hegel’s logic is a closed system, a vicious circle, which does not allow further development. An absolutely closed circle of concepts forms, so to speak, an iron hoop, encircling the whole world and not giving him the opportunity to go beyond its limits, to break through its boundaries. The whole world is forced to rotate only in a certain circulation of concepts. So, if development is inherent in the world, then it is only within certain boundaries set in advance by the absolute idea.

And this is the second major drawback of Hegel’s teachings. His absolute idea is prescribed in advance, so to speak, a certain route. She begins her march with pure being and makes her immutable circle with once and for all the intended “stops” along the way. Having completed this circle, the idea (or, in terms of the empirical language, the world) has no choice but to begin its movement again from the very beginning and repeat the same circle again, etc.

Thus, delving deeper into Hegel’s logic, it must be said that the influence of the system had a detrimental effect on the dialectical method, that the system undermines Hegel’s method in its very basis. In essence, in Hegel’s logic we have a cycle system within which only small circles develop in a spiral. True, Hegel’s logic provides enough material for building a true theory of dialectical development based on materialism. But for this it is necessary to overcome the Hegelian system of logic at its core. Not being able to dwell here specifically on this issue, we consider it only necessary to emphasize that the very logic of Hegel, or, more precisely, his dialectical method took the form of a closed, absolute system. The Hegelian dialectic is, at the same time, a theory of scientific knowledge. But this is the theory of absolute knowledge. True, this absolute knowledge is achieved as a result of the completion of the full circle. At each separate stage we have only relative knowledge, since each category separately expresses the truth only unilaterally and contains within itself the contradictions that lead the development of knowledge forward. But the idea in its concrete integrity, combining in itself all the stages of the concept passed, gives us absolute knowledge. In this respect, the materialistic dialectic of Marx and Engels is more, so to speak, dialectical than Hegel’s construction, for materialistic dialectics rejects absolute knowledge in the sense of Hegel. For materialist dialectics, there is no absolute knowledge without relative, there is no complete knowledge at all that prevents its further development. On the other hand, precisely because Hegel believed that his logic provides an exhaustive, since each category individually expresses the truth only unilaterally and contains in itself the contradictions that lead the development of knowledge forward. But the idea in its concrete integrity, combining in itself all the stages of the concept passed, gives us absolute knowledge. In this respect, the materialistic dialectic of Marx and Engels is more, so to speak, dialectical than Hegel’s construction, for materialistic dialectics rejects absolute knowledge in the sense of Hegel. For materialist dialectics, there is no absolute knowledge without relative, there is no complete knowledge at all that prevents its further development. On the other hand, precisely because Hegel believed that his logic provides an exhaustive, since each category individually expresses the truth only unilaterally and contains in itself the contradictions that lead the development of knowledge forward. But the idea in its concrete integrity, combining in itself all the stages of the concept passed, gives us absolute knowledge. In this respect, the materialistic dialectic of Marx and Engels is more, so to speak, dialectical than Hegel’s construction, for materialistic dialectics rejects absolute knowledge in the sense of Hegel. For materialist dialectics, there is no absolute knowledge without relative, there is no complete knowledge at all that prevents its further development. On the other hand, precisely because Hegel believed that his logic provides an exhaustive, combining in itself all the stages of the concept passed, it gives us absolute knowledge. In this respect, the materialistic dialectic of Marx and Engels is more, so to speak, dialectical than Hegel’s construction, for materialistic dialectics rejects absolute knowledge in the sense of Hegel. For materialist dialectics, there is no absolute knowledge without relative, there is no complete knowledge at all that prevents its further development. On the other hand, precisely because Hegel believed that his logic provides an exhaustive, combining in itself all the stages of the concept passed, it gives us absolute knowledge. In this respect, the materialistic dialectic of Marx and Engels is more, so to speak, dialectical than Hegel’s construction, for materialistic dialectics rejects absolute knowledge in the sense of Hegel. For materialist dialectics, there is no absolute knowledge without relative, there is no complete knowledge at all that prevents its further development. On the other hand, precisely because Hegel believed that his logic provides an exhaustive, there is no complete knowledge at all that prevents its further development. On the other hand, precisely because Hegel believed that his logic provides an exhaustive, there is no complete knowledge at all that prevents its further development. On the other hand, precisely because Hegel believed that his logic provides an exhaustive, i.e. an absolute system of categories, it turns out to be at the same time essentially limited to its modern level of knowledge and, therefore, relatively true system. No one will argue that Hegelian logic has exhausted the entire set of categories for all times, that there can be no more, because our knowledge is unlimited, it develops, and therefore new laws, new forms of correlation of phenomena, etc., can be discovered. So however true that Hegel formulated the most general and basic laws of motion of all phenomena, this must be understood, however, not in an absolute, but in a relative sense. The main category dominating Hegel’s entire logic is the category of development. However, hardly anyone will argue against the fact that this category is relatively young, that only in modern times she entered science as the dominant idea. The modern sciences have undergone a complete revolution only insofar as the idea of evolution, the idea of development, penetrated them.

By the reasons expressed, it is obvious that it would be a vain attempt to give a complete system of categories. Any such system is limited by time and given the level of development of science. But for this time, of course, it must be, if possible, complete, i.e. reflecting comprehensively and comprehensively the state of our knowledge of the world.

Since Hegel sought to give an absolute system of knowledge, i.e. If such a system is timeless, eternal, purely logical, there is no place for time and space in its logic. It seems to us that these latter categories should take a certain place in the materialist dialectic, for “the basic forms of all being are space and time, and being outside time is just as nonsense as being outside space” (Engels). After all, change exists only in time and space and through them. If the basis of the materialist dialectics we put motion (matter) as a fundamental category, then it is obvious that we cannot think of motion without time and space. From Hegel’s point of view, the logical “idea” exists as a kind of integrity and unity of concepts, in and of itself. Nature represents the realization of an absolute logical idea in the sense that a logical idea emerges from a purely logical sphere and transforms into real existence in time and space. Such a construction is understandable only if we stand on the Hegelian idealist point of view, according to which the Logos precedes all real being. Indeed, Hegel proceeds from the idea that the realm of pure thoughts precedes the real world. Concepts are embodied in bodily forms when they transition into the real world. But from the point of view of the materialistic dialectics of this dualism does not exist. On the contrary, only the real world really exists, from which our concepts are abstracted. The real world, as Hegel understands it, exists in time and space. It is obvious that logic, which is pure motion, and nothing more than motion, cannot do without time and space, which are the moments of motion.[34]? Our task does not include the development of the dialectics of time and space in connection with the movement. The development of the issues outlined here should be addressed specifically. Here we consider it necessary only to emphasize the importance of these categories in the system of materialistic logic.


Hegel’s logic is divided into three sections: the logic of being, essence and concept. The doctrine of being deals mainly with the categories of quality, quantity and measure. The literature suggested that the logic of being corresponds to the logic of “natural” consciousness, that it is the logic of describing phenomena, while the logic of essence is the logic of scientific explanation of phenomena, and the logic of concepts represents the highest level in the process of comprehending the world through “philosophical” of consciousness.

Kroner objects to such a statement of the question, rightly pointing out the fact that the arrangement of categories in Hegel does not correspond to the specified division into natural, scientific and philosophical consciousness. Indeed, in the logic of being, are we not dealing with categories of natural scientific explanation? In the logic of essence, we meet with categories belonging to the field of natural consciousness (for example, a thing and properties); in the third part of “Logic,” it is completely wrongfully to find shelter for themselves the categories of mechanism and chemism [35]. Of course, it is impossible to draw a sharp line between these three spheres of logic. Nevertheless, we consider it correct that each department of logic corresponds or should correspond, at least in general terms, to different stages of the development of scientific consciousness. We cannot agree with such a formulation of the question, which sees in the logic of being the logic of naive realism, in the logic of essence – the logic of realistic metaphysics, and in the logic of concept – the logic of philosophical idealism. Perhaps, from the point of view of Hegel the idealist, such a unit has a certain basis. Naive realism is portrayed as the lowest, and philosophical idealism as the highest step in the development of scientific and philosophical thought. The logic of idealism contains, as subordinate moments, realism and metaphysics, towering above them and synthesizing them in itself. That would be right if we were compelled to follow in Hegel’s footsteps, laying the foundation, the world, as a real principle, a concept or an absolute idea, and treat all categories as definitions of this absolute idea. From the very beginning, Hegel actually becomes on the basis of the logic of idealism, for quantity, quality, essence, etc., are the definitions of an idea. But for us its construction is not at all necessary, since we proceed from a completely different real principle and in general from other points of view. Therefore, it seems to us that, in materialistic logic, it is necessary to reorganize the categories of Hegelian logic. In particular, this requirement should be attributed to the third section of “Logic.”

We have already indicated above that the categories of mechanism, chemistry and teleology are completely wrongfully included in the logic of the concept. True, from the point of view of the Hegelian installation, the inclusion of these categories in this section has a certain justification, since the concept at this stage of development gives rise to an object. The concept itself was also the result of the development of the essence, which itself became a concept. This process of transformation, the metamorphosis of essence into a concept, as well as the process of generation by the concept of the kingdom of objects, can be explained only in the light of Hegelian idealism, but it is completely unacceptable for a materialist. The object is considered by Hegel as a consequence, realization or phenomenon of the concept. Therefore, the concept, having arisen from the essence, generates an object. But the essence can turn into a concept, since it is itself a lower level or form of a concept. An object can result from the development of a concept, since an object is a concept. From the point of view of materialism, the matter is presented in a completely different light. The concept does not exist objectively as a reality. The concept is inherent only in the thinking subject, his consciousness. Concepts develop in our heads, since they reflect objective reality. Objects exist independently of our concepts. How does Hegel understand the relationship between object and subject? To this question, Hegel gives the following answer: “In knowledge, it is all about depriving the objective world opposing us of its alienity, orienting, as is usually expressed, in it, which means reducing the objective to the concept, which is our deepest self. From this explanation here it is clear how wrongly to consider subjectivity and objectivity as a certain strong and abstract opposite. Both definitions are entirely dialectical. A concept that at first is only subjective, according to its own activity, without needing any external material or substance for this, comes to objectifying itself, and in the same way an object is not something fixed, something in which no process takes place. and its development consists in the fact that it reveals itself at the same time as a subjective one, which forms a further movement towards the idea. Whoever is unfamiliar with the definitions of subjectivity and objectivity and wants to keep them in their abstractness, he will find that these abstract definitions slip out of his hands before he has time to look back, and every time he says just the opposite to [36].

In this quote, the right is mixed with the wrong. It is true, of course, that the task of science is that the objective world should cease to be alien to us. If the objective world had not become the subject of our ideas and our thoughts, then it would have remained “alien” to us. But Hegel’s assertion that the task of science is to reduce the objective world to a concept is completely wrong. This would mean that the concept is the essence of the objective world, to which Hegel’s point of view actually boils down. Based on this understanding of the relationship between the objective world and the concept, Hegel makes his further conclusion that “a subjective concept becomes an object of inner necessity and without the help of alien material. “ Hegel solves the problem of unity and opposition of subject and object, based on the primacy of the subject, thought, while from our materialistic point of view, the situation is the opposite: the object is primary in relation to the subject. Therefore, in materialistic logic, it is necessary to make, and in accordance with the basic attitude, a corresponding regrouping of categories.

Of course, in the Hegelian concept there is a rational grain, which consists in the fact that an object that exists at first, independently of the subject, at a certain stage in the development of the latter becomes an object of the subject. The development of the objective world leads to the transformation of an object into a subject; the object becomes, in Hegel’s words, a subject of internal necessity. From the object arises the subject, and not vice versa. Therefore, in the study of the concept of Hegel considers the object as a stage of the process of cognition, the development of the concept; but then the very concept (subject) is a “step” in the process of the development of an object. The subject of Hegel forgets about his own plebeian origin and thinks himself the creator of the world, producing the object.

It does not follow from what has been said that in the third section of Hegel’s Logic, we don’t have anything positive or valuable. On the contrary, the thoughts developed here by Hegel are of great value. But in order to reveal the positive content of this department, it is necessary first to expose its mystical character and completely reject Hegel’s idealistic construction.

It must be said that Hegel’s idealism and mysticism reaches its apogee right here, in this section of “Logic,” where the idea is revealed as a spirit that “releases” nature from itself.

In the department interpreting the subjective concept, Hegel expounds the theory of forms of thinking. The originality of Hegel is that these forms – the concept, judgment, inference – are also considered by him as forms that have an objective character. Reality itself is a concept, a judgment, and a conclusion. Or, in other words, the world thinks, judges, and infers. The development of being is a process of judgment and inference, produced by the idea. Naturally, we cannot become such a point of view and that such a statement of the question must be rejected. As for the doctrine of objectivity, it does not stand up to criticism, since the object is regarded as a product of a subjective concept. “No matter how difficult it may seem at first glance,” says Hegel, “this transition from the subject, from the concept in general, and, more precisely, from inference (this transition should seem especially strange if we mean only the inference of reason and imagine the process of inference as an activity of consciousness) into an object, we still cannot set ourselves the goal of making this transition understandable for presentation. Is about our usual idea of what is called an object, what constitutes an object definition here? But under the object one usually means not only a certain abstract being, or an existing thing, or something real in general, but something independent, complete within itself concrete; this fullness is the integrity of the concept “ we still cannot set ourselves the goal of making this transition understandable for presentation. One can only ask the question of whether our usual idea of ??what is called an object roughly corresponds to what constitutes the definition of an object here. But under the object one usually means not only a certain abstract being, or an existing thing, or something real in general, but something independent, complete within itself concrete; this fullness is the integrity of the concept “ we still cannot set ourselves the goal of making this transition understandable for presentation. One can only ask the question of whether our usual idea of ??what is called an object roughly corresponds to what constitutes the definition of an object here. But under the object one usually means not only a certain abstract being, or an existing thing, or something real in general, but something independent, complete within itself concrete; this fullness is the integrity of the concept “ complete within itself is concrete; this fullness is the integrity of the concept “ complete within itself is concrete; this fullness is the integrity of the concept “ [37].

Thus, the concept goes into the object. It is also a transition of thought to being. Objectivity, i.e. the external world is represented in three forms: mechanism, chemism and teleology. The transition of a concept into an object is indeed completely “unnatural,” as Hegel himself feels. Its rationale for this transition cannot be considered satisfactory. Hegel distinguishes between an object that has existence and reality in general, from an object that has a concrete and complete reality. In the first case, the object is considered as a logical category, in the second case, it is an object as a fact of experience. But an object in general is an abstraction from concrete objects as “facts of experience.”

In the process of the evolution of nature, mechanical, chemical and organic processes precede the appearance of man as a conscious subject. Therefore, the mechanism, chemistry and organics should occupy an appropriate place in objective, and not in subjective logic. If Hegel takes objects here, since they are the content of the subject, the subject of knowledge, then with the same reason all categories of objective logic can be included in the subjective logic, considering them as steps of human knowledge. Hegel often mixs ontological and logical cuts, which explains the marked inconsistency.

Of great interest are the pages devoted to the problem of teleology. They had a known influence on Marx; This is especially felt in Capital. It would not be an exaggeration, perhaps, to say that Hegel’s thoughts on the role of tools, equipment and human practice in general gave Marx a certain impetus in the elaboration by the latter of his own world view.

In the future, the idea completes its logical evolution through life, knowledge and practice to the absolute idea, i.e. to absolute truth, but at the same time to absolute spirit, i.e. to god who is the true creator of the world. “The absolute freedom of the idea is that it not only transforms into life, and also not only that it, as a final cognition, allows life to be reflected in it, but that it is decided in its absolute truth to freely produce from the moment of one’s own peculiarity or the first definition and otherness, the immediate idea as its reflection, is decided from itself to freely let go of itself as nature “[38]. In other words, the absolute spirit, or god, produces nature from itself. Thus, the idea, completing its circle, returned to its original point. “We have now returned to the concept of the idea with which we started. And at the same time this returning back is moving forward. We started with being, with abstract being. At this stage of our journey, on which we have now embarked, we have an idea as being. But this idea of being is nature. “ [39].

Thus, nature reveals itself as the offspring and product of absolute spirit. But at the same time, it is here that we see in all the nakedness the mystifying character of the Hegelian system. Hegel cannot be satisfied with the purely logical sphere of concepts and forces the idea to go from logical to real existence, where we are dealing with the material, corporeal world. Nature is depicted by Hegel as a contemplative idea. In reality, however, the logical realm is indeed revealed as the realm of pure shadows, and nature as material reality. Therefore, the whole relationship must be turned upside down: it is not the eternal logical idea that creates nature from itself, but nature is the only reality, the true corporeal world, the reflections of which are our ideas and concepts. Consequently, ideas and concepts exist only in our head and have no other existence. All logical categories, p. in which Hegel deals in his logic, the essence, contrary to his opinion, is the reflection of real, natural things or relations, taken in their abstraction, in an abstract form, and built into logical entities. From here it turns out a hoax, according to which logical categories purport to lead an independent life independent of the subject, develop, transform into each other. etc. In logic, real being turned into appearance, into a shadow, and therefore the task of materialistic logic is reduced to the restoration of nature. In logic, we also deal with nature, but in its mystified form, for where do all these categories come from: qualities, quantities, things, essences, etc., if not from nature? Meanwhile, Hegel regards them as purely logical entities. Thus, nature is the source of all categories; it constitutes a concrete integrity, from which categories are abstracted. Therefore, the starting point for us should be real being, or nature. Since ideas constitute only a “glimpse” of the real world in our heads, since, therefore, objective existence is not inherent in the idea, all Hegel’s teaching is about the concept and idea, as it is developed especially in the last part of Logic subject to radical processing in accordance with the materialistic understanding of the world. It does not follow from this, however, that the views expressed by Hegel in this part of the “Logic” themselves do not deserve the most serious attention.


As for the doctrine of being and essence, it seems to us that these two divisions do not need radical processing in the sense of eliminating certain separate parts. We can talk only about their materialistic interpretation and about those or other additions (it is necessary to include time and space in the doctrine of being), about some regrouping of categories and their more concrete definition. As a real principle, the basis of logic should be based on matter, which is an objective beginning, the starting point of knowledge and the end of its results in the sense of a set of mediations of all connections and relations. Together with Hegel, we must begin logic with categories of being, as with directly existing definitions of the real principle, i.e. with material substance. At this first stage, matter, of course, appears only as an indefinite substrate, which, as it moves forward, is enriched with more and more specific definitions.

Often one has to meet with the opinion that Hegel did wrong, taking quality as the first step of being. He would have to start with a quantity or even a measure. We think these arguments are erroneous. First of all, there is no doubt that the structure of Hegelian logic, since it concerns the mutual relation of being and essence, in general must be recognized as quite corresponding to the actual course of the process of cognition. The doctrine of being deals with direct definitions of the real. K. Marx constantly emphasizes that the appearance of phenomena is the opposite of the internal laws of motion. He distinguishes “walking forms of thinking” from scientific research. And it goes without saying that the “walking forms of thinking,” grasping the immediate and external forms of movement, are primary in relation to the internal forms of movement. Of course, this “primacy” should be understood in a cognitive sense, not in an objective sense. Marx also distinguishes, in agreement with Hegel, “forms of manifestation” from their underlying basis. All this speaks for the fact that Marx considered it correct to begin with external forms of movement, from which it is necessary to proceed to the disclosure of internal laws, essential relationships, etc. Therefore, it is necessary to begin scientific research not from “essence,” but from “being.”

But why in the department of being it is necessary to start with quality? Why, they say, not to start with quantity, as with a category that is more abstract compared to quality? We believe that Hegel acted quite rightly in this respect. After all, quality, as Hegel puts it, is “similarity with being, similar to being, so that everything that exists ceases to be what it is when it loses its quality.” Something of course and changeable due to its quality. In other words, it is only real that it is directly determined in itself that “is” a quality; due to their quality, objects differ and differ from each other. Without a qualitative difference, all things would merge into one indistinguishable unity. The concept of pure being also expresses in Hegel this pure spontaneity, indistinguishable unity. From becoming arises being which is a definite being. This emerged, which has become a certainty of being, is quality. Due to its quality, a thing is different from another thing and at the same time it is related, connected with it. Without quality, a thing is devoid of reality, of being. As we can see, a number of definitions are connected with the concept of quality. Quality is the principle of difference and connection of things. It expresses certainty, specificity, finiteness, variability of things. The forms and methods of changing things depend on the “nature” of its quality. In the history of the development of human thought, the concept of quality precedes the concept of quantity, for savages perfectly distinguish things by their “qualities,” not being able to score above three or five. In addition, and it is logically clear that in order to be able to count things, their “cash” is necessary. So Hegel does the right thing, taking quality as primary, and quantity as secondary category. It can be said that there is no quality without quantity and quantity there is no quality and therefore it is more correct to begin directly with the measure as a unity of quality and quantity. On this occasion, it should be noted that no matter how correct the idea of ??the unity of quality and quantity, we still cannot proceed directly from this unity in our analysis. The measure is a very complex category, and in order to interpret a measure, it is necessary to operate with categories of quality and quantity. Therefore, it is natural that a synthetic, concrete category of measure analytically “decomposes” into quality and quantity, which form the abstract moments of a measure. that quality is not without quantity and quantity is not without quality and that therefore it is more correct to start right from the measure as a unity of quality and quantity. On this occasion, it should be noted that no matter how correct the idea of ??the unity of quality and quantity, we still cannot proceed directly from this unity in our analysis. The measure is a very complex category, and in order to interpret a measure, it is necessary to operate with categories of quality and quantity. Therefore, it is natural that a synthetic, concrete category of measure analytically “decomposes” into quality and quantity, which form the abstract moments of a measure. that quality is not without quantity and quantity is not without quality and that therefore it is more correct to start right from the measure as a unity of quality and quantity. On this occasion, it should be noted that no matter how correct the idea of ??the unity of quality and quantity, we still cannot proceed directly from this unity in our analysis. The measure is a very complex category, and in order to interpret a measure, it is necessary to operate with categories of quality and quantity. Therefore, it is natural that a synthetic, concrete category of measure analytically “decomposes” into quality and quantity, which form the abstract elements of a measure. and in order to interpret a measure, it is necessary to operate with categories of quality and quantity.

We have no opportunity to dwell in greater detail on the categories of “being.” A detailed analysis of at least one category can serve as the subject of a whole scientific study. We must therefore confine ourselves to the most general and cursory remarks. However, from our point of view, the categories of being developed by Hegel almost with exhaustive completeness, so that they do not need, perhaps, in serious processing. We can talk only about those or other partial amendments and about the materialistic substantiation of the movement of categories, i.e. the development of our knowledge.

Great difficulties present in this, as, indeed, in other departments, transitions from one category to another. Transitions themselves are very important, because they express the mutual connection of all phenomena. The transition from quality to quantity is especially difficult. As Hegel, there are three stages: being, present being and for-being itself. He understands being as indistinguishable, indefinite unity. Cash being is a limited, finite, definite being, arising from this indefinite unity. Therefore, with respect to being in existence, i.e. of every single thing, or “something,” we raise the question of where it came from and how it came about. Such a question about being does not make any sense at all. For-self-being means already a transition to quantity, since it expresses the unity of “something” or things. Each quality is a single separate and independent whole, which is different, opposed to another quality as the same whole. We consider separate things, distracting from their quality, taking them as identical units. On the other hand, the analysis of the quality itself leads to its decomposition into constituent elements (atoms of Democritus, for example) of which this quality consists. Therefore, it seems to us that the transition from quality to quantity is quite natural and does not encompass anything mysterious in itself.

Quantity is the same universal, universal category as quality. The doubts on this score are unfounded. The department of quantity is developed by Hegel in great detail. Naturalists in this department can really find a solution to some of their concerns. It is enough, as an example, to indicate at least the problem of the discrete and continuous, over which modern scientific thought is beating, without being able to solve it correctly. Matter is said to be either discrete or continuous. Either it
consists of separate, discrete particles, or it is a “continuum.” It is only recently that a certain shift in the sense of the dialectic combination of discontinuity and continuity is noticed in this regard.

Hegel’s attempt to develop the dialectic of mathematics in general and to reveal the qualitative character of the quantity itself, in particular, deserves special attention. “Mathematics, speaking of the infinitely large and the infinitely small,” says Engels, “introduces a quantitative difference that takes on even the form of an irremovable qualitative opposite. Quantities that are so enormously different from each other, that between them any rational relation, any comparison, ceases to become quantitatively incommensurable. The usual incommensurability of a circle and a straight line is also a dialectical qualitative difference, but here it is the quantitative difference of homogeneous quantities that raises the qualitative difference to incommensurability “ [40]. But even the number, which, according to Engels, is the purest quantitative definition known to us, is full of qualitative differences. It was Hegel who first pointed to this side of the matter.

The department of quantity, perhaps, suffers from deficiencies in one or another of its separate parts, but for us, not particulars, but general, methodological principles developed by Hegel are important.

In fact, as has already been said, there is nothing in nature that is only quantity or quality. Every thing is a unity of quantity and quality. The clarification of this problem in all its details constitutes Hegel’s lasting merit. Every thing is a qualitative quantity and a quantitatively determined quality. Therefore, operating with quantities alone seems to be wrong.

The first section of “Logic” ends with a measure. The measure category already contains a potentially entity category. In a measure, we establish the unity of the connection of things. Measure is determined by the qualitative leap, or the transition of one thing to another. Where the measure is not filled, there can be no qualitative leap. One measure i.e. a certain regular relationship between quantity and quality, is removed by another measure etc.and this process of gradual change with a series of measures forms what we call the nodal line of the relations of measures. Throughout this line we have nodal points where jumps are made, i.e. transition of one quality to another. “The quantity, as we have seen,” says Hegel, “is not only capable of changing, i.e. to increase and decrease, but it generally, as such, is going beyond its limits. This quantity of its nature also preserves in measure. But since the quantity that is present in the quantity crosses a certain boundary, this also removes the corresponding quality. But this, however, denies not the quality in general, but only this particular quality, the place of which is immediately occupied by another quality. This process of measure, which alternately turns out to be only a change in quantity, then a transition of quantity into quality, can be made visual, imagining it to be in the form of a nodal line. “[41].

The department of the measure, in particular the teaching of Hegel on the nodal line of the relations of measures, is one of the deepest parts of his entire logic. Unfortunately, the dialectic of measures, as well as the dialectic of quality and quantity, has not yet sufficiently penetrated into the minds of the academic public.

The nodal line of qualitative moments synthesizes quantitative gradualness and qualitative discontinuity. “Since the transition from one quality to another takes place in gradual quantitative continuity, relations approaching a certain qualifying item, considered quantitatively, differ only as being greater and less. The change from this side is gradual. But gradualism concerns only the appearance of change, and not qualitative; the previous quantitative relation, infinitely close to the next, is still another qualitative existence. Therefore, on the qualitative side, a purely quantitative process of gradualness, which does not represent itself in itself, is completely interrupted; inasmuch as the reappearing quality in its purely quantitative relation is relatively disappearing, indefinitely different, indifferent, the transition to it is a leap; both of them are laid one against the other as completely external “ [42].

Quantitative change means an increase or decrease. But this increase and decrease have their limits, their measure, on which the existence of this quality depends. Up to a known point, the quality remains unchanged, despite the increase and decrease, by quantitative changes; for the time being, these quantitative changes affect only the appearance of a given thing, without touching its internal essence. Having reached a certain point, purely quantitative changes entail a qualitative change that occurs suddenly. The points at which the qualitative change is made, Hegel called nodes. The nodal line of the relationship of measures forms a successive series of measures that, within a single continuous process, change the quality by changing the quantity.

All nature as a whole forms a series of relations of measures, a known order in which each individual thing, each quality, constitutes a link or member connected with the whole chain of dimensional relations. Every “something,” every thing, forms a qualitative quantity. Every quality quantity is a measure. Thus, the set of all things is at the same time a set of different measures existing for each other, i.e. connected together. In the form of interconnected measures, the order of the world is expressed; at this stage, the idea of ??patterns first appears[43], which will receive a deeper and complete justification in the future – in the department of essence.

“Everyday consciousness,” says Hegel, “understands things as being and considers them from the standpoint of quality, quantity, and measure. But then these immediate definitions turn out to be not immobile, but intertwining with each other, and the essence is the result of their dialectics. In essence, there is no more transition, but only a ratio. The form of correlation represents only our reflection in being; on the contrary, in essence the relation is its own definition. If (in the realm of being) “something” becomes different, then by that it disappears; but here we do not have the true other, but we have only the difference, the relation of one to its other. Consequently, the transition of an entity is at the same time not a transition, for, in the transition from different to different, the different does not disappear, but different remain in their relationship. If we say, for example, being and nothingness, then being and nothingness are separate, i.e. exist by themselves. The situation is completely different with positive and negative. The latter, however, have definitions of being and nothingness. But the positive, taken separately, is devoid of meaning, it is necessarily correlated with the negative. ; in fact, on the contrary, everything is relative “[44].

There is an opposite between being and essence. The essence of a thing does not coincide, it is not identical with its empirical being. Categories of being – quality, quantity, measure – are the forms in which we perceive and observe reality. Entity categories serve to explain the empirically given in perceptions and in the experience of being. Entity categories are different forms and ways of mediation, i.e. disclosure of internal links. “The development of categories of essence or, subjectively speaking, the development of categories used to cognize the essence of a thing is at the same time a critique of the definitions of thought used by empirical sciences"[45]. The opposite between being and essence is expressed primarily in the fact that at the first stage of knowledge we deal with immediate reality, with its “description,” with its empirical form, as it is given in perceptions, in direct experience. The categories of essence penetrate deeper, they are the essence of form, tools, concepts, with the help of which we explain the phenomena of being. They give us the opportunity to compare, find grounds, internal causes and “forces” acting in nature. Essence is the same being, but on a higher level. It contains being, but since the essence of being turned out to be the truth of being, being is reduced to the degree of visibility, which has its real basis in essence. Therefore, the essence has revealed itself as a true being, but not as an immediate being. The essence, as the inner cause of being, is not identical with the latter, but different from it. The essence of a thing is learned from its opposite of direct being. But the essence is nothing but the inner dryness of being itself, which is only the outer form of the essence. The entity, therefore, splits into outer appearance and inner “base.” It is one and at the same time “split”; in it unity and difference are joined together. A thing is a unity of different definitions. This unity expresses the necessary inner connection. But where there is a connection, unity, there can be different, opposite. In an effort to reduce being to essence, we reduce the diversity of phenomena to unity. Hegel perfectly understands that there is no pure essence without phenomena. But in his analysis he usually proceeds first from pure essence (as well as from pure being, pure or indefinite etc.). But the essence, generally speaking, is unthinkable without being (only in abstraction can the essence be separated from being). Being and essence oppose each other as opposites, at the same time forming the unity of the latter. Being is formed in its essence when we go from the immediacy to the essence of being. Being turns out to be nothing, turns into non-being. Thus, being, by virtue of its dialectic movement, turns into appearance, or appearance (Schein). Visibility is not pure non-being, but being of non-being or non-being of being, i.e. such a being that is devoid of essence. But visibility and essence, usually opposed absolutely, are also only relative opposites. Therefore, Lenin absolutely correctly writes that kazimost is objective, because there is one of the sides of the objective world in it. “Not only the essence, but also the visibility is objective. The distinction between the subjective and the objective is, but it also has its limits (emphasized by Lenin. -A. D.) “[46].

This dialectic is of tremendous importance, for the incorrect, anti-dialectical formulation of this question gives a peculiar philosophical concept. In fact, absolute skepticism and solipsism view the whole world as mere appearance. In it, they say, there is no essence at all, i.e. no sustainable start. On the other hand, those dogmatic-metaphysical teachings are also wrong, which consider that everything in the world is an essence, not distinguishing the essential from the unessential and not seeing that the world splits in its contradictory structure into essence and appearance, into essence and phenomenon, on the content and form, etc., at the same time making up their unity.

What is the dialectical formulation of the question? We already have the answer to this question in the above words of Lenin. Essence is conceivable only as opposed to appearances. The essential is thought by us in connection with the non-essential. Visibility, or irrelevant, is reflected (scheint), as Hegel puts it, in essence. The “visible” world is a reflection of the world of essence, a form of manifestation of the latter. But since the essential exists only as opposed to the non-essential, the non-essential itself is essential, the appearance itself is in some way an entity. Thus, essence and appearance are mutually reflected in each other, between them there is an inextricable link and relationship, which in Hegel’s language is called reflection.

“The opposite of this whole sphere to the sphere of immediacy can be defined in such a way that we are dealing here exclusively with pure reflective definitions. Therefore, this sphere is the sphere of the established contradiction “ [47]. This does not mean that there is no contradiction in the sphere of being, but in essence the contradiction has been revealed and therefore it is easier to uncover it. In the realm of being (immediacy), categories transform into each other. Quantity goes into quality and quality goes into quantity. In the sphere of essence, each category is not given without the opposite category; positive, for example, unthinkable without negative, reason without action. It is reflection that reveals a contradiction in the subject. In essence, everything is relative and interconnected. The essence is the first negation. “Everything is in it in such a way that it correlates with itself and that it at the same time takes it beyond itself, – everything in it is laid as a certain being of reflection, being that is reflected, apparently in another, and in which it is reflected another. It is therefore also the realm of the contradiction [48].

All categories of essence or all essential categories represent various forms and methods of communication, mediocrity. It is these categories that constitute, as it were, the basis of all scientific knowledge, being applied in all sciences with the aim of knowing the essence of phenomena.

“The point of view of essence,” says Hegel, “is the point of view of reflection. We use the expression “reflection” first of all in relation to the light, because in its rectilinear motion it meets the mirror surface and is thrown back by it. We thus have here something doubled; firstly, some immediate, some being, and, secondly, the same as mediated or posited. But the same thing happens when we reflect on an object, or (as they usually say) think about it, because it is here that the object is not recognized by us as its immediacy, and we want to know it as mediated. The task or purpose of philosophy is usually also seen in the knowledge of the essence of things, and by this it means only that philosophy should not leave things in their immediacy, but should show that they are mediated or substantiated by something else. The immediate existence of things here is imagined, as it were, by the bark or veil behind which essence lies. – If, further, they say: all things are the essence, then it is stated that they truly are not what they are directly represented. Only by wandering from one quality to another, and only by the transition from qualitative to quantitative and vice versa, the matter is not yet finished, but there is something in things in things, and this being is first and foremost the essence. “ [49].

In the so-called descriptive sciences, we are dealing with immediate qualities that are described, measured, weighed, calculated from various sides. etc. A higher level of knowledge is the so-called comparative method. Here quantitative moments play a big role. An even higher level of knowledge is formed by the knowledge of laws, bases and forces. Here we are already dealing with substantial categories, or categories of essence. This is the transition from immediacy to mediocrity, from external to internal.


In the section on essence, Hegel gives a brilliant criticism of the laws of formal logic. We will not dwell on this criticism here. It suffices only to emphasize that it is precisely on the criticism of formal logic that all the problems of dialectics are sharpened. The division of essence constitutes the dialectic proper. We here in a few words emphasize the results to which Hegel comes in criticizing the laws of formal logic.

The law of identity, which states only an empty identity, or pure being, of an object, is an abstract law. The abstract identity of the subject with itself was turned into a basic law of thought. In a positive form, this law states that everything is identical with itself; in a negative form it is stated to them that the subject cannot be at the same time, A and non-A, i.e. neither can it be identical, and not identical with itself. Hegel correctly points out that “there is no person who thinks, represents or speaks according to this law, and there is no thing, of whatever kind, that would exist like him. Expressions that are based on this imaginary law, such as a planet is a planet, magnetism is magnetism, spirit is spirit, are rightly recognized as ridiculous. “ There is therefore nothing surprising, Hegel continues, that the old logic has lost confidence from common sense and intelligence.

To the abstract identity, Hegel contrasts the true or concrete identity, i.e. one that contains being with all its definitions. An abstract identity is the moment of a particular identity. The identity of the concrete must be considered as the real ratio of the inseparable moments of unity. Therefore, real identity is the unity of identity and non-identity, i.e. the differences. There is no identity without distinction. The identity is, therefore, only an abstract moment of a particular identity. Identity does not exclude differences, but contains it in itself. Identity does not translate into distinction, but forms with it indivisible unity, i.e. they are put together; they constitute categories of essence. An abstract identity, as Hegel says, is the negation of being and its definitions. “Consequently, identity is a relationship, it is negatively related to itself and therefore differs from itself” (Hegel). So we come to the second form of mediation (the first form is the identity). When they talk about the difference, it means that by comparison they find similarities and dissimilarities between things. This is the so-called comparing knowledge. Comparing two things to each other, we believe that in some respects they are dissimilar, but in other respects they are similar, i.e. are identical. From here they make a general conclusion: there are no two things that would be completely alike; so everything is different.

But “objects that only differ are indifferent to each other,” says Hegel. “Similarity and dissimilarity are, on the contrary, a couple of definitions, which necessarily correspond to each other and each of which cannot be thought of without the other. We see this forward movement from the bare difference to the opposite already in ordinary consciousness, insofar as we agree that comparing makes sense only under the assumption of a present difference, and just the same, and vice versa, distinction makes sense only under the assumption of a cash similarity ... We we demand, therefore, – says Hegel, – identities with differences and differences with identities. Despite this, it often happens in the field of empirical sciences that because of one of these two definitions they forget about the other, and then they see the one-sided task of science in reducing the differences in existence to identity, and they equally unilaterally see this problem in finding new differences. We see this mainly in natural science “[50].

The essential difference forms the opposite, which is the highest form of difference. The essential difference contains two opposite definitions: positive and negative. “It is usually thought,” says Hegel, “that in the distinction between positive and negative, we have an absolute difference. Both of them, however, are one and the same in themselves, and therefore one could call positive also negative and, conversely, negative positive. “ Positive and negative exist only in their mutual relationship. In magnet, the north pole cannot exist without the south and the south without the north. Positive and negative electricity also does not exist one without the other. Hegel stresses that polarity, which plays such an important role in physics, contains a more correct definition of “opposition.” The usual logic, which asserts that of the two opposite predicates, only one is peculiar to this thing and there is no third between them, is on the wrong track. From this it follows that each thing correlates only with itself. But this is a formal-logical statement of the question, which overlooks the fact that identity and opposition are opposites. In the opposite, each side has in its opposite not some other definition, but its own other, as Hegel says. A polygonal circle and a rectilinear arc constitute contradictory concepts; nevertheless, geometers take a circle as a polygon formed by straight sides. “In the concept of a circle, the center and the periphery are equally significant, it has both signs, and, however, the periphery and the center are opposite and contradict each other.” ”

The beginning of the excluded third should, in Hegel’s opinion, be replaced by another: everything contains a contradiction. All that is, has a specific nature and therefore contains the opposite. Contradiction and moves the world, as expressed by Hegel. Despite the fact that a contradiction exists, that movement (as well as life), which, after all, forms the basis of all phenomena, is a realized contradiction, despite the presence of polarity phenomena in nature, ordinary consciousness experiences some kind of fear of contradiction and declared it unthinkable. Meanwhile, contradiction is the “root of all movement and vitality; only because something has a contradiction in itself, does it move, has motivation and activity. “

“Contradiction,” says Hegel, “first of all usually detaches from things, from the real and the true in general; it is assumed that there is nothing contradictory. Behind this, on the contrary, it moves into subjective reflection, which assumes it only by means of relation and comparison. But even in this reflection, there is no its own, since the contradictory cannot be imagined and conceivable. In general, it is considered both in reality and in thinking reflection for something accidental, as if for abnormality or transient painful paroxysm.

But as for the statement that there is no contradiction, that it is not an existing one, then we do not need to take care of such a statement; absolute definition of essence should be inherent in every experience, all real, as well as every concept “ [51].

Contradiction, therefore, should not be considered an abnormality, but the principle of all self-movement.

“External, sensuous movement itself is contradiction’s immediate existence. Something moves, not because at one moment it is here and at another there, but because at one and the same moment it is here and not here, because in this ‘here’, it at once is and is not. The ancient dialecticians must be granted the contradictions that they pointed out in motion; but it does not follow that therefore there is no motion, but on the contrary, that motion is existent contradiction itself.” [52].

Contradiction, as Hegel says, is destroyed by necessity. It is resolved into a foundation, which is the unity of opposites. The essence divides into a foundation and a consequence. “When we look for the foundation of things,” says Hegel, “we look at them from the point of view of reflection; we want to see the object, so to speak, doubly: firstly, in its immediacy and, secondly, in its foundation, in its dependence. The so-called law of sufficient reason does not state anything other than the fact that things must be considered in their mediocrity. “ The relation of base and effect is the content of the law of thinking, which says that everything has its foundation. This law was formulated by Leibniz. Position: “everything has a foundation” means: everything is a consequence i.e. reasonable. “Everything has a consequence” means in turn: everything is a foundation. The basis and effect, as we see, constitute a dialectical unity. They are inextricably linked with each other and at the same time opposite to each other. When we consider a subject as a consequence, we consider it in its dependency, i.e. in his mediocrity. The base acts as a direct, independent. The basis refers to the investigation as to its other. But if the effect is something other than the foundation, then the existence of the effect means the non-existence of the foundation. The basis, thus, removes itself, since, believing the consequence, it assumes its own non-existence. The proposition: “everything has a sufficient basis” expresses the idea that everything that is should be considered not as a real thing, but as a good thing for others, as a dependent. This means that one should not be satisfied with a simple existence, but one must turn to its foundation. The foundation is that from which existence must be understood. The world is a set of existences, each of which is itself and is reflected in the other. Every existence exists by itself, but at the same time depends on the other. Existences constitute “a world of interdependence and an infinite number of relationships composed of foundations and objects, which are justified by them.” By existence, therefore, is meant that which came from a base, i.e. grounded being. Everything that is, is mediated and implemented, i.e. is based and conditional. “Existence, as originating from a foundation, contains it within itself, and the foundation does not remain behind existence, but consists only in that it withdraws itself and translates itself into existence. We also understand this in ordinary consciousness, insofar as, considering the basis of something, we see in this basis not something abstractly internal, but rather something in its turn existing. So, for example, we regard lightning as the basis of a fire, from which a building caught fire, and we also view the mores and living conditions as the foundation of the state system of a people. This is generally the form in which the existing world appears the closest image of reflection; it appears to her as an indefinite set of existing ones, which, both reflected in themselves and into the other,[53]. In the world, as a set of existences or things, everything is relative and mutually conditioned. Existence has its basis in essence. It would be very appropriate to draw a parallel here between Hegel and Spinoza, but we have to refrain from this for lack of space.

The dialectic of essence and existence leads us to the problem of the thing. The totality of existences forms the totality of things. A thing is a unity of essence as a foundation and existence. These two definitions are given in things: foundation and existence. In things, it is necessary to distinguish the moment of its abstract reflection in itself and the moment of reflection of the thing in another. The abstract basis of all definitions of a thing is a thing in itself. The dialectic of things in Hegel is a very interesting and instructive page of his logic. It is necessary first of all to pay attention to the different understanding of the thing in itself in Kant and in Hegel. According to Kant, the thing in itself is a metaphysical entity, not subject to development. It does not detect its properties and remains inaccessible to knowledge. The concept in itself, from the point of view of Kant, excludes the reflection of a thing in other things or its transition into a thing for itself. It does not come in relation to and relationship with other things, being immobile in its essence, in itself. For Hegel, the concept in itself means nothing more than the initial moment or stage of development of a thing. “So, for example, a man in himself is a child,” says Hegel, “whose task is not to remain in this abstract and undeveloped in himself, but to become also for himself what he is only in itself, it is to become a free and rational being ... In the same sense, it is also possible to consider a sprout as a plant in itself. These examples should show us that those who think that “in themselves” of things or a thing in themselves are generally not good enough for our knowledge are very erroneous. All things are first in themselves, but this does not stop, and, just as the nature of the germ, which is a plant in itself, [54].

The most interesting thing in this formulation of the question is that Hegel associates the knowability of a thing with its development, or, using a more general expression, with its movement and change. From Kant’s point of view, a thing in itself is an indefinite and abstract thing in general, a thing in stillness. In other words, Kant considers the thing in itself metaphysically, seeing in it an abstract entity. But Kant’s mistake lies in the fact that he tore one moment of the thing off – its identity with itself – from another moment – the moment of difference. “The various definitions that exist and differ between themselves form the properties that a thing has.” A thing is a unity, an inner connection that combines various properties. A thing does not exist only in itself; she has a diverse relationship with other things or, in Hegelian language, things are reflected in each other. Every thing perfectly contains other things. On the one hand, the thing is identical with itself; on the other hand, it contains differences due to its relation to other things. Since the thing is in a relationship with other things, it has properties. If only one thing existed in the world, then it would be devoid of all properties; absolute immobility would be inherent in it.

Properties differ from quality. Quality should be understood as the thing itself, its unity, integrity, stable form of communication, by the property of the thing we mean the manifestation of quality or thing. Therefore, different properties form the phenomenon of a thing, while a thing is the essence of a phenomenon. “A thing is such an existence or such a manifestation of an entity that denies itself; in other words, it is a phenomenon, “says Hegel. The essence of the phenomenon and the phenomenon of essence constitute the dialectical unity. Essence is a phenomenon
substantially. A phenomenon is an existence that has its basis not in itself, but in another existence. The phenomenon, as Hegel puts it, does not stand on its own feet, but has the basis of its being in another. Essence is the basis of the phenomenon; therefore, the thing in itself, as an essence, is cognized by us in phenomena ... “In reality, to be only a phenomenon, is the own nature of the immediate objective world itself, and, cognizing it as a phenomenon, we, therefore, also know an essence remains hidden behind the phenomenon or on the other side of it, and it is this that the entity itself reveals that it reduces it to the degree of the phenomenon “[55].

The concept of being an entity contains an internal contradiction that breaks down into a foundation and a consequence. Indeed: on the one hand, essence is a thing, or a thing is an essence that is reflected in itself; on the other hand, an entity enters into multiple relationships with other things, revealing itself as a phenomenon. A thing lies at the basis of phenomena, but the totality of properties, on the other hand, constitutes the thing itself. Both sides are related to each other and from each other are different, opposite to each other.

“Being that way exists,” says Hegel, “that its sustainable existence is directly removed, and the latter is only one of the moments of the form itself. The form contains within itself a stable existence, or matter, as one of its definitions. Being, therefore, has its basis in matter as in its essence, its reflection within itself, opposite to its immediacy, but thereby having its basis only in a different definiteness of form. This base of it is also being, and the phenomenon, therefore, moves forward in infinite mediation of sustainable existence by form and, consequently, also unstable the existence of. This infinite mediation is at the same time a certain unity of relation with itself, and existence unfolds into the integrity and world of phenomena, into the world of reflected finitude[56].

Thus, the phenomenon first appears as a negation of the essence, its independence is “directly denied.” But at the same time it has a distinctive element i.e. matter forming the definition of its form. Therefore, the phenomenon, as a direct existence, is mediated by matter, in which it has its basis and which forms its essence. But matter itself is determined by the form. This means that matter, as the basis (or essence) of a phenomenon, is itself a phenomenon.

The dialectic of form and content is also based on the basic law of the unity of opposites. An abstract reason considers the content and form as metaphysical opposites, the content being considered as something essential, and the form as something non-essential. “Against such a view, however, it should be noted that in fact both are equally significant and that there is no shapeless content, just as there is no shapeless substance; They (the content and the substance, or the matter) differ from each other in that the substance, although it is not devoid of form in itself, however, in its present being, shows itself indifferent to it; on the contrary, the content, as such, is what it is, only because it contains a developed form [57].

The phenomenon is determined by the law of essence, both in its content and in its form. Form is the boundary, the principle of difference, differentiation. One phenomenon differs from another due to its shape. The content itself is shaped, i.e. gives itself a certain form, because it constitutes the very essence. The law of essence directly determines the form of a thing. The form, for its part, constitutes the law of activity, essence, or content. Content is the essence itself, but the form is also essential, because the essence is manifested only in a certain form. Therefore, form is also content, content forms and form. A specific substance can not take any form. True, the substance can take various forms, but still only within certain limits. The substances that make up organic forms are the same, but organic forms are diverse. In botany, a leaf takes on multiple forms, but it’s still definite. Organic forms cannot be formed from any substances, but only from certain substances.

Hegel was reproached that he understood the unity of content and form in the sense that only one form was essential, and that content was not essential. One can hardly agree on this objection. The Hegelian point of view is completely determined by the following words: “Reason, inclined to distractions, often attach definitions of content and form and consider content as an element essential and original, and form as an element insignificant and arbitrary. But both of these elements are equally significant; formless content does not exist, just as formless matter does not exist. “ On the other hand, it seems to us quite correct and deep that Hegel’s following remark concerning the interconnection of content and form; “Content,” he says, “is nothing but a form that changes into content, and form – nothing more than content.

In confirmation of the correctness of this point of view of Hegel, one could cite convincing examples from Marx’s Capital and, in general, a multitude of illustrations from both public life and from the field of biology.

The categories of substantive relation, to which Hegel proceeds further, also play an enormous role in science, and it must be said that their significance is far from being appreciated. We are not interested here in the question of the legality of transitions in general and the transition from content and form to a significant relation in particular. In this connection, we are only interested in the content of certain categories. Let us briefly discuss the relation between the whole and the parts. The problem is that the whole is identical with its parts, and at the same time opposite to them. The whole is equal to the parts. But it is equal to a set of parts. The totality is not equal to parts, but constitutes their negation as parts, and is equal to the whole. The parts are not equal to the whole, but to a divided whole, i.e. not the whole, but parts [58]. In other words, the whole “more” parts. The whole forms unity, the parts are many. Hegel therefore says that “the relation between the whole and the parts is not true insofar as its concept and reality do not correspond to each other. The whole in its concept is that which contains parts. But if the whole is supposed to be somehow that it is in its concept, if it is divided, then it will cease to be a whole. True, there are things that correspond to this relationship, but they therefore represent only low and untrue existences. “ [59]. “The relation of the whole and the parts,” Hegel continues, “as a direct relation, is something very understandable to the reflecting mind, and therefore it is often satisfied with it even where deeper relations actually take place. Thus, for example, the members and organs of the living body should be considered not only as parts of it, since they represent with themselves what they represent only in their unity and are not indifferent to the latter. These parts and organs become simple parts only under the hand of the anatomist, but then he is no longer dealing with living bodies, but with corpses. By this we do not wish to say that such a decomposition should not take place at all, but only wish to say that the external and mechanical relationship of the whole and the parts is not enough to know organic life in its truth. “ [60].

Therefore, Hegel rightly says in another place, that a thing cannot be fully recognized, decomposing it into those elements of which it consists. “This decomposition into independent elements finds its proper place only in inorganic nature.” It seems to us, however, that in the field of inorganic nature this decomposition is also not “absolutely.” But the situation is different in organic nature, where there is no purely mechanical relation of parts and the whole. “They say it is true,” writes Hegel, “that an animal consists of bones, muscles, and nerves etc.However, it is immediately clear that this does not make the sense that it is said that a piece of granite consists of the above substances. These substances are completely indifferent to their compound and can just as well exist without this compound; the different parts and members of the organic body are preserved only in their union, and, separated from each other, they cease to exist as such “ [61].

In this argument, in essence, the answer to the question of “mixing.” But dwell on this is not necessary. More interesting is another question related to the relationship between the whole and the parts.

People often ask: what precedes what? Integer parts or parts of a whole? Is society an individual or an individual society?

Different answers to this question served as a starting point for various sociological and state theories.[62]. But only the correct dialectical, methodological formulation of the question of the relationship between the whole and the parts can give the correct setting in the approach to the corresponding phenomena.

First, the relation of the whole and the parts in the higher regions is such that the whole and the parts are mutually assumed and conditioned. Parts and the whole – in the body, for example – are equally primary, i.e. None of these parties has particular advantages over the other. The whole and the parts always exist together.

Secondly, neither the whole nor the parts, especially in the organic and social world, are given, but arise through development, and this emergence, this development process occurs in such a way that together with the whole the parts develop and together with the parts the whole develops. . To separate one from the other is absolutely impossible. A deeper explanation of the relation and connection of the whole and the parts comes from the relation of force and its manifestation, and then the relation of internal and external.

Since the whole forms unity, connection, complex, the question arises: how is communication possible at all, how is unity possible? Hegel’s answer comes down to the fact that energy, force makes possible the connection of the whole and the parts, which are the ratio of force and its manifestation. But force and its manifestation do not constitute two things, but the same essence, which is expressed in two forms having the same content, because there is nothing in force that does not appear in its phenomena, and vice versa. But at the same time, force is something internal; that which is manifested in the outside is the external. The inner is the essence, the outer is the phenomenon. However, the inner and outer are inextricably linked in unity, one without the other does not exist. There is nothing internal that is not at the same time external. But the inner expresses the side of unity, essence, the outer – the side of multiplicity, phenomena. And since the essence appears entirely in the phenomena, and the phenomena are the full expression of the essence, we get a new attitude – in our knowledge we rise to a higher level – the level of reality, which constitutes the concrete unity of essence and phenomenon.

The inner “produces” the outer from itself; it thereby passes into the outer. The external is the product of the internal; therefore, the inner is thought of as an activity; it is internal only in the sense that it acts. But, as we have already seen, the inner and outer are not two entities, but the same entity that acts. We must, therefore, think of the essence as reality, and reality as the unity of essence and appearance.

Not being able to dwell on categories of reality, we believe, however, it is necessary to emphasize that this part of Hegel’s “Logic” cannot evoke fundamental objections, since we are talking about its general structure, and not about those or other particulars.

In this section, Hegel analyzes the categories of possibility, chance, necessity, and then substance, causality, and interaction. In the “Science of Logic” we have, however, a different arrangement of material than in the “Encyclopedia.” But I must say that the structure of the “Encyclopedia” is more acceptable, because it is more accurate and simple. The pages devoted to the problem of chance and necessity deserve special attention. It suffices to recall the relation of Engels to the Hegelian interpretation of this problem. As for the problem of substance, the thoughts set forth by Hegel (Addition to 151), where Spinoza’s criticism is given, are completely unacceptable for us. Hegel blames Spinoza for the fact that his substance is not a person, not a god. “Substance,” writes Hegel, “forms a necessary stage in the development of an idea, but it does not yet constitute an idea in its absolute form; the concept of substance coincides with the concept of necessity. As we have seen, necessity constitutes the essential definition of god. But God is also an absolute person, whereas substance is not yet a face. Therefore, Spinoza’s philosophy does not give a true concept of a god as is contained in the Christian religion. “ Hegel considers it necessary to synthesize the Eastern idea of ??a single substance with the Western idea of ??the personality of God. The opposite between Hegel and Spinoza is that the first postulates an idea from the very beginning in its absolute form, i.e. absolute spirit, or god, and therefore declares substance only as a stage of the idea, i.e. god. Spinoza, on the other hand, quite correctly considers substance to be the highest and central concept of his system. Although Hegel constantly speaks in high style about the idea, about the absolute spirit, God, but, of course, he could not dialectically substantiate them. After all, he only a priori brings these objects into his system from the outside as ready-made “ideas.” And if Hegel spent a lot of mind and energy to substantiate them dialectically, then the result was only the appearance of a dialectical substantiation, only a hoax.

In the materialistic “system” of logic, the central concept must be matter as substance. It will serve as the starting point and completion of all logic, representing at the highest level the concrete unity of all its definitions, all connections and mediations. Therefore, the true essence, the real basis and the true reality is, from our point of view, matter as a substance.

Substance is causa sui, the cause of itself. It represents a real entity, the existence and activity of which does not depend on anything else, but is contained in it and is determined by its own nature and power. But the concept of substance, due to its internal inconsistency, says Hegel, leads to a causality relation. Substance is not transcendental to the world of things or phenomena; it does not stand outside the world and outside of things, but is in them. The world of accidents is laid by substance. Some things are in relation to the substance only its modifications. Modes or accidents are absorbed by a substance, which is inherent in necessity and reality. Hence, the modi, since they exist in another (quod in alio est, as Spinoza puts it), are not valid and not necessary, but random; they are only changeable and transient forms. In this sense, they reveal their powerlessness, weakness. In the process of the emergence and destruction of certain things, their insignificance is expressed, their lack of independence. But this their insignificance and not reality is only the reverse side of the absolute power of a substance, its effectiveness and its own need.

Hegel’s criticism of the Spinozan substance is not fair in all parts. Hegel depicts the substance of Spinoza as a destroying, not creative or producing force. But the fact of the matter is that the substance of Spinoza must be understood as a creative force. It is true that Spinoza could not explain the origin of individual things, or modes, from substance, since the science of his time was alien to the idea of ??development. However, Spinoza’s statement of the question is generally correct, and Hegel’s criticism misses the mark. If we turn to Engels, then we meet with him the same basic ideas. Matter, he writes, moves in an eternal circulation, in which “every separate form of existence of matter is indifferent, the sun or nebula, a separate animal or animal species, a chemical compound or decomposition is equally transient and in which nothing lasts forever, [63]. Matter in all its transformations remains forever the same and none of its attributes, as Engels says, can perish.

Substance is the cause of modes. Moduses, or individual transient forms, are the essence of the action of a substance. Thus, the relation of substantiality requires a relation of causality and, further, an interaction. Spinoza’s system outlines a fundamentally correct resolution of the problem of substance, causality, and interaction.

“Interaction,” says Engels, “is the first thing that we observe when we begin to consider moving matter as a whole from the point of view of modern natural science. We observe a number of forms of motion: mechanical motion, light, heat, electricity, magnetism, chemical addition and decomposition, changes in the state of aggregation, organic life, which all – if we exclude organic life – transform into each other, condition each other, are the cause, the action there, and the cumulative sum of the movements with all changes of the form remains the same. Spinoza’s “substance is causa sui” expresses perfectly the interaction “ [64]. Engels further emphasizes that we cannot go further than the cognition of this interaction, for there is nothing behind it that is subject to cognition. On the basis of universal interaction, Engels continues, we come to a real causal explanation. Thus, the category of necessity, interaction and substance in Spinoza’s understanding completes the process of cognition, and therefore Jacobi was right in considering Spinoza’s teaching as the highest achievement of philosophy.

Hegel, as an idealist, leading throughout the entire “Logic” struggle against Spinoza, with whom he is learning a lot at the same time, cannot be satisfied with the Spinoza substance. Therefore, Hegel needed to make a new transition from reality to the concept. The meaning of this transition is that reality itself at this stage passes into the concept. The transformation of a substance into a person, into a subject is connected with this transition. It must be said that while Hegel’s transitions are almost always of little justification, the transition of reality into a concept is not at all justified. The fact that after Spinoza in the history of philosophy Leibniz came out with his monads or that “Spinoza’s philosophy does not give a true idea of ??God as contained in the Christian religion” cannot serve either as an excuse or a basis for understanding substance as a person

We object to the transition from reality to the concept as an ontological category, and not as a higher stage in the process of cognition. The concept for us is not an ontological category, but a purely logical or epistemological category, through which we, the people, know reality. The notion of the objective world is “reflected” or cognized by us, but the concept does not exist by itself, as “the power of free, substantial and existing for itself,” as Hegel puts it. The point of view of the concept, says Hegel, is the point of view of absolute idealism. The concept is “a concrete beginning and source of all life.” Thus, the concept of the subject is hypostasized into an independent subject, into an absolute, self-conscious substance. Naturally, such a formulation of the question gives Hegel further the possibility of subjectivity, as a result of its immanent dialectic, “ascend through the syllogism to the object.” All this construction is mystical through and must be rejected despite the fact that under this mystical form affects some rational content. One can and should, for example, recognize that life, subjectivity, thinking, the concept are necessary steps in the process of the dialectical development of substance, matter. But precisely because they are forms of manifestation of a single material substance, they are only “modifications” of the latter. Thus, the end of the “system” should be a substance understood as matter, and not an absolute spirit, transferred arbitrarily from the field of Christian religion to philosophy and science.


In this connection, we consider it necessary to dwell in a few words on the concepts of negativity and contradiction, as on basic concepts that penetrate all of Hegel’s logic and are the most significant in dialectics in general.

Hegel was accused in literature that he considers the contradiction not as an immanent positive opposite, but only as a negative opposite, which denies unity, splits and divides it, thus destroying any organization, all integrity. Naturally, the greatest revolutionary objections from conservative, reactionary and liberal philosophical writers were always caused by the most revolutionary part of Hegel’s teaching, which at the same time constitutes the essence of all his dialectics, the doctrine of contradiction as the driving force of any development. Influenced by the teachings of Schelling, the idea of ??polarity has received recognition in literature. Now the ideologists of the bourgeoisie are also ready to recognize the idea of ??polarity, but from the idea of ??polarity they draw the most reactionary conclusions.

Thus, for example, Bartel, in his book Die Welt als Spannung und Rhytmus, writes the following: “Where polarity is destroyed, chaos arises, as in social polarity between dominant and subordinate, for example.” The author makes it clear that communism is “chaos,” since it destroys social polarities, i.e. class opposites. On the other hand, Ludovici in his works seeks to establish the absolute opposite between polarity and contradiction. In a word, opposites are understood by him in a metaphysical sense. He “complains” that contradiction destroys the opposite. “Always and everywhere,” he says, “we have nothing else but opposing movements, or opposites, and since a person communicates with other people through these primary opposites, his speech is entirely based on them.” In another place, the same Ludovici writes: “... Negation is associated only with contradiction, which always removes the opposite. Contradiction destroys what creates the opposite; both constitute a contradiction. The opposite is the primary, the first, that can not be eliminated by any tricks of researchers; the contradiction is an evil neighbor and a troublemaker. “ Tin, a contradiction, from his point of view, is inherent only in thinking, but not in the objective world. Thus, we can say that if the idea of ??polarity, the principle of opposites, more and more penetrates into the minds of many modern researchers, the principle of contradiction is rejected entirely and mainly because the recognition of this principle leads the communist “chaos,” destruction “ social polarities “, i.e. class opposites, that he is “an evil neighbor and troublemaker.”

Modern bourgeois philosophical thought has “risen” to the recognition of the principle of opposites, but in general it is far from recognizing the principle of contradiction, which removes and destroys opposites. The principle of opposites penetrates all modern natural science, and first of all – physics. But already the recognition of the principle of opposites actually leads to the overcoming of formal logic in its old school understanding.

Dialectics is defined primarily as a study of development. Development takes place only where there are opposites and contradictions. Therefore, Lenin rightly speaks of the internal impulses to development given by contradiction. Any development is the result of the struggle of opposites. In an absolutely homogeneous medium, there can be no development until it forms in it due to certain conditions of the opposite. Development arises from a split of one; opposite definitions are revealed in one. Therefore, Lenin emphasizes that a split of one is the main feature of dialectics, the basic law of the objective world and knowledge. Identity, or unity of opposites, means “recognition (discovery) of contradictory, mutually exclusive, opposing tendencies in all phenomena and processes of nature (and spirit, and society including). The condition for the knowledge of all the processes of the world in their “self-movement,” in their spontaneous development, in their living life is the knowledge of them as a unity of opposites “ [65].

The development process consists, therefore, in the disclosure, in the deployment of the properties and definitions inherent or inherent in this phenomenon. Therefore, any developmental process is an ascent from lower forms or steps to higher ones, from abstract, poorer definitions to definitions of richer, more meaningful, concrete ones. The highest level contains the lower ones as “shot,” i.e. as being independent, but became dependent. The lowest form has evolved to the highest; thus, it did not disappear without a trace, but turned itself into another, higher form. “The bud disappears when the flower blooms, and we can say that it is supplanted by this last one; likewise, through the appearance of the fruit, the flower turns out to be the false being of the plant and in its place the fruit appears as the truth of the plant. These forms are not only different, but are supplanted as irreconcilable with each other. But their transient nature makes them, at the same time, moments of organic unity, in which they not only do not oppose each other, but one is as necessary as the other; and this equal necessity for all forms the life of the whole. “[66].

The highest form arises due to the contradictions that are found in the lower form. These opposites and contradictions lead to the formation of a new, higher, unified whole, which contains within itself a lower form in the removed form. Without the development of a lower form, a higher form does not arise. Therefore, the highest form is associated with the lower and therefore the result does not exist without the path of development that led to it. Any given phenomenon, or any given form, must be considered as developed, as having become, i.e. we must treat them as historical entities. A bud, a flower, a fruit are equally essential steps in the development of a plant. But each higher form is the realization of that which is potentially given in the lower form. A flower, for example, is a developed, developed bud. The flower, in turn, gives way to the fruit, which acts as the truth of the plant. Any development is accomplished by moving from a less differentiated to a more differentiated state. In the field of organic forms, for example, we have a movement from a lump of mucus to a fully developed organism. This process of development is the objective dialectic of the object itself, and this process is expressed in the movement from the abstract, in the sense of undifferentiation and poverty, by content or properties, to the concrete, embracing many opposing properties and definitions. The dialectic of a subject is a necessary process of development of its inherent definitions and properties. This necessary development of the subject stems from the nature, or essence, of the object itself; the object must develop in a certain direction and cannot develop in another direction due to its immanent nature, thanks to its essence. The concept of the subject Hegel understands its inner essence; at the end of development, the subject corresponds to its concept, it has developed all its internal forces, or definitions, it has revealed its essence, the object must develop in a certain direction and cannot develop in another direction due to its immanent nature, thanks to its essence. The concept of the subject Hegel understands its inner essence; at the end of development, the subject corresponds to its concept, it has developed all its internal forces, or definitions, it has revealed its essence, the object must develop in a certain direction and cannot develop in another direction due to its immanent nature, thanks to its essence. The concept of the subject Hegel understands its inner essence; at the end of development, the subject corresponds to its concept, it has developed all its internal forces, or definitions, it has revealed its essence, i.e. he showed himself that he is by nature, by his inner structure. And this means that the object realizes its essence, i.e., comes to his concept. The dialectical method has as its task not to contribute anything from itself to the object, but to follow it, to observe the development of the object itself. In this sense, the dialectical method is really the only scientific, objective method. The dialectical method only reproduces the course of development of the subject. Thus, the dialectic, as the study of development, sets itself the goal of uncovering the basic laws of development inherent in reality itself.

Indifferent identity is, according to Hegel, a state of innocence. All creatures must exit the state of “innocence,” i.e. an indifferent abstract identity. But identity passes into difference, difference into opposition, and the latter into contradiction. “From considerations of the nature of contradiction in general,” says Hegel, “it follows that for yourself, so to speak, things have no harm, lack or error if it reveals a contradiction. On the contrary, every definition, every concrete one, every concept is essentially a unity of different and distinguishable moments, which, through a definite, essential difference, become contradictory. This contradiction, however, decomposes into nothing, returns to its negative unity. The thing, the subject, the concept is exactly that the most negative unity; it is something in itself contradictory, but equally and resolved contradiction; it is the basis that contains and carries its own definitions. A thing, a subject or a concept is reflected in itself in its sphere, the essence of their resolved contradiction, but again their whole sphere is definite, different, and therefore finite, and therefore contradictory. It does not resolve this higher contradiction itself, but has its negative unity in some higher sphere, in its basis. The finite things in their indifferent diversity are therefore generally such that they are contradictory in themselves, transient, and must return to their basis. “[67].

Formal logic asserts that the essence (the thing, the subject, etc.) cannot contradict itself, that its unity consists in abstract identity. But if we understand that the unity of essence consists precisely in opposite definitions, that essence by nature its opposite, we will be forced to recognize the fallacy of formal logic. The difference between opposites and contradictions lies in the fact that the ratio of opposing moments in the unity of essence is given as at rest. Contradiction removes the opposite; contradiction reveals the activity of opposites. It is necessary to distinguish between positive and negative contradiction. The negative contradiction is the negation of the positive. Negative contradiction or simply negation is at the same time positive, since in it the positive exists in a negative form. It would be wrong to interpret Hegel in the sense that the bifurcation of a single entity, i.e. polarity, is the last stage in the development of the latter, that the removal of opposites through contradiction is excluded or is not also a necessary step in the development of the essence.

Contradiction, being an expression of the struggle of opposites, requires its resolution. In the struggle, this form of existence is destroyed, each of them and their opposite are removed, both positive and negative, recognizing that the “truth” is neither one nor the other, but a new form, a new unity. In this sense, it is necessary to understand the words of Hegel that the entity returns back to itself, to the base (sie gehen hiemit zu Grunde).

“The immediate result of an antithesis, defined as a contradiction, is a foundation that contains identity and difference as two definitions, which are” removed “in it and form only its ideal moments” [68].

Thus, the dialectic of development does not stop at recognizing or stating opposites, as bourgeois ideologists would have it, seeking to perpetuate “social polarities”; it requires the need to resolve and destroy these “polarities” by combating contradictions and overcoming them, or “removing.” Therefore, Marxism rejects the theory of blunting or reconciling social opposites, insisting on the need for a revolutionary “conflict,” a revolutionary way of resolving contradictions. In this regard, it would be appropriate to dwell on the law of negation of negation, which is usually attributed to an insignificant value. Together with Engels and Lenin, we have a different opinion on this matter. But to dwell on this question here we are deprived of the opportunity.


In his book “Die naturliche Ordnung unseres Denkens” Ludwig Fischer reproaches Hegel that he incorrectly uses the form of the unity of opposites. The essence of the Hegelian method, he writes, is that it does not come from the whole, the one in which opposites are revealed, but from one side of this opposite, then searches for the second, complementary side of the opposite, and finally erects “unity” over them. This, according to L. Fisher, leads to the rupture of the primary holistic form and is wrong, because the indivisible single is seen as split into pieces, which then form the whole. Imaginary “parts” appear here as independent “things” that, as if logically precede the whole. In fact, the whole exists with its parts, and it is more correct therefore to go by a path that is not synthetic, as Hegel does, and in an analytical way, revealing in the indivisible whole, the one, as the highest and the universal, its elements, or moments. Instead of, for example, proceeding from formation and uncovering contradictory moments of being and non-being in it, Hegel, on the contrary, begins with pure being, supplements the latter with opposing non-being and synthesizes them into the concept of becoming. The higher concept unites the two lower ones, and this process of unification, synthesis is nothing but the immanent dialectic of the concept, or its self-movement. The considerations of L. Fisher seem to us to be based on a misunderstanding. In his remarks, there is, however, that part of the truth that before Hegel’s mental gaze there must have been concrete integrity, so that it was possible to recreate the synthesis from its elements. In other words: in order to come synthetically to the concept of becoming from pure being and nothingness, the thinker had to know in advance from the contemplation of becoming or, more precisely, movement. In this regard, Trendelenburg is absolutely right when he argues that the Hegel dialectic silently implies the real world and its movement, that movement lies at the bottom of all logic. To distract, we must assume something that distracts from. “Pure being, as a pure distraction, can, therefore, be understood only in such a way that thinking has already possessed the world and left it in itself” (Trendelenburg). This remark beats the idealist Hegel, but it affects his method a little, for it would be wrong to think that the great dialectician Hegel knows only synthesis. “We now ask only about that,” writes Trendelenburg, “as, actually, development could be accomplished from pure thinking. When becoming is already clear from contemplation, then it is possible to distinguish between being and non-being in it. So, for example, while the day is dawning, it is already and at the same time it is not there yet. If, by means of analysis, we reveal in formation these two points, it is not at all clear from here how they can be in each other. He who distinguished the trunk, branches and leaves, has not yet solved the riddles of how individual members of a tree arise from one common ground and live together. That is why we need to get a closer look at the premises from which the formation should be understood. “ If, by means of analysis, we reveal in formation these two points, it is not at all clear from here how they can be in each other. He who distinguished the trunk, branches and leaves, has not yet solved the riddles of how individual members of a tree arise from one common ground and live together. That is why we need to get a closer look at the premises from which the formation should be understood. “ If, by means of analysis, we reveal in formation these two points, it is not at all clear from here how they can be in each other. He who distinguished the trunk, branches and leaves, has not yet solved the riddles of how individual members of a tree arise from one common ground and live together. That is why we need to get a closer look at the premises from which the formation should be understood. “ [69].

With all these considerations Trendelenburg cannot disagree. We really cannot know anything about being and non-being without real contemplation of movement or becoming. Pure thinking cannot make the transition from being to non-being and then to becoming. Sensual contemplation, of course, must precede the activity of thinking, which only reproduces the real process. The concrete, as Marx says, is the starting point of contemplation and representation. But thinking in order to reproduce the real process is forced first by analyzing to select abstract moments and after they are established and abstracted, to ascend from the simplest moments or relations to complex ones. Therefore, the instruction of Trendelenburg, that the formation must first be given in contemplation and representation, so that we can select from it its abstract, the simplest moments are perfectly correct, but this indication does not in the least affect the essence of the dialectical method. True, the Hegelian construction concerning the transition of pure thought to being does not hold water. But it seems to us that the reproach made by Hegel Trendelenburg, L. Fisher, and others about the synthetic nature of his method is wrong. Dialectics is, in its essence, a theory of the development of an abstract, algebraic form, since it reveals the general laws of motion inherent in all reality. Through analysis, we only dissect the subject into its component parts. As Trendelenburg says correctly, who has split a tree into a trunk, branches and leaves, he has not yet resolved the question of the origin of a tree, while the dialectical method sets itself the task of uncovering the process of origin, the emergence and destruction of this phenomenon. “Who knows exactly how a thing arises, he, of course, understood it. The secret of knowledge is the exposure of the mystery of the origin of things, “the same Trendelenburg rightly says. Therefore, it is impossible to limit oneself to an analysis that decomposes an object into its component parts, but does not reveal the process of origin
or development stuff. In order to show how an object develops, it becomes, arises and disappears, for this it is necessary to ascend from its simplest forms, from the moment of its occurrence, and to study the successive alternation of the development phases it experiences – until its death. In this, in fact, the main meaning of the dialectical method.

The question now is, is Hegel doing the right thing, using the “synthetic” method in building his logic? It seems to us that Hegel is doing quite right and that his critics simply did not understand the meaning of Hegel’s construction. The method of Hegel is a method of development. But Hegel’s method is by no means an exclusively synthetic method. This statement is based on a misunderstanding, because in Hegel we have the unity of analysis and synthesis. Every third
category is specific i.e. a synthetic category that is at the same time dissected analytically into abstract moments, the unity of which forms an integral, concrete category. For example, pure being and nothingness are abstract, singled out by analyzing the moments of a particular category of formation. Hegel himself has repeatedly pointed out that the whole development of philosophical thought consists only in putting what is already contained in this concept; the deducing of the unity of being and nothingness is purely analytical, Hegel stresses. “Everyone has an idea of ??becoming and also recognizes that this is one idea, writes Hegel; – each, further, recognizes that if we analyze (italics mine. – A. D.) this representation, we will make sure that it also contains the definition of being; but it also contains the definition of what is completely opposite to this definition, i.e. definition of nothing; finally, he will also have to recognize that these two definitions are inseparable in one view, so that becoming thereby is the unity of being and nothing “[70]. From this it is clear that, from Hegel’s point of view, analysis and synthesis mutually presuppose each other, that by analyzing the concept of formation we find in it its opposite points: being and nothing. But, on the other hand, in order to understand becoming, we must reveal the inseparability, the unity of its moments. Being and nothing are, according to Hegel, empty abstractions, and only becoming “is the first concrete thought and, therefore, the first concept.”

It has already been indicated above that the starting point of the materialist dialectic is to recognize the category of movement, understood as change in general and constituting, in the words of G. Plekhanov, “contradiction in action” or a realized contradiction. Since everything in nature is reduced to motion, and motion is a realized contradiction, it is obvious that the unity of opposites is the essence of all dialectics. The movement contains the basic laws of the dialectic of being and non-being, emergence and disappearance, unity of opposites, etc. Without being able to dwell specifically on the problem of movement, it is necessary here, however, to emphasize that movement is not exhausted by either quantitative increase and decrease, or change of place; movement is also a qualitative change. This view of Aristotle [71]perceived by Hegel and Engels [72]. If it is true that “the task of science, as Marx says, is to reduce the visible, protruding on the surface movement to real internal movement” [73]then we must consider the basic division of Hegel’s objective logic into being and essence as generally correct. Indeed, we consider the categories of being as expressions of external, and the categories of essence as expressions of internal forms of movement. In the process of our cognition, we naturally have to start with a visible, external movement, in order to go on to internal movements, i.e. to the laws underlying the foundation of being. In the simplest form of movement (as the unity of being, non-being and becoming) we have an embryo, the primary form, from which all reality must evolve. It will be “repeated” in all higher forms, but in a more specific and rich form. “Formation,” or change, is the primary “cell” of the whole dialectic, which is nothing but the general theory of development. Dialectics reveals the internal laws of every movement; therefore, it is a method of relevance to all sciences. It indicates the path that a researcher must take in any field.

It would be completely wrong to think that the dialectic is a scheme or pattern. On the contrary, after all, dialectics teaches that the researcher only “watches” the movement of the object itself and reproduces this objective movement.

Since we recognize motion as a basic, fundamental fact of nature, the task of science is reduced to the study of various specific forms of motion. Marx made a revolution in political economy, mainly due to the fact that he began to apply the dialectical method in this area. From the point of view of Marx, “capital can be understood only as a movement, and not as a thing that is at rest” [74].

Movement everything in nature is created and changed. What we call quality, i.e. the definiteness of the form of the object and the totality of its properties, as a relationship between it and other objects, is generated, again, by movement. Therefore, we can also define quality as a known form of movement. But this, of course, has not yet said anything about quality. The analysis of this category, as, indeed, of all others, is not part of our task, as has already been said. Here we want only to emphasize the idea that quality, quantity and measure, like everything else, are themselves definite forms of movement. Therefore, all internal contradictions inherent in the movement as such are reproduced in these more specific forms, or categories, but on a different basis.

We are now confronted with enormous problems of a general scientific nature, dictated both by the development of natural science and by social changes. It may not be an exaggeration to say that we are facing a new revolution in the field of thinking. Each new era is characterized by a new method of thinking. Hegel, and after him both Marx and Engels, ingeniously anticipated the method of a new historical epoch, which can flourish in full color only on the basis of the latest discoveries of natural science and a wealth of experience in the field of social phenomena. If, thanks to Marx, the dialectical method made it possible to carry out a revolution in the field of social science, then this cannot be said about natural science, where the strength of “tradition” is too great to easily overcome the prejudices of the metaphysical mode of thinking. But in the field of natural science such processes are being.

The fact is that natural scientists have not yet realized the enormous scientific significance of dialectics for their field. Engels’s “Dialectic of Nature” has not yet received due recognition from natural scientists. But we must think that in this respect the necessary turning point will occur.

The need for a theory of materialist dialectics, in any case, is long overdue. Hegelian logic cannot fully satisfy this need, but it must also serve as a starting point for materialist dialectics. On the other hand, the “decoding” of Marx’s “Capital” from the point of view of its logical composition will give a reliable compass in the matter of the materialist processing of Hegelian logic.


1. Max Planck, Physikalische Gesetzlichkeit, 1926. S 47-48.

2. Lenin, Collected Works, Vol. XX, Part II, p. 497

3. Engels, The Dialectic of Nature (“The Archive of K. Marx and F. Engels,” Book II, p. 125

4. Ibid., P. 129.

5. Lenin, Collected Works, Vol. XX, Part II, p. 498.

6. Hegel, Wissenschalt der Logik, hsg. Glockner, 1928, S. 45 – 46 (Russian. Debolsky lane, p. 6)

7. Hegel, Science of Logic, trans. Debolsky, Part I, p 3.

8. Hegel, Encyclopedia, Part I

9. Hegel, Encyclopedia, Part I

10. n this regard, I consider it necessary to point out the interesting work of Eugene Schmitt, “Das Geheimnis der Hegeischen Dialektik, beleuchtet vom concret sinnlichen Standpunkte,” published in 1888. First of all, a few words about the author of this work. Founded by Count Tseshkovsky and Michelet in January 1843, in connection with Schelling’s speeches against Hegel, the Philosophical Society appointed in 1884 an award of 750 marks for the best essay on the Hegelian method. In December 1886 the society received three essays, including the work of Schmitt. The company elected a commission consisting of Michelet, Lasson and Friedrichs to review the received works. Prof. Lasson, in spite of the fact that he was a Hegelian idealist, spoke in favor of awarding the prize to the aforementioned Schmitt, whom many on the basis of the presented work recognized as a brilliant thinker. Michelet spoke up against Schmitt with all his harshness. He defended Garing’s work and accused Schmitt of “gross” sensationalism and materialism. After long disputes, the Society recognized it possible for Schmitt to come to the rescue in publishing his work, refusing the prize. That Garing’s work cannot be compared with the work of Schmitt is for us beyond doubt. Schmitt suffered for his “sensationalism and materialism.” However, this fact was affected by the historical Nemesis. Hegel’s dialectic was again – in a certain sense, independently of Marx, whom the author mentions, however, – criticized from the point of view of “sensationalism and materialism.” Schmitt showed that the truth of the Hegelian dialectic is sensationalistic, specific dialectic. The controversy surrounding the work of Schmitt was the swan song of the “Society” of the old Hegelians, which soon ceased to exist. Schmitt was not an “academician.” He was a clerk at the court in the provincial Hungarian town of Zombor, where he wrote his work. Following its publication, he received a chair in Budapest. But soon, however, was deprived of the department for the radical views. Schmitt was an anarchist Tolstoyan. In the nineties, he even tried to form something like a “party” of Gnostics with anarchist tendencies. Philosophically, Schmitt also “developed” into a mystic and gnostic In the nineties, he even tried to form something like a “party” of Gnostics with anarchist tendencies. Philosophically, Schmitt also “developed” into a mystic and gnostic In the nineties, he even tried to form something like a “party” of Gnostics with anarchist tendencies. Philosophically, Schmitt also “developed” into a mystic and gnostic

11. Eugen Heinrich Schmitt, Das Geheimis der Hegelen Dialektik, 1888

12. Ibid

13. See K. Marx, Capital, T. I

14. See the Archives of K. Marx and F. Engels, Vol. III

15. Ibid

16. Ibid

17. Ibid

18. Ibid

19. See Encyclopedia

20. L. Feuerbach, Works, v. 1

21. Ibid

22. L. Feuerbach, Works, v. 1

23. F. Engels, Anti-Duhring

24. Hegel, Science of Logic

25. Science of Logic, Part 1

26. Hegel, Encyclopedia

27. Dialectic of Nature

28. Marx, To criticism of political economy

29. K. Marx, Theories of surplus value, vol. III

30. F. Engels Review of K. Marx’s Critique of Political Economy

31. K. Marx, Poverty of Philosophy

32. K. Marx, Poverty of Philosophy

33. Engels, The Dialectic of Nature

34. Cp. Betty Heimann, System und Methode in Hegels Philosophie

35. Cp. Richard Kroner, Von Kant bis Hegel

36. Hegel, Encyclopedia

37. Ibid

38. Ibid

39. Ibid

40. F. Engels, The Dialectic of Nature

41. Hegel, Encyclopedia

42. Hegel, Science of Logic

43. Kuno Fischer, System der Logik und Metaphysik

44. Hegel, Encyclopedia

45. Erdmann. Grundriss der Logik und Metaphysik

46. Lenin, Abstract of Hegel’s Logic Science

47. E. Erdmann, op.cit., 1843

48. Hegel, Encyclopedia

49. Hegel, Encyclopedia

50. Hegel, Encyclopedia

51. Hegel, Science of Logic

52. bid

53. Hegel, Encyclopedia

54. Hegel, Encyclopedia

55. Ibid

56. Ibid

57. Ibid

58. Cp. Erdmann, op.cit., 1843

59. Hegel, Encyclopedia

60. Ibid

61. Ibid

62. Wed Kuno Fischer, System der Logik und Metaphysik

63. Engels, The Dialectic of Nature

64. Ibid

65. To the question of dialectics

66. Phenomenology of the Spirit

67. Hegel, Science of Logic

68. Hegel, Encyclopedia

69. Adolf Trendelenburg, Logische Untersuchungen

70. Hegel, Werke, 2. Aufl. 1843

71. Aristotle, Met., XI, 11, 12, cf. also fr Biese, Die Philosophie des Aristoteles, 1835, BI, S. 87.

72. Engels, The Dialectic of Nature

73. Marx, Capital, Vol III

74. Marx, Capital, Vol II