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Catholic Dictionary




In general, discussion between persons about matters of common interest; also a method of arguing and defending with probability and consistency on open questions, i.e., on issues that the speaker and listeners may legitimately discuss. Also the science or art of logic (Aristotle and St. Thomas Aquinas). A dialogue engaged in as a scientific method investigation, or the science of ascertaining the real or distinct from the surface or apparent meaning of things (Plato). The logic or epistemology of appearances (Kant). The process of development of thought and of all history from thesis, or the given, through antitheses, to synthesis or the predictable result of the conflict (Hegel). The physical and political evolution of matter, to be accelerated by planned conflict in society (Marx). (Etym. Greek dialektikos, of conversation.)