“The power of negative thinking is the driving power of dialectical thought.”
   —Herbert Marcuse (“Note on Dialectic”)
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ABOUT THE INSTITUTE
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Established on World Philosophy Day 2020, the Institute for Advanced Dialectical Research is the world’s only body dedicated to the exploration, development and advancement of dialectical thinking. 2020 also marks the 250th anniversary of the birth of G.W.F. Hegel (1770 – 1831), whose major works form the basis of modern dialectics.
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Dialectic is one of the oldest forms of philosophy, but it was Hegel who brought it to the forefront of 19th century thinking—not only in his breakthrough studies in logic and phenomenology (LEFT), but also in social & political philosophy, philosophy of history, history of philosophy, philosophy of science, aesthetics, etc.
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After his death, dialectic continued to influence generations of old-, young-, left-, right- and neo-Hegelian movements. In the 20th century, Heidegger called the dialectic of Hegel’s Science of Logic “the most powerful thinking of modern times”. In Critical Theory, Adorno, Marcuse and others in the Institute for Social Research developed devastating dialectical critiques of culture, society, technology and political power. In the struggle for civil rights, Martin Luther King wrote in his autobiography of his intensive study of Hegel and the profound influence of dialectical philosophy on his own thinking. In science, Werner Heisenberg and other theoretical physicists have acknowledged clear parallels between quantum mechanics and Hegelian dialectics. Dialectic has also influenced multiple schools of thought in psychology, including Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Paradoxical Psychotherapy and Dialectical Constructivism. Further examples of dialectical thinking in science could also be cited in anthropology, biology, chemistry, etc.
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Dialectic clearly has a wide range of interpretations, influences and theoretical & practical applications, but, until now, no attempt has been made to engage with them in a comparative, critical and systematic way; nor has much, if any, attention been paid, in the West, to the long tradition of dialectical research in non-western countries, particularly Russia and China. One of the main aims of the Institute, then, is to foster interdisciplinary dialogue, debate and collaboration by reducing barriers between traditional arts, humanities and scientific fields in hopes of enabling and encouraging research discoveries and breakthroughs that would otherwise not be possible.
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We believe that we are on the verge of an intellectual revolution—not merely in logic, phenomenology or even philosophy in general, but in all fields in which genuinely dialectical thinking finds some application. We envision the advancement and propagation of dialectic by bringing together thinkers from various fields through the facilitation of discussions, reading groups, lectures, symposia, publication of the Institute’s Journal, and through the direct intellectual engagement provided by our international on-line forum.
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Through these means, the Institute may be seen as preparing the way for more widespread understanding and application of dialectical thinking in the spirit of Hegel, who described dialectic as the philosophy of the future*. We believe now—more than 200 years later—that the future Hegel envisioned is within reach.


*Hegel opens the first edition of the encyclopedic presentation of his dialectical system by remarking, apologetically, that he fears he has “let this overview of the entire scope of the philosophy come to light earlier than I would have otherwise thought appropriate.” His tone becomes bolder, however, when he declares: “The present exposition … sets out a new reworking of philosophy according to a method that I hope will yet be recognised as the only true one”.
Encyclopedia of the Philosophical Sciences in Outline, preface to the 1st edition
(1817).
 







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