Analysing Change: Complex Rather than Dialectical?

Article


Cudworth, E. and Hobden, S. 2014. Analysing Change: Complex Rather than Dialectical? Globalizations. 11 (5), pp. 627-642.
AuthorsCudworth, E. and Hobden, S.
Abstract

This article offers a discussion of dialectics from a complexity perspective. Dialectics is a term much utilized but infrequently defined. This article suggests that a spectrum of ideas exist concerning understandings of dialectics. We are particularly critical of Hegelian dialectics, which we see as anthropocentric and teleological. While Marxist approaches to dialectics, in the form of historical materialism, marked a break from the idealist elements of Hegelian dialectics, they retained traces of this approach. The article offers a partial discussion of essential elements of dialectics, which we consider to be the analysis of change, the centrality of contradiction, and the methodology of abstraction. Points of overlap with complexity thinking are highlighted, together with those points where complexity thinking and dialectical approaches diverge. We conclude with some suggestions as to how complexity thinking might contribute to a development of dialectical approaches.

JournalGlobalizations
Journal citation11 (5), pp. 627-642
ISSN1474-774X
1474-7731
Year2014
PublisherTaylor & Francis
Accepted author manuscript
License
CC BY
Web address (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14747731.2014.940247
Publication dates
Print21 Oct 2014
Publication process dates
Deposited09 Sep 2015
Accepted21 Oct 2014
Copyright informationThis is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Globalizations on 21.10.14, available online: http://wwww.tandfonline.com/10.1080/14747731.2014.940247
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