IIRE  - CLIMATE CHANGE SEMINAR  22 to 26 of February

Progressive movements faced with climate change: the need for an energy revolution and social transformation.

Summary article:  Climate Change, Energy Revolution and Social Transformation -

See individual content below.

Dialectics as a method of social research

Seminar given at the IIRE, Amsterdam, on 15 January 2008

Guglielmo Carchedi

Part I. A general introduction.


As well known, Marx did not explicitly write a work on dialectics. Nevertheless, he thought it would be possible to make intelligible to people with ordinary intelligence in a few pages what is rational in the method “which Hegel discovered and at the same time mystified”. In spite of Marx’s warning that Hegel mystified dialectics, traditionally, commentators have tried to force Marx into conformity with Hegel. I will depart from this tradition and will submit a notion of dialectics as a method of social research, a method focused exclusively on social reality. This method is extracted from Marx’s own work rather than from Hegel’s work. I argue that it is internally consistent with Marx’s theory and therefore capable of further developing that theory in order to account for capitalism’s new features.