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On Methods of Inquiry: From Aristotle to Evald Ilyenkov with Arto Artinian

Much has been said about “dialectics” in the context of leftist thinking about politics, yet often the conversation is often vague on the specifics of what is it that dialectics in thinking actually means? What is gained by deploying “dialectical thought”? To counter this tendency, we will trace specific articulations of dialectical movement in thought, with the aim of gaining a clearer understanding of the fundamental concepts, ideas and methods that relate to this mode of thinking.
Our focus is on building a grounding in thinking about everyday life that seeks (rather than avoids) contradictions, and is capable of surviving (as Hegel said) the tensions that arise within it.

Readings will begin with a discussion of sections from Aristotle’s “Prior Analytics” and “Categories”. We will then follow with a few excerpts from Hegel’s studies of logic, while making explicit Hegel’s conversation with Aristotle. We will conclude with a close reading of Soviet philosopher Evald Ilyenkov’s presentation of dialectical thinking, in the context of the thread running from Aristotle, through Hegel and Marx.


James Baldwin High School
Room 317
351 West 18th St
New York, NY 10011

(6:30–8:30pm): an eight week course beginning October 16th, 2019 — $15 per session or $100 for all eight sessions.


Aristotle: “Categories 1–5, 7, 9, 10”, (“Aristotle: Categories and De Interpretione, Oxford University Press, 2002).

Aristotle: “The Syllogism and its Three Figures: A1-A6” (“Prior Analytics”, Hackett, 1989).

Gisela Striker: “Aristotle’s Prior Analytics, Book 1: Translated with an introduction and commentary” (Oxford University Press, 2009, A1-A6).

Hegel: “The Syllogism”, Sections #181–193” (“Encyclopedia of the Philosophical Sciences in Basic Outline: Part I — Science and Logic”, Cambridge University Press, 2010).

Hegel: “Introduction”, (“The Phenomenology of Spirit”, Cambridge University Press, 2018).
Evgeny Pavlov: “Hegel’s Science of Logic”, (“Intelligent Marxism”, Bill, 2018, pg. 59–98).

David L. Harvey: “The Logic of Commodity Circuits” (The Philosophical Forum Quarterly, Vol. XV, #3, Spring 1984, pg. 280–323).
Marx, selections from “Capital Vol. 2”.

Evald Ilyenkov: “Our Schools Must Teach How to Think”, (Journal of Russian and East European Psychology, vol. 45, no. 4, July–August 2007, pp. 9–49).

Click here to watch this seminar on our Youtube channel!