From: "Stephen W. Taylor" <>

Subject: Boole and dialectix dialogix


In your post of 98/10/29 you raise many points I would like to take further (I am referring especially to the Boole/Hegel relation, the "natural binariness in the universe", the Tao...), but then comes the question of dialectic and dialogic.

At which point I realise that I have not made clear just what I mean by dialogic, and that we should concentrate on this and try at least for consensus on terminology. The following sequence is from your post except that I have added the indicators, ST: for Stephen Taylor, and DL: for Deanya Lattimore:


ST: "For the sake of terminology allow that Hegel's dialectic takes logic a step further, that it takes it to a deeper and more profound level. Call this deeper level, when studied in and for itself alone, dialogic."
DL: "dialogic" is too problematic for me! It brings up all of Bakhtin. "Metalogic" already has implications and overtones, too.
ST: "Dialectic, then, will be the name given to the peculiar method of investigative discussion made famous by the Greeks, whose product is the truth of reason, the said dialogic; which applied to all things external is 'philosophy', and applied to all things internal is the study of mind, and more intimately the function of the brain."
DL: Do we want to agree that "DL" (what I'll call your definition of "dialogic" (tossing out the word with such ambivalence makes me shudder)) is the study of the deeper level, or the practice of using dialectic to "get to" a deeper level? You're drivin'...

As unfamiliar, I must pass on Bakhtin and metalogic. Any explanation or instruction to the point would be welcome.

I accept that "DL" (not to be confused with DL: ), will refer to my definition of dialogic, rather than to what dialogic might be in itself, if it is anything at all.

Then, with your second question I decided (since I'm drivin'), that we should dwell on the question of terminology until we know what each is saying.

I stick with my first definition of dialogic, that: "Hegel's dialectic takes logic a step further. It takes it to a deeper and more profound level. Call this deeper level, when studied in and for itself alone, dialogic."

To do so is to acknowledge Hegel's contribution and status in the world of ff (famous figures of course). To refuse to do so, to say that, far from deserving a special name, Hegel's dialectic doesn't even exist, is simply a last ditch defence of a discomforted materialism.

This 'step further', like stepping off the edge of a cliff, like water suddenly boiling, is of critical significance. Qualitative supervenes upon quantitative change. The difference between Hegel's dialectic and Grecian dialectics, is like that between subatomic physics and 'ordinary' mundane or atomic physics.

I mean, position yourself imaginatively on the defining surface of an atom, on the very interface between its 'inside' and 'outside'. Look inwards and you are looking into the realm of subatomics (careful of those particles whizzing by). Look outwards and you see the 'physics' of ordinary chemistry, where 'things' take the form of other atoms, molecules, armchairs and stars.

As deeper, dialogic is a logic within logic, and as such it is the referential goal of Grecian dialectics. However, the Greeks never arrived at dialogic, even though their universe of investigative discourse revolved around it in the manner our planets revolve around the sun. Only in Hegel do we find the core, the absolute, identified, shelled out in its purity, the 'sun' at the centre of all reason (consciousness), and we call this inner core, which is infinitely, eternally and perfectly the whole, the Hegelian dialectic.

I am saying, call the Hegelian dialectic 'dialogic'. Let this be an available handle for its non-dialectical side (lexis=language). Did someone say it doesn't have sides? Good point, but neither is it short of them. It acquires them as soon as any mortal being thinks about it, proclaims, pronounces or otherwise aims a shaft in its direction. In dialogic it ceases to be an Hegelian special thing and becomes something anyone can kick around.

Dialectics (variety Greek), becomes Hegelian dialectic, which is dialogic ---- the implication of a logic within logic, a genetic consciousness.

This is a jump of magnitude. It overturns not a part but the whole. And if the whole turns who can tell? It is like switching from atomics to subatomics, from linear to circular math, from being asleep to being awake. Did I just see a white rabbit crossing the road? I must have been asleep at the wheel. Time for you to take over!

I've not seen pi.