Dialectical materialism  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

According to many followers of the theories of Karl Marx (or Marxists), dialectical materialism is the philosophical basis of Marxism. The name, which was never used by Marx himself, refers to the notion that Marxism is a synthesis of philosophical dialectics and materialism.

It is sometimes seen as the complement of historical materialism (or the "materialist conception of history") which is the name given to Marx's methodology in the study of society, economics and history.

Dialectical materialism is often defined by reference to two claims by Marx: first that he "put Hegel's dialectics back on its feet" and second, that "the history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles." (The Communist Manifesto, 1848). Dialectical materialism is essentially characterized by the belief that history is the product of class struggle and obeys the general Hegelian principle of philosophy of history, that is the development of the thesis into its antithesis which is sublated by the "Aufhebung" (~ synthesis, a term not employed by Hegel in describing his dialectics.

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