A R Amistad, quoting Miles (I hope you got his permission! He wouldn't let me quote a PM he sent me on dialectics):

Taking these one at a time:1. What is the main thesis statement of dialectics?

Dialectics is a method of analyzing and understanding the development of things. It looks at the contradictions within an object to see how they interrelate and interact, and how that causes that object to move, grow, change and develop over time (this is its dynamic).

I'm sure by now that you've had the three postulates of materialist dialectics explained. If not, let me know and we can talk about them, too.

2. How can I use dialectics to understand the environment around me?

Observation and analysis. Look and study the objects around you to see what its dynamics are. But do understand: sometimes applying dialectical analysis is overworking the system. Think of it like basic math and calculus; you can use calculus to solve "1 + 1 = x", but it's cumbersome and unnecessary. If more basic and elementary methods of understanding prove inadequate, then the dialectical method is probably more appropriate to use.

3. Do dialectics seek to explain or do they go so far as to give meaning to things?

Dialectics neither explains nor gives meaning. It simply shows us the reality of a thing. It is up to us as the observers and analysts to explain and give meaning to it.

A) The examples of 'contradictions' dialecticians refer us to turn out not to be contradictions, in the first place.Dialectics is a method of analyzing and understanding the development of things. It looks at the contradictions within an object to see how they interrelate and interact, and how that causes that object to move, grow, change and develop over time (this is its dynamic).

B) But, even supposing they were, this approach to change would make it impossible. On that see the Mao thread in Philosophy:

http://www.revleft.com/vb/maos-theor...879/index.html

A) These are rather odd assertions. Mathematics is vastly more efficient at solving such problems than is 'dialectical logic'.2. How can I use dialectics to understand the environment around me?

Observation and analysis. Look and study the objects around you to see what its dynamics are. But do understand: sometimes applying dialectical analysis is overworking the system. Think of it like basic math and calculus; you can use calculus to solve "1 + 1 = x", but it's cumbersome and unnecessary. If more basic and elementary methods of understanding prove inadequate, then the dialectical method is probably more appropriate to use.

B) In fact, I challenge Miles to solve a single mathematical problem 'dialectically', and quicker than the usual methods.

A) But what is the use of this theory of it can't explain anything? In fact, as Miles's first point reveals, he seeks to explain change by recourse to 'internal contradictions'.3. Do dialectics seek to explain or do they go so far as to give meaning to things?

Dialectics neither explains nor gives meaning. It simply shows us the reality of a thing. It is up to us as the observers and analysts to explain and give meaning to it.

b) In fact, dialecticians like Engels, Plekhanov, Lenin and Mao used dialectics all the time to explain things. [Not that they did this very well, using this theory!]