"Dialectics of nature" by Friedrich Engels was the first book I have read about philosophy 20 years ago. I was shocked to find out that a lot of philosophers reject this idea. Than I learned that it depends on the concept of dialectics.
You can use the term "dialectic" as : "Hegelian method of logic, based on the concept of advancing contradictory arguments" or as the "principle of all motion, all live and all activity of actuality" (Hegel in Shorter Logic §81 n).
But I think it is interesting to see why some people refuse dialectics in nature. J.P.Sarte said (1970 in a newspaper) : "Using dialectic in nature would reduce people to products of physical laws".
I think he stands up for a difference between nonhuman nature and humans. Hegel also emphasized: "natural things do not reach the ideality of being-for-itself, but they are always merely for-Other" (Shorter Logic §96 n).
Another question is the existence of the Negative which determines the "Other". What is the totality for nature?
2. There is evolution/development in nature
In 1995/96 I wrote my first book about evolution in nature (in cosmos and biological). I found typical "patterns" of evolution. It was interesting to see that the concepts of self-organisation proved their worth. Self-organisation is an important moment of evolution and evolution in nature is self-organised. But concepts of self-organisation can´t explain evolution - they only take "labels" on the problems (than some authors call them "This is an attractor", "This is a bifurcation-point", "this is a mode to enslave others"...). To explain evolution we have to understand the motion of concrete things, we have to see the determiniation of concrete motions and so on. This gives me a hint about dialectics which uses "concret determined negations" and not only an abstract pattern.
Nevertheless I found some typical principles of evolution, which refer to concepts of self-organisation and dialectics:
Perhaps we can say that there are "relative targets" in natural evolution (notion by H.Hoerz).
Conditions or states which were unessentially before can become essentially in the moment of "jumping" suddenly! (because new conditions make them possible and probable).
And the "butterfly-effect" means that a little thing can be blowing up in the moment of jumping.
(If we want/or not a "jumping" (in society) we can derive from that principles, what is to take into account by doing.)
The changing ("jump") can occure in several patterns: one new "way" "under" the old, or one new way in a "higher" stage, or radiation...
If occurs "enslaving" selection the quickest new variant asserts itself, not the best!
News emerge generally not at the highest points of the previous evolution but at edges (at highest points there was the using of the old, vanishing conditions).
Conditions of these effects are (we know them from the concepts of self-organisation): Non-linearity (i.e.positive feedback), existing fluctuations, import of energy and export of entropy. Perhaps we can say: "Nature fulfils these conditions generally" or "matter (in a wider sense) is inexhaustible" (Lenin) - than evolution is a general form of existence of nature.
7. The News are not the result of competition for (old) ressources, but the result of new combinations of interactions (Co-Evolution!) which use new ressources.
Therefore self-organised and self-organising (every) evolution is lawfully and is not lawfully:
3. Dialectics as a method of understanding evolution
Because principles which describe concrete evolution refer to dialectic principles very well. I propose to use dialectics as a method of understanding evolution at least.
But there is a difference:
Hegel always talked about ONE essence. Therefore in this evolution (in the sphere of determined being) each Something has only ONE Other to negate and therefore develops a linear (!) way of evolution (with steps).
Now we know that in natural evolution things with different essences (laws) are interacting - this is one cause of "indeterminateness" in real nature (and society). And we have to take into account that there exist two possibilities of changing at least:
Here are the following mails fromAndy´s eMail-list:
Cyril S. (4.7.98):
>when Annette talks about 'dialectics in nature', she seems to mean a very
>How do these two things connect? Two questions: (a) Why is this method
Julio H. answered (5.7.98):
Human consciousness is partially a product of natural evolution. Our DNA has
Please refer as well to (in English):