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The Dialectical Conception of Quality and of Qualitative Changes

(Original title: O dialektické pojeti kvality a kvalitativních změn)
Otázky marxistickej filozofie, 19 (1964), 4, 327-342.
Type of work: Papers and Discussions
Publication language: Czech
With authors who depart from formalizing procedures, involuntarily occurs as a self-evident prerequisite the alternative: either an aristotelianily naive ideological qualitatism, or the reduction of qualitatively arrayed phenomena to a degree of their functional array in the sense of categories of the system and function in mathematical logics and cyberne'tics. However, the dialectically materialistic reproduction of qualitative specificity of phenomena is from the qualitative point of view a higher type of cognition than formalizing rational analysis. The quality of any phenomenon is that feature of its internal contradiction which is in a given stage of development of this contradiction its main feature. While formalizing viewpoints do nothing but add to empirically given symbols their self conceived and still more static doubles, the dialectically materialistic conception — according to which substantial determinations are tendencies in the state of birth — essentially overcomes persistence in given facticity, it stops clinging to mere idealisation of phenomena, and gets rid of the idea to interprete the world as a set of symbols. The followers of formalizing procedures who have substituted the category of quality by a category of systems and systematic properties, nevertheless did preserve the basical metapsysical feature of ridiculized aristotelian substantialism. They did so even if the internal arrangement of the system stands in an adverse, reciprocally excluding relationship with all what is in the system considered. However, seen by Marxistic dialectics there does not exist such a reciprocally excluding relationship between the internal conditions of the existence of a system and its internal arrangement. By means of one or the other of the adversary factors of the internal contradiction of a given system more general contradictions do come to the fore (so for instance the development of production prices and market prices in capitalistic economics is a concrete demonstration how the entire economic interconnection and the all-social economic contradictions of all productive branches are asserting themselves inside the value-creating contradictions of the different productive branches). While the formalizing conception explains internal contradictiveness as „troubles“ of the system examined, Marxistic dialectics reveal that internal contradictiveness is immanent in every phenomenon; Marxistic dialectics demonstrate that every phenomenom develops by the way of its own dialectic negation, by the way of its unceasing transition into higher qualitative development.
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