You are here

Dialectical Materialism

By: 
Ish N Mishra

The term Dialectical Materialismwas not used by Marx himself but by subsequent Marxists to delineate the synthesis of Marx’s critiques of Hegel’s Dialectics, which he called idealist and Feuerbach’s materialism, which he called mechanical or metaphysical. For the first time the term Dialectical Materialism was used by Plekhanov in 1891.Five years after Marx’s death Engels expressed his and Marx’s gratitude in Ludwig Feuerbach and the End of Classical German Philosophy (1888) “To Feuerbach , who after all, in many respects forms the link between Hegelian philosophy and our conception”. For the “influence which Feuerbach, more than any post Hegelian philosopher” had   upon them Engels acknowledged his “undischarged debt of honor”. [SW:585] .

Diamat (dialectical materialism) was one of the key words in the discussions among the first generation of Marxists, after Marx. Diamat is considered to be the Marxist philosophy — the world view — related to and supported by, what is known as Marxist science — historical materialism. Dialectical materialism is union of two main strands of philosophy – the materialism of the enlightenment era of scientific revolution, which Marx calls metaphysical or mechanical and the dialectics of Hegel, which he calls idealist or ideological — that Marx inherited, rejected and transformed.