Selected Works - Vol. 2

Selected Works - Vol. 2

Selected Works - Vol. 2

Selected Works - Vol. 2

Excerpt

This philosophical essay was written as a companion-piece to On Practice , with the same object of combating the serious mistakes of doctrinairism existing in the Party at the time. It was originally delivered as a lecture at the Anti-Japanese Military and Political College in Yenan. On its inclusion in the present collection, the author has made certain additions, deletions and revisions.

The law of contradiction in things, that is, the law of the unity of opposites, is the most basic law in materialist dialectics. Lenin said: "In its proper meaning, dialectics is the study of the contradiction within the very essence of things". Lenin often called this law the essence of dialectics; he also called it the kernel of dialectics. Therefore, in studying this law, we cannot but touch upon a wide range of subjects, upon a great number of problems of philosophy. If we can clear up all these problems we shall arrive at a basic understanding of materialist dialectics. These problems are: the two world outlooks; the universality of contradiction; the particularity of contradiction; the principal contradiction and the principal aspect of a contradiction; the identity and the struggle of the aspects of a contradiction; the role of antagonism in contradiction.

Great interest has been aroused among us by the criticism levelled at the idealism of the Deborin school in Soviet philosophical circles in recent years. Deborin's idealism has exerted a very bad influence in the Chinese Communist Party, and it must be admitted that doctrinaire ways of thought in our Party have something to do with this school's style in work. Thus the principal objective of our philosophical studies at present should be the eradication of doctrinaire ways of thought.

1. THE TWO WORLD OUTLOOKS

In the history of human knowledge, there have always been two views concerning the laws of development of the world; the metaphysical view and the dialectical view, which form two . . .

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