In our daily lives, we come across people who are able to achieve their goals in an unending changing environment by incorporating a simple rule: They have the ability to create meaning from contradictory ideas. They do this by defining the factor of the interaction between contradictory ideas. This unique and creative problem solving approach can be achieved by using a method known as the Dialectic Method. This method was introduced by Karl Marx and it heavily relies on the ideas of the Hegelian dialectic.
So let us understand what exactly the Dialectical Method is and how you can apply it in life to be a more creative problem solver.
Creative problem solving: the Dialectical Method
Dialectic implies a process of evolution. Dialectical logic can be understood as a system to identify the structure of thought. It was introduced to replace the laws of formal logic. There are three stages within the Dialectical Method:
- Tension resulting in Synthesis
Stage #1: Thesis
First is the thesis, also known as a proposition. It is the initial thought or the starting point that gives rise to a reaction (antithesis).
Stage #2: Antithesis
The antithesis is the reaction or the contradiction. This is the counter-proposition.
Stage #3: Synthesis
Third, Synthesis resolves the tension between the thesis and antithesis. It is at this stage where new thesis comes into picture. Synthesis should not be confused with analysis.
Analysis involves a detailed examination of the elements of something. For eg: Think of analyzing each individual piece of a puzzle.
Synthesis is the combination of ideas to form something new. For eg: When you assemble all the pieces of a puzzle back together, you see something completely new.
The best part of the Dialectical Method is that this process in unending. Every synthesis gives rise to a new thesis. For every thesis, there will be a counter-proposition (antithesis).
Let us see how to apply the Dialectical Method
Step #1. Know your thesis
Your Thesis is your initial thoughts or ideas. It is your starting point or status-quo. This is where your thinking exists today.
Step #2. Identify the antithesis
The Antithesis will crop up after your Thesis. Antithesis will generally oppose your ideas and will not support your thesis.
Step #3. Synthesis (new thesis)
When there is a clash between Thesis and Antithesis, Synthesis will resolve it. Now synthesis gives rise to a new thesis. However, this process never ends and goes on and on.
The dialectical method is a continuous and unending mechanism for building ideas. We get ideas, after which there is a clash between ideas and reactions and finally we get new ideas. It is said that the strongest ideas are the result of successfully going through the continuous dialectical process.