Introduction to Dialectical Logic

Henri Wald

Table of Contents

I. Introduction. Objective and subjective in contemporary thinking 1

1. Structuralism 2

2. Phenomenology 5

3. Irrationalism 7

4. Interrogativity 8

5. Negativity 10

6. Reflection and creation 11

7. Fantasy in science 13

8. Science and art 14

9. The figure “2” 15

10. Bivalence 17

11. The crisis of the aim 18

12. Philosophy and politics 21

II. Linguistic communication and genesis of ideas 25

1. Spirit 25

2. Writing 27

3. Number 32

4. Abstraction 34

5. Speech and logic 36

Conclusion 41

III. Logical and historical in the history of logic 45

[Chinese logic 49-52
  Indian logic 52-57 ]

IV. Practice: the crucial point of knowledge 61

l. The object of knowledge 67

2. The way to knowledge 69

3. The value of knowledge 85

4. The goal of knowledge 97

V. The object of materialist-dialectical logic 99

1. Dialectical method and dialectical logic 99

2. Elementary logic and dialectical logic 06

3. The laws of dialectical logic 113

VI. Dialectics of the logical forms of knowledge 123

1. Notion 125

2. Judgment 143

3. Reasoning 174

VII. Impossibility of transcending dialectical logic 197

VIII. Human mind and the future 207

1. Experience, experiment, production 208

2. Analysis and synthesis 210

3. Inference 212

4. Thesis and hypothesis 214

5. Prediction 216

IX. Philosophical rehabilitations 221

1. Language as “Obstacle” 221

2. Metaphor 223

3. Infralogical 225

4. Dialectics 226

5. Tautology and paradox 22

6. The Sophists 230

7. Intuition 231

8. Definition 233

9. Humor 237



Rationalist and scientist positivism, followed by irrationalist and anti-scientist existentialism, have succeeded, in the century past, to arouse growing suspicion on some fundamental approaches of the human spirit. When language was reduced to a conventional system of sound and written signs where thinking became superfluous, positivism could no longer prevent irrationalism from avoiding the “linguistic obstacle” that hindered the path to knowledge. From a tool of thinking, language has turned into its obstacle. Some try to chase away the metaphor, other hypertrophy it, to break the “wall of speech” separating us from the essence of the world. The infralogical is shown at times as illogical, at others as superlogical. Dialectics is reduced to complementariness, tautology is taken as void, and paradox is seen as a blind alley of reason. The prejudice according to which sophists were sophism-makers is being perpetuated. Intuition is despised by some and eulogized by others, whereas humor is at most allowed.

Genuine dialectics overcomes these compromising exaggerations and restores the various acts of human spirit to their roles in knowledge. [p. 221]

Wald, Henri. Introduction to Dialectical Logic (1959). Bucuresti: Editura Academiei; Amsterdam: B.R. Grüner B.V., 1975. (Philosophical Currents; v. 14) VI, 240 pp.

The introduction to chapter IX above is the most succinct description of what the author attempts in detail, with the overall objective common to several strains of Marxism in overcoming the fractured duality of positivism and irrationalism endemic to bourgeois (modern) society.

See also links below and ...

Singer, Alexandru. “Henri Wald’s contribution to Romanian culture and philosophy,” Studia Judaica 11-12 (2004), pp. 220-225.

Wald gets only a brief mention (p. 135, below) but the larger repressive national context can be found here:

Tismaneanu, Vladimir. “From Arrogance to Irrelevance: Avatars of Marxism in Romania,” in The Road to Disillusion: From Critical Marxism to Postcommunism in Eastern Europe, edited by Raymond Taras (Armonk, NY: M. E. Sharpe, 1992), pp. 135-150.

[....] through its unabashed support for the reemergence of rightist, ethnocentric groups and formations, Ceausescu and his clique made a mockery of their own passionate plea for the preservation of the "sacred values" of historical materialism and internationalism. For example, in the early 1980s when philosopher Henri Wald tried to publish a Marxist Reader, which included young Marx's early philosophical inquiries, he encountered opposition from precisely those official “instructors” who were supposed to watch over the ideological purity of Romanian cultural life.

by Henri Wald

Mass Media and Creative Thinking
by Henri Wald

"On Trends in the Status of Dialectical Logic:
A Brief Study of Lefebvre, Ilyenkov and Wald
by Claude M. J. Braun

Henri Wald’s Contribution to Romanian Culture and Philosophy
by Alexandru Singer

Sense and Nonsense of McLuhan
by Sidney Finkelstein

Details, details! (From Marshall & Me blog)

Selections from Contemporary East European Philosophy,
Revolutionary World, B. R. Grüner Publishing Co, & Related Publications:
Bibliography & Web Links

Salvaging Soviet Philosophy (1)

Positivism vs Life Philosophy (Lebensphilosophie) Study Guide

Marx and Marxism Web Guide


Henri Wald - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Wald, Henri
by Andrei Corbea-Hoisie, trans. Anca Mircea
(The YIVO Encyclopedia of Jews in Eastern Europe)

Henry Wald - 80 (Romanian Jewish Heritage)

Henri Wald (1920 - 2002) Manuscripts archive

East-West Dialogues
ed. Paul K. Crosser, David H. Degrood and Dale Riepe

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