Coquetting with dialectics
Many have attributed a unique and uniquely successful methodology of dialectics to Marx. Others regard dialectics as a disaster of obscurity and confusion, if not meaninglessness. Many now hold that Engels foisted a rigid “formalization” of dialectics on Marx’s work, and yet Marx coquetted with dialectics making positive references here and there. Analytical Marxists have almost universally rejected dialectics in Marxism, turning to clear analyses instead. This chapter, from a perspective of analytical philosophy, begins with an analysis of Marx’s own methodology and then contests some core claims about methodology by analytical Marxists, with primary focus on philosophical questions about methodological individualism and about mechanisms. With a more open understanding, one can see the plausibility for Marx, and Marxists, to coquette with dialectics.