Social Scientist. v 11, no. 121 (June 1983) p. 48.

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Dialectical Contradiction in the Sciences

THE WORLD exists independently of the consciousness of man and it is knowabk. Thought is an aUnbtite of matter in its highest form "of organisation as found in the human brain. Thinking and cognising are forms in which man grapples with the world around him. Knowledge is the result of social practice and is tested in practice. It was Karl Marx's great service to philosophy that he recognised this vital relation between knowledge and practice, between truth and practice.

As human/society develops man discovers more and more new properties and relationships in the world around him. He tries to detect and expness the inseparable characteristics of material entities. The concepts that express these invariant properties are shaped by man in the process of his creative activity. These are the philosophical categories which express spch relationships as motion, space, time, causality, regularity, necessity, chance, contradiction and so on.

Categories are instruments by which man tries to grasp reality in his consciousness. Like all his other instruments, categories represent stages ip the development of his cognition and practice. The material entities through which matter exists are not static, but they are in constant interaction and change. Hence the concepts through which man reflects the world in his /consciousness should also be interconnected, interdependent, and must on occasion pass into one another. As Lenin said, "Human concepts are not fixed but are eternally in movement, th^y pass into one another, otherwise they do n

Though categories represent stages in -the development of cognition and practice, they nevertheless reflect objective reality. This is because they represent the essential features of reality. There are some who call themselves Marxist but who deny that the laws of dialectics operate in Nature. They hold that the laws of dialettics apply only to thinking and th% way we assemble information, (hattt... they are principles for maintaining informativeness and removing

^Teaches mathematics at Wilson College, Bombay.

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