contradiction

Originally a logical term which was taken up by G. W. F. Hegel in order to explain the nature of the dialectical movement in the history of thought, whereby a thesis necessarily begets its antithesis (opposite), and results in a synthesis that contains and advances upon the initially antagonistic (contradictory) ideas. As his own work developed, Karl Marx provided himself with the means to move on from this metaphorical mode of conceptualizing social development, with its evolutionary connotations. However, he appears not to have demurred when Friedrich Engels later made it central to his ‘dialectical materialism’. Its usage therein represents the principal justification for the term's subsequent canonical status within Marxist discourses of an orthodox kind.
The concept is now widely (and more loosely) used in sociological theory generally. For example, in The Cultural Contradictions of Capitalism (1979), the American sociologist Daniel Bell identified a growing contradiction in advanced Western societies, rooted in a disjunction between the social structure (the economy, technology, occupational system) and the culture (the symbolic expression of meanings), each of which is governed by a different ‘axial principle’. The former calls for functional rationality, efficiency, self-control, deferred gratification, and dedication to a career, whereas the latter fosters attitudes of conspicuous display, prodigality, and hedonism.

Dictionary of sociology. 2013.

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  • Contradiction — contradiction …   Philosophy dictionary

  • contradiction — [ kɔ̃tradiksjɔ̃ ] n. f. • contradictïun v. 1120; lat. contradictio → contredire 1 ♦ Action de contredire qqn; échange d idées entre des personnes qui se contredisent. ⇒ contestation, démenti, dénégation, négation, objection, opposition,… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • contradiction — CONTRADICTION. s. f. Action de contredire, opposition aux sentimens et aux discours de quelqu un, discours par lequel on combat l avis d un autre. Cet avis a été reçu de tout le monde sans contradiction. Les grands n aiment pas la contradiction.… …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie Française 1798

  • Contradiction — Con tra*dic tion, n. [L. contradictio answer, objection: cf. F. contradiction.] 1. An assertion of the contrary to what has been said or affirmed; denial of the truth of a statement or assertion; contrary declaration; gainsaying. [1913 Webster]… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • contradiction — Contradiction. s. f. v. Opposition, contrarieté de sentiments. Cet avis a esté receu de tout le monde sans contradiction. les grands n aiment pas la contradiction. cela implique contradiction. On appelle, Esprit de contradiction, Un homme qui n… …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • contradiction — I noun adverseness, antipathy, antithesis, assertion of the contrary, assertion of the opposite, conflict, conflicting evidence, confutation, contradistinction, contraindication, contraposition, contraries, contrariety, contrariness, contrary… …   Law dictionary

  • contradiction — ► NOUN 1) a combination of statements, ideas, or features which are opposed to one another. 2) the statement of a position opposite to one already made. ● contradiction in terms Cf. ↑contradiction in terms …   English terms dictionary

  • Contradiction — Allgemeine Informationen Genre(s) Thrash Metal Gründung 1989 Website http://www.contradiction.d …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • contradiction — late 14c., from O.Fr. contradiction or directly from L. contradictionem (nom. contradictio) a reply, objection, counterargument, noun of action from pp. stem of contradicere, in classical L. contra dicere to speak against, from contra against… …   Etymology dictionary

  • contradiction — [kän΄trə dik′shən] n. [ME contradiccioun < OFr contradiction < L contradictio] 1. a contradicting or being contradicted 2. a statement in opposition to another; denial 3. a condition in which things tend to be contrary to each other;… …   English World dictionary

  • contradiction — [n] variance to something bucking, conflict, confutation, contravention, defiance, denial, difference, disagreement, discrepancy, dispute, dissension, gainsaying, incongruity, inconsistency, negation, opposite, opposition; concepts 46,278,665 Ant …   New thesaurus

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