‘Dialectic’, in the modern sense (not Socratic), names an approach to thinking about differences as primarily oppositions. The opposition is resolved through synthesis which transcends the opposition. Typically, opposition is understood negatively: “A is opposed to B” is the same as
“A = not B” or A is the negation of B.
The appeal of this arises in two ways:
- A person (or party) finds oneself in a distburbing condition of opposition to something, and thinks of this dialectically, i.e., as a challenge of getting beyond the opposition through “synthesis” of some kind (“situated transcendence,” for example: ch. 7 here).
- One comes to a disturbing situation already thinking dialectically, so the disturbance is understood oppositionally (e.g., disagreement; or alienation which objectifies the other).
not even in the Socratic sense, which pertains to a conception of pedagogical debate.