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Hegelian dialectic and social/attitudinal polarisation

Divide et Impera – Divide and rule

Polarization, in many disciplines, is a tendency to be located close to one of the opposite ends of a continuum.

  • Polarization (economics), faster decrease of moderate-skill jobs relative to low-skill and high-skill jobs
  • Political polarization, when public opinion divides and becomes oppositional
  • Social polarization, segregation of society into social groups, from high-income to low-income
  • Group polarization, tendency of a group to make more extreme decisions than individuals’ initial inclinations
  • Attitude polarization, when disagreement becomes more extreme as different parties consider evidence
  • Racial polarization, when a population with varying ancestry is divided into distinct racial groups

Hegelian dialectic, usually presented in a threefold manner, was stated by Heinrich Moritz Chalybäus as comprising three dialectical stages of development: a thesis, giving rise to its reaction; an antithesis, which contradicts or negates the thesis; and the tension between the two being resolved by means of a synthesis. Although this model is often named after Hegel, he never used that specific formulation. Hegel ascribed that terminology to Kant. Carrying on Kant’s work, Fichte greatly elaborated on the synthesis model and popularized it.

See also: Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel § Dialectics, speculation, idealism

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