It Really Does Depend on the Context

Ben Burgis and the Analytical Marxist Critique of Dialectics

The title of this essay recalls the Congressional hearing that took place on December 5, 2023, in which Claudine Gay, the president of Harvard University, seemed to dodge difficult questions by uttering the phrase “it depends on the context.” The phrase immediately became meme-able, even the butt of an opening “Saturday Night Live” skit. New York Times journalist A. O. Scott (2024) wrote that more than any other word, be it “plagiarism” or “genocide,” “Gay’s fate was sealed by a single word. … The word was ‘context’.” Scott’s larger point, of course, was that throughout the heated controversy, there was, in fact, a “rigorous avoidance of context” — the context of election-year politics, unending global conflicts, the crises in higher education, and so forth.

My purpose in this essay is not to relitigate that Congressional hearing. Rather, it is to focus on the method for which keeping context is primary. That method — dialectics — addresses societal problems by exploring their many overlapping and shifting contexts in a dynamic world.

Interestingly, the issue of dialectics was recently highlighted in two essays written by Ben Burgis, published a month prior to those Congressional hearings. In “Cohen vs. Trotsky: Is Marxism Without Dialectics Really Like a Clock Without a Spring?” (Burgis 2023a) and “Rorty vs. Marx vs. Proudhon: Is it a ‘Pity’ that the Best Political Economist of the Nineteenth Century Majored in Philosophy?” (Burgis 2023b), and in two YouTube chats (Bertram-Lee and Burgis 2023a; 2023b), Burgis asks us to reconsider the dialectical method and its role in Marx’s thought. Much of his commentary derives from his book, Give Them an Argument: Logic for the Left (2019). His points are worth reexamining here if only to advance the discussion of the role that dialectical methods play in our understanding of the larger context of our world — and our attempts to change it.

Ben Burgis and the Analytical Critique of Dialectics

In the first of his essays, Burgis (2023a) asks: “Is something called ‘the dialectical method’ central to Marxism? If not, is dialectics just Hegelian mumbo-jumbo that Marxism is better off without? Or are both of these unhelpful oversimplifications?” While acknowledging his indebtedness to the analytical Marxist, G. A. Cohen, who was an opponent of dialectics, Burgis presents his own nuanced take on the issues at hand.

He turns his attention to the perspectives of Leon Trotsky on the one hand and James Burnham and Richard Rorty on the other. Despite being highly critical of Stalin’s ‘betrayal’ of Bolshevism, Trotsky argued that the Russian revolution “still needed to be defended.” Dissidents in the Socialist Workers Party, such as Max Shachtman and James Burnham, were disillusioned by the Hitler-Stalin pact. Burnham authored a critique of dialectics, to which Trotsky replied in his monograph, “In Defense of Marxism” (1939). Trotsky declared “that ‘Marxism without dialectics’ would be like ‘a clock without a spring.’” For Trotsky, dialectics served as a requisite guide to Marxists moving forward.

In later years, Burgis recounts, Richard Rorty published an essay on Marx and Derrida — “A Spectre is Haunting the Intellectuals” — in which he declared that it’s a “pity” that “the best political economist of the nineteenth century happened to major in philosophy, and never quite got over it.” Rorty dismissed dialectics as “a source of embarrassment to Marx’s latter-day admirers.” Burgis maintains that Cohen ([1978] 2000), while not as hardcore as Rorty, remains “borderline Rorty-esque” in his critique of dialectics. Cohen’s book, Karl Marx’s Theory of History: A Defence, was in many respects, one of the founding documents of the analytical philosophical turn in Marxist thought in the late twentieth century. As Burgis argues, “Cohen isn’t taking a position one way or the other on whether Marxism possesses such distinctive methods of discovering the truth. He’s asserting that either it doesn’t or, if it does, it’s better off without them. Put differently, he’s rejecting the conjunctive claim that Marxism has such a distinctive methodology, and that it should be retained. Elsewhere in the introduction he repeatedly associates this conjunctive claim with the idea that Marxism is, or should be, ‘dialectical.’” 

Burgis explains further that in their 1992 book, Reconstructing Marxism, analytical Marxists Eric Olin Wright, Andrew Levine, and Elliott Sober argued that dialectics is used by Marx more as metaphor than as a distinctive methodology. Burgis finds “more value in Marx’s dialectical ‘idiom’” than Cohen, even if he rejects (rightfully, in my view) the idea that dialectics constitutes Marxism’s “own special way of reaching the truth about history and politics and economics that’s radically different from the standard ways that anyone else examines evidence…” What’s needed is greater understanding of causal mechanisms and effects to which, for example, a key dialectical notion, that of “contradiction” is repurposed “as a way of explicating the interactions among a set of causal mechanisms,” as the authors of Reconstructing Marxism put it. 

Citing strategies developed by Wright, Levine, and Sober, Burgis fleshes out the various reciprocally reinforcing meanings implied by dialectical contradiction. It is “a situation in which there are multiple conditions for the reproduction of a system which cannot all be simultaneously satisfied.” It is also a situation “in which the unintended consequences of a strategy subvert the accomplishment of its intended goals” (a condition on which Friedrich Hayek focused so much attention). But it also pertains to an “underlying social antagonism that produces conflicts.” Burgis seeks to unpack these various meanings and to relate them to the demands of empirical demonstration and investigation “on a case-by-case basis.” 

It is certainly true that “contradiction” has been among the most muddled notions in dialectical parlance. Burgis points out that in “The ABCs of Materialist Dialectics,” Trotsky rejects the claims of standard logic. “Sounding a lot like Ayn Rand with the pluses and minuses reversed, he says that standard logic is flawed because of the assumption that A is A. While the claim that everything is identical to itself might sound not only true but mind-numbingly obvious and totally uninformative, he gives A being A the … strawman-ish interpretation that any given thing A doesn’t change over time.” 

Burgis (2023b) clearly understands that in dialectics, “contradiction” is not something that supersedes logic. Rather, it is used to convey “dynamic tension between opposing elements in a system.” In this sense, dialectical “contradictions” resemble what Aristotle would call relational “contraries.” For Aristotle, the genesis of change is, itself, a “coming-to-be” of “contraries” in and out of each other, simultaneously, so that their “mutual relations” provide the motive power for their development over time (On Generation and Corruption 2.4.331a6-16 in Aristotle 1984, 541). Contraries are often reciprocal preconditions and effects of one another (Sense and Sensibilia 4.441b12-14; 701). They become complementary relational units or correlatives. As an example of this principle, Aristotle enunciates what Robert Heilbroner (1987, 6) would have called the “relational opposition” between slave and master, for “the slave is called slave of a master and the master is called master of a slave” (11; Categories 7.6b27-30; 11) and neither can be isolated from its corresponding correlative. Each gains meaning through the relation

Quite apart from Aristotle’s justification of slavery (Politics 1.5; 1989-91), this key insight would be revisited by thinkers as diverse as Hegel, Marx, and Rand. Indeed, in The Fountainhead, Rand provides an eloquent demolition of the legitimacy of slavery and the impotency of masters, who sought to lay waste to those they enslaved. Of the master, she wrote: “You were a ruler of men. You held a leash. But a leash is only a rope with a noose at both ends” (Rand [1943] 2005, 691). I’ll have more to say about Rand a bit later.

Burgis has previously credited me for having better elucidated the relationship between dialectics and logic. As he writes in Give Them an Argument: “The best analysis I’ve seen of the relationship between the two kinds of ‘logic’ comes from Chris Matthew Sciabarra’s book Ayn Rand: Russian Radical. Sciabarra is far more sympathetic to his subject than I am, but he knows the history of philosophy well enough to push back against [Rand’s] view on this point.” He then cites a passage from Russian Radical that illuminates the issue and adds, “Sadly, Chris Sciabarra wasn’t around in 1939 to explain all this to Burnham and Trotsky. If he had been, they might have realized that they were talking past each other in the argument about ‘logic.’ Once that was cleared up, everyone involved could have gotten back to arguing about Russia” (Burgis 2019, 69–70).

Alas, if transported back to 1939, Ben Burgis would have been an even more formidable critic of those questioning the legitimacy of the law of noncontradiction. Indeed, he’s devoted far more time than me or anyone I know to the defense of classical logic against heterodox, nonclassical approaches. His 2022 book, Logic without Gaps or Gluts: How to Solve the Paradoxes without Sacrificing Classical Logic, is a testament to his rigorous studies on the subject.

Still, on the basics, it is worth emphasizing that in his formulation of the law of noncontradiction, Aristotle states that “the most certain principle of all is that regarding which it is impossible to be mistaken, … that the same attribute cannot at the same time belong and not belong to the same subject in the same respect,” and that in carrying out demonstration, this formulation is “an ultimate belief … the starting-point … for all the other axioms” (Metaphysics 4–3.1005b17–33 in Aristotle 1984, 1588). It wasn’t until the twelfth century that philosopher Antonius Andreas would claim that the law of noncontradiction implied even more fundamentally the law of identity, that “Every being is a being.” This was later formalized symbolically as “A is A” in the seventeenth century by Gottfied Wilhelm Leibniz (Bissell 2019, 54–55). Nowhere in Aristotelian thought can one find a denial of time and change as illusions. The law of noncontradiction as such incorporates notions of “time” (“at the same time”) and “context” (“in the same respect”) in its very formulation.  

Hence, I agree completely with Burgis that Trotsky’s denigration of “logic” to elevate “dialectics” is seriously mistaken. As I write in Total Freedom: Toward a Dialectical Libertarianism

[D]ialectics … is not in opposition to logic, but rather is a fundamental complement to logic and, as such, cannot correctly be said either to undermine or to ‘transcend’ logic. The widespread failure to grasp this fact has resulted in the irony that dialectics has been as seriously jeopardized by some of those who have sought to preserve and extend it as by those who have endeavored to destroy it. Those so-called dialectical theorists who champion dialectics as ‘superior to’ logic fail to appreciate logic as the foundation of knowledge, an undeniable constituent of all concepts of method. Those who refer to dialectics as being ‘transcendent of’ the axiomatic laws of noncontradiction, excluded middle, and identity are thus speaking nonsense every bit as much as those who claim that dialectics is destructive of those laws. Defending the rightful status of dialectics … is thus made doubly difficult, because those most in need of keeping logic foundational to their dialectical inquiries do not think they need to, while those most capable of showing that logic is foundational to dialectics think that dialectics is antithetical to logic. Logic and dialectics are mutually implied: just as logic is the art of noncontradictory identification, dialectics is the art of context-keeping, and both arts entail various techniques for achieving these mutually reinforcing goals (Sciabarra 2000, 149).

Indeed, dialectics helped Aristotle to bolster the law of noncontradiction against skeptic challenges. This was an epistemic technique that undermined any attempts to escape or deny the validity of the principle for failure to consider time and context. Aristotle set the standard for context-keeping as vitally necessary even for the most basic method of thought and inquiry.

It is therefore no coincidence that Aristotle was celebrated by Hegel himself as the “fountainhead” of dialectical thinking. In his Lectures on the History of Philosophy, Hegel ([1840] 1995, 132) sees in Aristotle a thinking empiricist, who observes the world from “all sides,” from many “points of view,” grasping through investigation the “many aspects under which an object can be regarded.” Thereafter, Marx recognized Aristotle as “the greatest thinker of antiquity,” “the first to analyze so many forms, whether of thought, society, nature, and amongst them also the form of value” ([1867] 1967, 408, 59). Frederick Engels (1940) went further, dividing the history of philosophy between those “metaphysical” thinkers who viewed the world through “fixed categories” and those “dialectical” thinkers, “especially Aristotle and Hegel”, whose understanding was enriched with “fluid categories” (153). For Engels ([1878/1894] 1978, 29, 29 n), Aristotle was “the Hegel of the ancient world, … the most encyclopaedic intellect … [who] had already analyzed the most essential forms of dialectic thought.” And in Vladimir Lenin’s Philosophical Notebooks, one finds praise of Aristotle’s Metaphysics, in which “everywhere, are the living germs of dialectics and inquiries about it” (in Selsam and Martel [1963] 1987, 361).

Trotsky clearly wasn’t reading his Marx, Engels, or Lenin. But he wasn’t alone. George Novack, whom Burgis also criticizes, wrote Introduction to the Logic of Marxism, which similarly attacked Aristotle’s “static” formalism of Identity that had been “superseded” by dialectical “logic” (Novack [1969] 1971, 18). This is precisely the kind of nonsense that gives dialectics a bad name.

Burgis (2023a) repudiates the attempt to anchor dialectics to a rejection of “the laws of logic as taught in regular bourgeois logic textbooks” and argues further that Marxists and non-Marxists alike must still contend with “standard cause-and-effect relationships” and evidence-based conclusions. He is particularly irked by Trotsky’s assertion that there is “no such thing as an ontologically real instant of time, only intervals of time that — however tiny — have some duration and contain change. Maybe he’s right about this and maybe he’s wrong. But it’s a very weird thing to be so sure of from the Marxist theoretician’s armchair. Isn’t this an empirical issue, best left to be fought over by theoretical physicists?” Indeed, some of these claims are implied even in the works of Engels, as Burgis notes, whose Dialectics of Nature comes close to seeing dialectics as Marxism’s “own special way of discovering the truth about absolutely everything.”

Of course, Trotsky’s main point, fully within the Marxist tradition, is to argue against “[t]he fundamental flaw of vulgar thought,” which is, indeed, marred by atomist and static assumptions, sometimes expressed in the form of “state of nature” theorizing or in the form of ahistorical perspectives that see the present as a “natural order,” disconnected from the past that shaped it, or from the many possible futures that might emerge from it. For Trotsky, notions of change and evolution are central to our analysis of “social and political realities.” Burgis accepts that “it’s important to be attuned to the particular features that systems exhibit at particular stages of their historical development, and the way that those particular features contain tensions that carry with them the seeds of future change. If that’s what differentiates dialectical thought from ‘vulgar thought,’ I’m for it.” And I should add: So am I!

In his follow-up essay on Rorty, Marx, and Proudhon, Burgis (2023b) argues that while the “claims some Marxists make for ‘the dialectical method’ are overblown and unconvincing [,] … Marx’s Hegelian background did help him see important things other critics of capitalism missed.” For Burgis, viewing social reality through a dialectical lens will allow us to notice certain things that “you might miss otherwise.” Though criticized by Marx, even Proudhon recognized how dialectical thinking highlights antinomies as both necessary and opposed to one other. With a touch of irony, Burgis adds that there are aspects of Proudhon’s book, The Philosophy of Poverty, that “read like they could be written by a Von Mises Institute sort of a libertarian — but the impression is misleading,” since Proudhon’s “‘mutualist’ alternative to capitalism is at least roughly similar to what’s advocated by some contemporary left libertarians like the Center for a Stateless Society crowd who provocatively call themselves ‘free market anti-capitalists’.” [1]

Bertell Ollman and the Reconstruction of Marx’s Dialectical Method

Despite my broad agreement with Burgis on many of these points, more needs to be said precisely about what dialectics is and why it is an important methodological tool.

My own approach to the dialectical method has been a direct outgrowth of my engagement with the work of Marxist theorist Bertell Ollman, whose first book, Alienation, fully explores “Marx’s conception of man in capitalist society.” I studied with Ollman for several years as both a graduate and doctoral student, taking courses with him on Marxism, fascism, dialectics, and social science methodology. He was my doctoral dissertation advisor and has been among my dearest friends and supporters, providing blurbs for all three books in my trilogy on dialectical libertarianism.

In my view, no writer has been more thorough than Ollman in the reconstruction of Marx’s dialectical method. Though my summary here cannot possibly convey the richness of Ollman’s work, his approach is nevertheless valuable insofar as it underscores key tenets of the dialectical method that are not fully captured in the writings of Burgis or the analytical Marxists.

In Alienation, Ollman ([1971] 1976, 3) argues that Marx often engages in a peculiar use of words, a reflection of his fluid meanings, drawn from complex processes of abstraction. It’s what led Vilfredo Pareto (1902, 332) to observe, in Ollman’s rendering, that “Marx’s words are like bats: one can see in them both birds and mice.” Ollman argues that Marx viewed each unit of his analysis, each problem or issue, as a cluster of relations, to be analyzed in terms of where it stands within the larger system in which it is embedded as well as its origins in the past, its present manifestations, and its many possible future implications.

The Hegelian notion of “Verhältnis,” roughly translated as “relation,” is crucial to Marx’s expansive conceptual arsenal. It encompasses many meanings: conditions, systems, structures, interactions, connections, as well as ties between parts that can be abstracted for the purposes of analysis but never reified (Ollman 1993, 38). Ollman (2003, 157) sees six successive aspects or “moments” to Marx’s dialectical approach: 

  1. Ontologically, Marx begins with a basic assumption that social reality provides the larger context, within which there are an infinite number of mutually dependent processes. 
  2. Epistemologically, Marx grasps this context through a process of abstraction. 
  3. Understanding the main patterns of change and interaction requires a moment of inquiry, in which Marx uncovers and investigates empirical evidence and conveys the various patterns at work in their historically specific context
  4. Before presenting that evidence, Marx engages in a moment of intellectual reconstruction, most evident in such works as the Grundrisse ([1857-58] 1973) in which he puts together the results of his research for the purposes of his own context: that of self-clarification. 
  5. The moment of exposition — how Marx presents his findings to others — requires a strategy that considers the interests, knowledge, concerns, and values, that is, the specific context of the audience he is addressing. 
  6. And, finally, there is the moment of praxis, in which Marx advocates our conscious action in the world — now more deeply understood in its fuller context as a structured whole or totality — changing it, testing it, and deepening our understanding of it in the process.

These integrated moments enable Marx to grasp the larger context as a system of organically linked parts: each part is expressive of the totality, even as the totality is composed of the interrelated parts. It is through these successive moments that Marx presents capitalism’s organic and historical evolution, in which its interrelated factors are viewed as both preconditions and effects of one another. 

The epistemological moment, however, is profoundly important. Gaining knowledge of the ties among parts requires processes of abstraction, as well as a reflection on the ways in which our abstractions impact our beliefs, attitudes, and actions — because we are always a part of the context we are attempting to understand.

Ollman examines in detail how Marx engages in these processes of abstraction. There are three main forms of abstraction: 1) abstraction by extension of units; 2) abstraction by vantage point; and 3) abstraction by levels of generality. In Marx’s analysis, each unit or part is presented as an extension of the system within which it is situated. Moreover, each unit is also viewed in terms of its development over time. Any component of the system — be it markets, states, classes, and so forth — can be abstracted as a unit with a past, present, and several possible futures. In abstraction by vantage point, Marx views the units of the system through altered points of view. For example, he traces the interactions among the units as seen from the perspective of capital or labor and the material context that conditions their interrelationships. In abstraction by levels of generality, Marx provides us with different ways of comprehending people and the social problems with which they grapple. Ollman (1993, 55) sees seven levels of generality on display in Marx’s analysis, that is, seven different perspectival contexts by which to view people. On level 1, people are viewed in terms of their specific qualities, ones that they and they alone possess as individuals; level 2 brings in the qualities they possess as part of modern capitalism; level 3, qualities they possess as part of capitalism in general (that is, as an evolved systemic form over the last several centuries); level 4, qualities they possess as part of a class society; level 5, qualities they possess as part of a human society; level 6, qualities they possess as part of the animal world; level 7, qualities they possess as objects in the material world. Ollman argues that Marx is typically focused on level 3 and, to a lesser extent, on levels 2 and 4, avoiding the most individualized or generalized explanations, while stressing the historically specific social conditions within which people live and produce. 

For Marx, there is no synoptic vantage point from which to grasp all social reality. As I have argued in Marx, Hayek, and Utopia, this is a principle that Hayek shares with Marx in his critique of “constructivist” rationalism and the “synoptic delusion.” Moreover, no abstraction — be it of extension, vantage point, or level of generality — can be reified as a whole unto itself. In each instance of abstraction, we are provided with a different way of grasping the object of our inquiry. In the integrated totality of our abstractions, we emerge with an understanding of the fuller context.

 Throughout the history of the dialectical method, it is this attention to context that is its defining characteristic, which is why I view dialectics as “the art of context-keeping.”  

Toward a Dialectical Libertarianism 

I am delighted that Burgis has brought attention to the many confusions and misunderstandings surrounding dialectics — not only in its relationship to Marxism but in its relationship to philosophical and social inquiry.

I wholeheartedly agree with Burgis that dialectics is neither distinctive to, nor the exclusive domain of, Marxist theory. Indeed, if it is a valid tool for understanding and interpreting our world, a nontrivial aspect of what it means to engage in critical thinking, then it can be shown that theorists throughout intellectual history have used its methods, with varying degrees of success, quite apart from Marxist presuppositions. It is no coincidence that Bertell Ollman — who once served as a Volker Fellow under Hayek at the University of Chicago — urged me to explore those dialectical motifs in classical liberal and libertarian thought. What emerged was a trilogy of works: Marx, Hayek, and Utopia (1995); Ayn Rand: The Russian Radical ([1995] 2013); and Total Freedom: Toward a Dialectical Libertarianism (2000).

In the first of these works, Marx, Hayek, and Utopia, an outgrowth of a portion of my doctoral dissertation, I argue that despite their profound differences, Marx and Hayek shared a dialectical critique of constructivist, utopian thinking, and a commitment to radical social analysis, in which social problems are viewed as a cluster of relations abstracted across multiple dimensions. For both Marx and Hayek, human beings are as much the creatures of their context as they are its creators. 

Ollman further inspired me to engage in an in-depth historical investigation of Rand’s origins, which led to the publication of the second book in my trilogy and a series of extensive archival essays thereafter (including Sciabarra and Solovyev 2021). As a beneficiary of the richness of Silver Age Russia and in engagement with an impressive array of professors in history, philosophy, and the social sciences, Rand was exposed to and educated in dialectical methods in texts and courses throughout her years at the University of Petrograd. In deploring Rand’s work, as Burgis clearly does, one might also completely miss the dialectical breadth of what she was trying to accomplish. Sensitive to such potential oversight, I have reconstructed Rand’s analysis of social relations of power across three modalities: the personal, the cultural, and the structural (political-economic). Though Rand often rendered her views in polemical black-and-white, either/or terms, her thought itself is a direct response to what she saw as the false alternatives of mind and body, reason and emotion, fact and value, theory and practice, the moral and the practical, the personal and the political. Moreover, she explicitly attacks the fundamental dualisms of modernity, such as: rationalism vs. empiricism; intrinsicism vs. subjectivism; materialism vs. idealism; atomistic individualism vs. organic collectivism; and conventional egoism (the sacrifice of others to oneself) vs. traditional altruism (the sacrifice of self to others). 

In the finale of my trilogy, Total Freedom: Toward a Dialectical Libertarianism, I reconstruct the history and meaning of dialectical thinking, while engaging in a critical exegesis of the work of libertarian theorist Murray Rothbard who, despite showing significant dialectical elements in his analysis of class and structural crisis, falls victim to a nondialectical and ultimately utopian resolution. The epilogue to that book spells out the many promising dialectical insights of contemporary libertarian thinkers whose interdisciplinary engagement with social psychology, culture, politics, and economics stands in opposition to atomist, reductionist, and ahistorical statics.

As an extension of this dialectical libertarian turn, I was also a coeditor (with Roger Bissell and Edward Younkins) of The Dialectics of Liberty: Exploring the Context of Human Freedom, which includes contributions from many writers whose work can be found at the Center for a Stateless Society, an organization cited by Burgis (2023a) in his essay on “Cohen vs. Trotsky.”

Marxist theorist Roy Bhaskar (1993, 385) once proclaimed that “Dialectics … is the pulse of freedom.” While I know that there are many substantive disagreements between Marxists and dialectical left-libertarians on what constitutes that other problematic word, “freedom,” it is my conviction that the dialectical method is indispensable to our investigation of those contexts that undermine it and those contexts that nourish it.  

It really does depend on the context, after all.


  1. For an alternative, left-libertarian take on historical materialism, see Eric Fleischmann’s essay, “Historical Materialism: A Brief Overview and Left-Libertarian Reinterpretation” ([2022] 2023) and the accompanying piece “The Individual in Marxist (and Proudhonian) Social Analysis” (2023), which build on a diverse array of sources — from Bertell Ollman, Mario Cutajar, Antonio Gramsci, and Antonio Negri to Laurance Labadie, Kevin Carson, David Graeber, and Murray Rothbard — synthesized toward a dialectical resolution to the “one-sided” reductionism of both vulgar Marxist materialism and libertarian idealism. Fleischmann uses concepts such as polycentricity, confederation, and mutualism in crafting a non-state-centered, left-libertarian market socialism, which shows “a respect for local practices and a denial of the possibility of totalizing control.” Burgis (2024) also discusses historical materialism in the wake of contributions from Wright, Levine, and Sober (1992).


My sincere thanks to Roger Bissell, Eric Fleischmann, and Evan Pierce for their helpful commentary on an earlier draft of this essay. The usual caveats apply.


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Bertram-Lee, Stefan and Ben Burgis. 2023a. “Marx vs. Proudhon.” Philosophy for the People (23 April).

———.  2023b. “Marx vs. Proudhon vs. Rorty.” Philosophy for the People (26 November). 

Bhaskar, Roy. 1993. Dialectic: The Pulse of Freedom. London: Verso.

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———. 2022. Logic without Gaps or Gluts: How to Solve the Paradoxes without Sacrificing Classical Logic. New York: Springer. (The author is listed as Benjamin Alan Burgis for this title.)

———. 2023a. “Cohen vs. Trotsky: Is Marxism Without Dialectics Really Like a Clock Without a Spring?”Philosophy for the People (5 November). 

———. 2023b. “Rorty vs. Marx vs. Proudhon: Is it a ‘Pity’ that the Best Political Economist of the Nineteenth Century Majored in Philosophy?” (26 November).

———. 2024. “Historical Materialism in the 1990s.” Philosophy for the People (14 January). 

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———. 1940. Dialectics of Nature. Translated and edited by Clemens Dutt, with a preface and notes by J. B. S. Haldane. New York: International Publishers.

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———. 2023. “The Individual in Marxist (and Proudhonian) Social Analysis” (5 August). 

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———. [1995] 2013. Ayn Rand: The Russian Radical. Second edition. University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press.

———. 2000. Total Freedom: Toward a Dialectical Libertarianism. University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press. 

Sciabarra, Chris Matthew and Pavel Solovyev. 2021. “The Rand Transcript Revealed.” The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies 21, no. 2 (December): 141–229.

Scott, A. O. 2024. “The Word That Undid Claudine Gay.” New York Times (3 January).

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