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Our panel of 90 professional philosophers has responded to

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Why not try here:

Very crudely: dialectic describes a process whereby some social formation (e.g. a set of economic relations, a political institution, a set of religious beliefs, or even cultural forms (like the conventions of the novel)) does not quite 'work', and thus tensions arise (some kind of opposing beliefs or formations, or even a social formation that temporarily combines within itself two opposing ideas), until a resolution is reached. So, it is a way of understanding how and why change happens.