ON CONTRADICTION

Mao Tse-Tung

VII. CONCLUSION

The law of contradiction in things,

that is, the law of the unity of opposites, is the fundamental law of nature

and of society and therefore also the fundamental law of thought [Galileo: "The book of nature and the book of Scripture were written by the same author, and cannot be in conflict"]. 

It stands opposed to the metaphysical world outlook. It represents a great revolution

in the history of human knowledge. According to dialectical materialism,

contradiction is present in all processes of objectively existing things and

of subjective thought and permeates all these processes from beginning to

end; this is the universality and absoluteness of contradiction. Each

contradiction and each of its aspects have their respective characteristics;

this is the particularity and relativity of contradiction. In given

conditions, opposites possess identity, and consequently can coexist in a

single entity and can transform themselves into each other; this again is

the particularity and relativity of contradiction. But the struggle of

opposites is ceaseless, it goes on both when the opposites are coexisting

and when they are transforming themselves into each other, and becomes

especially conspicuous when they are transforming themselves into one

another; this again is the universality and absoluteness of contradiction.

In studying the particularity and relativity of contradiction, we must give

attention to the distinction between the principal contradiction and the

non-principal contradictions and to the distinction between the principal

aspect and the non-principal aspect of a contradiction; in studying the

universality of contradiction and the struggle of opposites in

contradiction, we must give attention to the distinction between the

different forms of struggle. Otherwise we shall make mistakes. If, through

study, we achieve a real understanding of the essentials explained above, we

shall be able to demolish dogmatist ideas......."

 

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