Antithesis, a category expressing a stage in the development of contradiction (q.v.), which like difference (q.v.) can be both external and internal. External A. is the extreme degree of dissimilarity of aspects, objects or processes which have no internal connection between each other but at the same time possess some common features or properties. For exam­ple, the color of two tables—black and white—is opposite and not connected of necessity with their existence as tables. Consequently, it is their external A. Inter­nal A. (as well as internal difference) presupposes the existence of internal, necessary connection, i.e., internal unity between opposite aspects, objects and processes. External Aa. and differences are the prerequisites of internal Aa. and differences, which cannot exist without having connections with their external aspects. The A. is a more developed stage of the contradiction than the difference. At the stage of difference the old and the new coexist, whereas at the stage of A. they for the most part negate each other.


Contradiction, a category expressing the inner source of all motion and development (qq.v.). C., understood only as external, cannot be such a source. It is the recognition of internal C., of the unity of the internal and the external C. that distinguishes dialectics from metaphysics (qq.v.). In other words, dialectics is distinguished from metaphysics not only by recognizing C. in general but, precise­ly, by recognizing C. in the very essence (q.v.) of objects, i.e., essential, internal and necessary Cc. Dialectical Cc. must be distinguished from the so-called logical Cc., which manifest confusion and incon­sistency in thinking. Dialectical C., as a source of motion, is itself in the process of motion or development. The stages of development of C. in the essence of objects include identity, difference, an­tithesis (qq.v.) and C., or C. proper. Hence, the category of C. characterizes all the stages of the development of C. in the essence of objects and its highest stage. Identity is already an embryo of C., since the old, essentially identical to itself, contains the prerequisites of the new, i.e., elements that distinguish it from itself, though they are subordinate to the identity. Difference is also an unde­veloped C., because the new has come into being within the old and continues to grow from it and in connection with it, despite the fact that the coexistence between the old and the new comes to the foreground. In antithesis, Cc. develop to a still greater extent, with negation of the old by the new predominating; here the new also emerges from the old and reveals its internal ties with the latter: the new asserts itself by negating the old. At the highest stage of C., or at the stage of the C. proper, the new completes the negation, transformation of the old and includes it, in a sublated, transformed shape, as its own element. Now the connection between, or the internal unity of, aspects, objects, etc., takes shape. At the stage of C. the main thing is not negation of one aspect of C. by another but the fact that during this process they engender one another as mutually distinc­tive. By negating one another the opposite aspects pass into one another, become identical, and this is a culminating stage of C. When an object reaches the highest stage of C., the prerequisites for its disappearance become ripe, for this stage of C. signifies the object's negation of itself within itself through its own de­velopment. According to Marx, dialectics includes "in its comprehension and affir­mative recognition of the existing state of things, at the same time also, the recogni­tion of the negation of that state, of its inevitable breaking up; because it regards every historically developed social form as in fluid movement, and therefore takes into account its transient nature not less than its momentary existence; because it lets nothing impose upon it, and is in its essence critical and revolutionary" (K. Marx, Capital, Vol. I, p. 20). Dialecti­cal C. is universal, it exists in nature, in society, and in thinking, consciousness.


Quality and Quantity, philosophical categories reflecting important aspects of objective reality. The world does not con­sist of ready, finished things, it represents a sum total of processes in which things are constantly coming into being, changing, and undergoing destruction. But from this it does not follow that they do not have a definite form of existence, are absolutely unstable, and are indistinguishable from one another (see Relativism). However much an object changes, for a time it remains a given qualitatively definite ob­ject, and not another. The qualitative definiteness of objects and phenomena is what makes them stable, what differen­tiates them, and makes the world bound­lessly diverse. Quality is the definiteness of an object by virtue of which it is that object and not another, and differs from other objects. The quality of an object is not reducible to its separate properties. It is bound up with the object as a whole, embraces it completely, and is inseparable from it. That is why the concept of quality is associated with the being of an object. While remaining itself, an object cannot lose its quality. Any object, in relations with other objects, reveals its diverse properties or groups of properties; in this sense we may say that objects and phenomena possess a multitude of qual­ities. Besides qualitative definiteness, all objects also possess quantitative definite-ness: a definite magnitude, number, vol­ume, speed of their processes, degree of development of properties, etc. Quantity is that definiteness of a thing, owing to which it can be (really or mentally) divided into homogeneous parts or assem­bled from these parts. Homogeneity (simi­larity) of parts or objects is a dis­tinctive feature of quantity. The differen­ces between dissimilar objects are qual­itative, the differences between similar objects are quantitative. In contrast to quality, quantity is not associated so closely with the being of an object; quantitative changes do not at once lead to the destruction or essential change of an object. Only after reaching a definite limit for each object do quantitative changes cause qualitative changes. In this sense quantitative definiteness in contrast to qualitative definiteness is characterized by an external relation to the nature of the objects. That is why, in the process of cognition (for example, in mathematics, q.v.) it can be separated from the content as something indifferent. The exceptionally wide applicability of mathematical theories to spheres of natur­al science and technology differing in their concrete content is explained by the fact that mathematics studies quantitative relations. Quality cannot be reduced to quantity, as metaphysicians try to do. No object possesses only qualitative or only quantitative properties. Each object rep­resents the unity of a definite quality and quantity (see Measure); it is a qualitative magnitude (quantity) and a quantitatively definite quality. Disturbance of the meas­ure leads to a change of the given object or phenomenon, to its conversion into another object or phenomenon (see Trans­ition from Quantity to Quality).