A method of reasoning that explores a subject from various different perspectives

Reference

Dialectic - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
"In classical philosophy, dialectic ... is an exchange of propositions (theses) and counter-propositions (antitheses) resulting in a synthesis of the opposing assertions, or at least a qualitative transformation in the direction of the dialogue. It is one of the three original liberal arts or trivium (the other members are rhetoric and grammar) in Western culture. In ancient and medieval times, both rhetoric and dialectic were understood to aim at being persuasive (through dialogue). The aim of the dialectical method, often known as dialectic or dialectics, is to try to resolve the disagreement through rational discussion. One way — the Socratic method — is to show that a given hypothesis (with other admissions) leads to a contradiction; thus, forcing the withdrawal of the hypothesis as a candidate for truth. Another way of trying to resolve a disagreement is by denying some presupposition of the contending thesis and antithesis; thereby moving to a third (syn)thesis. ..."

Articles

Dialectics and Liberty: A Defense of Dialectical Method in the Service of a Libertarian Social Theory, by Chris Matthew Sciabarra, The Freeman, Sep 2005
Written ten years after publication of the first of Sciabarra's "Dialectic and Liberty" book trilogy, discusses Hayek's and Rand's dialectical analysis approaches and suggests that such context-keeping analysis is important in radical libertarian theory
"What is dialectics? Dialectics is the art of context-keeping. It counsels us to study the object of our inquiry from a variety of perspectives and levels of generality, so as to gain a more comprehensive picture of it. That study often requires that we grasp the object in terms of the larger system within which it is situated, as well as its development across time."
Ethics Study Guide: Aristotle, by Roderick Long
Part of study guide to Prof. Long's introductory ethics course; includes biographical details, comments on Aristotle's ethical and political writings, short introductions to Rethoric and Nichomachean Ethics and study questions
"Aristotle's method is dialectical. He believes that inquiry should start from, and attempt to harmonize and explain, the 'appearances' (phainomena) -- i.e., what initially seems plausible -- where this includes not only the data of sense-perception, but also the 'reputable beliefs' (endoxa) of other people. ... Not all beliefs are equally reputable. The reputability of a belief is a function of the number of its adherents and the wisdom of its adherents. Hence endoxa are also referred to as the opinions of the many and of the wise."
Related Topics: Aristotle, Ethics

Books

Total Freedom: Toward a Dialectical Libertarianism
    by Chris Matthew Sciabarra, 2000
Partial Contents: Aristotle: The Fountainhead - From Aristotle to Hegel - After Hegel - Defining Dialectics - Foundations - The Market versus the State - Class Dynamics and Structural Crisis - On the Precipice of Utopia - The Dialectical Libertarian Turn