Everything appears under one initial aspect, which leads us to a second one, then on to another, and so on in succession. For "the thing" is "in reality" the sum or integral of its aspects. Hence here is what we have done:
1. Pause before each aspect and obtain a view of it.
2. Continue thinking or move on to a contiguous aspect.
3. Not abandon - that is, preserve - the aspects already "viewed."
4. Integrate them in a sufficiently "total" view for the purposes of the subject under consideration in each particular instance.
"To pause," "to continue," "to preserve," and "to integrate" are thus the four acts exercised by dialectical thought. Each one of these acts represents a stage in our inquiry or process of understanding or thought. One could call them the junctures in which our knowledge of the thing is transformed. (The Origin of Philosophy 48)
I was rereading a section of Ortega's book, The Origin of Philosophy
, when I came across this phenomenal process for dialectical thinking. It seems certain philosophers tended to build up a superficial status for the dialectic, and in one little passage Ortega demystifies the dialectic process into the process in which we experience and think about the reality around us.