In coming to grips with the philosophy of Marx, a great deal hinges on understanding his method. 'Dialectics' is the name usually given to it, and this is accurate as far as it goes. A wide variety of interpretations can be given to the notion of dialectical methodology, and indeed Marx's own very scattered references to it permit of just such a variety. some of the characteristic features of dialectical method, even if they are not the exclusive property of dialecticians, are indispensable to the philosophy of Marx and useful for advancing the sorts of aims that he had in mind. On the other hand, the word 'dialectics' conjures up exciting thoughts of the magical and the mystical, of objects metamorphosing themselves in a fashion that eludes description in coherent language. On the other hand, the review passages cited by Marx complicate matters by introducing considerations of an ontological kind.