I am concerned to examine a mode of argumentation in recent analytic philosophy which, I claim, has its origin in Hegel's ‘dialectical’ method. I give examples of this mode of argumentation in McDowell and Wiggins, followed by a formal representation which distinguishes two possible models both of which have negative and positive aspects. I consider what the commitments of the negative aspect of this approach are, and argue that the desire to avoid naturalism constitutes a common goal. I turn then to its positive aspect, making explicit and criticising some of the metaphilosophical implications contained therein. Finally, I make brief contact with Hegel.