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Philosophical Heuristics

Translated by Ben Koschalka


Jan Hartman

«Philosophical Heuristics» aims to translate philosophical issues into meta-philosophical issues examined from a unique perspective. The analytical and interpretive practice of heuristics seeks to grasp synchronously all the processes leading to the formation of philosophical discourse, its language, form and content. The book takes hermeneutics and pragmatism as a starting point for a multifaceted and systematic examination of philosophical heuresis and promotes a style of philosophising «in the suspense of heuristic reflection», something more than ordinary theoretical self-awareness.
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1. Philosophy’s Self-Image – Towards A Heuristics of Philosophical Life


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1.  Philosophy’s Self-Image – Towards A Heuristics of Philosophical Life

1.1  Introductory comments to some important concepts for heuristics

We shall understand the concept of philosophical life as the actions that take place in philosophy, as well as those who act. Philosophical life therefore consists of the people and communities that create, as well as institutions, statements, texts and ideas. When we speak of philosophical life, we want to leave aside the contents of philosophical statements, instead encompassing everything that belongs to philosophy. We also want to free the concept of philosophical life from the explicitly objective and objectivist meaning of many notions of naturalistic humanities, which must then restore their subjectivity. Philosophical life is formed in the minds of philosophers, at universities and conferences and in books and offices; it is a subjective, intersubjective, but also objective entity – a correlate of doing philosophy. We shall also refrain from determining the place of this concept in the dialectical discourse removing the opposition of subject and object, instead accepting its indeterminate nature.

To talking about heuresis efficiently in the most general terms, we can employ the word “habit”. A habit is something that is habitual, what one has become habituated to thinking, doing or saying – a custom. Heuristic habits are therefore the statements, judgments, principles, arguments, ways of thinking and customs that express the knowledge and convictions of philosophers on the subject of philosophical life and work. For example, it is the...

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