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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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2. Methodological Thinking


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2.  Methodological Thinking

Fundamental to thinking about method is the pragmatic situational presentation which we shall designate as a certain heuristic idea. A person (researcher, scholar, philosopher) equipped with senses, some knowledge and skills, designates a certain cognitive objective (or cognising as an objective) and deliberates how to attain it. The answer to this question remains at the level of abstract reflection, i.e. a metatheoretical one, and designates the direction of thought, which we call methodological.

The situation envisaged in this way has a practical side – as a situation of a cognising subject facing a certain task – and a theoretical one – as a situation demanding a theoretical solution. There are therefore two aspects to methodological thinking: reflexive, meaning that in reflection on cognition we try to conceive it and organise it according to its possible forms; and pragmatic, which gives reflection the task of providing an applicable result in cognitive practice. Furthermore, this starting situation is circular in nature (goals of cognition – new truths and explanations – become part of the scholar’s intellectual toolkit, to be used in his further work), and from it there must be inevitable consequences for methodological thinking, like the participation of dialectical themes in the discourse and the tendency to shift to forms of pragmatic and even hermeneutic thinking.

2.1  The Idea of Logic

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