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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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Introduction to the Second Edition


I am delighted, fourteen years after the first edition of Philosophical Heuristics, to see the publication of a corrected electronic version. It is not only the prospect of new readers that gives me pleasure, but also the fact that working on the new edition has allowed me to correct many instances of linguistic clumsiness and a number of other mistakes. When I first wrote this book, I was not short of philosophical invention and self-belief, but my writing skills were slightly lacking. In spite of the many corrections, my Heuristics remains far from perfect. And yet I am satisfied. As I had imagined, this book did usher in many years of efforts, still far from complete, to reformulate philosophical issues as metaphilosophical questions and examine them in the light of systematic knowledge of the analytical and argument-based possibilities at play. Although I do not adhere strictly to the research programme outlined and signalled by Philosophical Heuristics, I am slowly fulfilling what is discussed in the book, albeit with other names and often in different ways. This is what makes Philosophical Heuristics, even as the early work of a twenty-something, one of my most important books. Moreover, it has become something of a sign of the times. Entirely without my involvement, matters have developed, and will probably continue to do so, in the way I delineated. Ever more younger philosophers are aspiring to what we might call “philosophology” – meaning such analytical independence that without the aid of “quotations from...

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