Horizontal Thinking. A reflection on the structures and limits of philosophical thinking.

Project Details


This project attempts to clarify the structures and limits of philosophical thinking.
The external point of departure is Hannah Arendts distinction between 'thinking' and 'knowing', a distinction which will be hypothetically accepted and interpreted as an ideal-typical conceptual framework through which thinking can appear as an activity endowed with its own dynamics and its own structure.
This activity, discerned by and made discernible through the Arendtian framework, can now be further analysed from within. Philosophical thinking will be represented as a dynamic, structured unity, constituted by three interdependent and interactive 'sections', each of which 'gathers' several formal traits gained in a reflection on the thinking-experience.
A first 'section' explores the 'architecture' of the thinking-experience and will examine such traits as its strive for meaning, its dialogical structure, conceptualisation, destructivity and its temporality. A second 'section' will shed light on the subjective and idiosyncratic aspect which inheres in all philosophical thinking, which can now be characterized as a reflexive-mediation of ones individual and immediate 'thrownness'. The third and final 'section' deals with the history of philosophy as an always present and constitutive part of philosophical thinking. As an 'objectified sediment' of past subjective thinking the tradition builds a corpus which is always already 'thought-along' in every act of philosophical thinking.
In showing how these three (for the purpose of a systhematic analysis) distinguished 'sections' act circulary and reciprocally upon each other, the limits and structural unity of philosophical thinking as an 'einheitliches Phänomen' will be elucidated. Here the presupposed strictness of the accepted hypothetical distinction can be questioned and relativized.
Effective start/end date1/01/0131/12/04


  • philosophy
  • phenomenology
  • history of philosophy
  • metaphysics

Flemish discipline codes

  • Philosophy, ethics and religious studies