One of the topics I want to explore in this area is the lived experience of thinking a matter through. What does it mean to think through a matter?
This work will draw heavily upon the reflection by Heidegger What Is Called Thinking?
- One important consideration here is that I am attempting to describe what the thinking subject experiences, not an objective process. Neither am I trying to clarify what a psychologist would attempt to discover in the way of quantitative (or qualitative) research on thought.
- Some idea, object, or issue captures my attention. This event is not a selection of an item by me, but it does not happen without my willing participation in the inception of the process. Although Habermas (Knowledge and Human Interests) has rightly connected knowledge and understanding with the subject's human interest, this intention is not prior to the inception of thought about the item.
- Once the identification process is begun, there is a settling into the subject's attention to the matter.
- Other matters may distract the subject from the matter 'at-hand', often with a certain amount of irritation or frustration.
- If the process is not interrupted (or if it is allowed to resume at some point), eventually there is a point of resolution when the subject is aware that the matter 'has been thought through sufficiently'.
- After the thought process is complete, it is possible for the thinking subject to return to the matter. It is by no means simple to determine what additional evidence, or what experience will provoke re-attending to a matter that has been thought through.