Introduction to Thinking the Problematic: Decentring as Method and Ethos
The contribution sketches the most important lines of thought that have contributed to a positive conception of problems. By way of introducing the contributions to the volume, we contextualize the different strands of epistemological and ontological takes on what has been called »the problematic«. Most importantly we foreground a genealogy of thinking that rejects operational separations between the thinking subject and the object of thought and thus foreground a key epistemological trick of modernity in the construction of unbound objectivity. In the course of this preliminary reconstruction, we visit historical sites of institutional crisis and scientific reason during the second half of the 20th century that signify the shattered imaginaries of the problem-solution equation, which continues to haunt scientific mindsets up until today. The problematic, as a figure of habitation, is reconstructed along the lines of 20th century French thought, as much as along feminist critiques of unbound objectivity expressed with concepts such as situated knowledges. It turns out that the problematic is a key figure in the development of an epistemic ethos that can be constructed from a diversity of strands of thought, like pragmatism, speculative philosophy, or Deleuzian dramatisation.