Beneath language and concepts we encounter the world of phenomena.
Not seldom we perceive things that we are unable to put in words. And in just a moment’s worth of experience, there are more perceptions and implicit judgments than anyone could describe accurately in hundreds of pages. The parts of our experience that enter into the world of language and conscious thought are vanishingly small.
But concepts and words are not sealed, finalised entities. They evolve over time, need to evolve so that the small fragment that they capture can be the best possible fragment, the one that gives us the best grasp. Static, fixed concepts lose their grip over time as the underlying world changes and the relevant details move to somewhere else. Concepts must always play catch-up, chasing the fluid world.
How can concepts change? Through a questioning of the phenomena. Proper questioning is a relationship between the one who asks and the world, a relationship that enables interrogation beyond what is normally perceived. The results of this interrogation may be used to expand, shrink or alter concepts. Eventually the concepts settle in a new place and the new phenomena can be accessed more easily even without a true questioning. A kind of caching seems to take place.
This kind of questioning is an attitude, an attunement that opens a channel. One purpose of philosophy is to open up and renew this channel, to teach how to question. Real problems begin to appear in Western thinking and teaching at the point where one stops teaching how to question, and focusses on how to answer. The result of deep questioning should not be answers, but the mindset that allows concepts to evolve.