RB 65

and terms will always raise questions as to whether or not such changes have actually had any substantial effect upon the main principles of Hägerström’s philosophy. Furthermore, it would be non-historical, counterfactual, and unscientific to disregard the evident fact that a person’s philosophy is more likely than not to evolve over time, which in turn will give rise to an even more pressing problem - to what extent is it defensible to consider an evolving object as being identical over time? At what level will changes in a person’s philosophy become extensive enough to justify the conclusion that it now represents two substantially different philosophical systems?Which “Hägerström” represents the “authoritative” system, the “early”or the “later”? In such a case what are the objective grounds for deciding which system that should take precedence in the exegesis of the subject matter? There are at least two alternative methods available with which the correct answer to these questions can be decided.The first is a purely historical approach, where the passage of time and the events therein are used as the sole principles, the objective grounds determining the authoritative standpoint of any given moment.The second is a philosophical approach, in which philosophical principles are used as the sole principles according to which the authoritative standpoint shall be determined. However, neither standpoint is unproblematic. The purely historical approach only reveals the change, the dynamics of a person’s ideas and is in its purest form actually nothing more than a complete chronology, for example,of a person’s scientific endeavors. Due to the predominantly chronological perspective of this approach, the chronological account can hardly take any systematic or other philosophically relevant questions and issues into consideration. On the other hand, the purely philosophical approach gives a false account of a person’s ideas, portraying them as expressions of a complete and static system of ideas cleansed from all inconsistencies and contradictions. The purely philosophical approach is thus employed predominantly p a r t 1 , i n t r o d u c t i o n 24