The author considers various ways of understanding philosophy. He tries to define what its permanent aspects are and what has been changing throughout the ages. The first possibility is to perceive philosophy as a kind of combinatory intellectual game in which we can arrange different mosaics from set of quite permanent elements. The second option is to perceive philosophy as a phenomenon changeable by social, political and economic factors, therefore as a history of self-cognition and the formation of European culture's self-awareness. The third possibility is to grasp philosophy as a process of oscillation or pulsation between construction and deconstruction of absolutes, a move between absolutism and relativism, which stimulates both combinatorial and historical manifestation of philosophical thinking.
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