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1. Of or relating to a usually speculative formulation serving as a guide in the investigation or solution of a problem: "The historian discovers the past by the judicious use of such a heuristic device as the 'ideal type'" (Karl J. Weintraub).
2. Of or constituting an educational method in which learning takes place through discoveries that result from investigations made by the student.
3. Computers Relating to or using a problem-solving technique in which the most appropriate solution of several found by alternative methods is selected at successive stages of a program for use in the next step of the program.
1. A heuristic method or process.
2. heuristics(used with a sing. verb) The study and application of heuristic methods and processes.

[From Greek heuriskein, to find.]

heu·ris′ti·cal·ly adv.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
It may be "heuristically useful to situate individualism and collectivism at two ends of the spectrum," he writes, but the connection between the two was "historically more complex, contingent, and mutable than social scientists and philosophers often allow" (69).
But rather than being competing winner takes all explanatory and normative theories, OldSpeak moral systems function heuristically. They offer a heterogeneous set of reminders, questions, advice, ideals, warnings, considerations for deliberation.
We hope this approach presents a heuristically interesting frame to describe translation between different systems and processes.
Experience can be applied to decision making in a number of ways, among them heuristically (allowing it to generate an almost knee-jerk, evolutionary response resulting in a decision or judgment) (12) or dynamically (letting one's goals, needs, or instincts drive one's actions).
Bravely, heuristically, they present 'a sense of the aesthetics of alternatives and prefigure them through practices which embody them' (Wright).
"So while heuristically useful as a diagnosis and although it explains a small subset of fire setting behavior, pyromania should be understood as a highly disabling disorder that is nonetheless uncommon and doesn't account for the vast majority of cases of fire setting," she said.
11-12), although behavior, beliefs, and worldview remain heuristically tangled throughout.
We are intrigued by this notion and have created many fictional characters with artificial intelligence that have the ability to understand meaning well enough to hold rational conversations, including the paranoid HAL 9000 (heuristically programmed algorithmic computer) from 2001: A Space Odyssey, the intelligent car KITT (short for "Knight Industries Two Thousand"), from Knight Rider, and Data (an android who serves as the second officer and chief operations officer) from Star Trek, to name just a few.
A broad view of asceticism is also heuristically valuable, since an understanding of how asceticism works to change its practitioner may well revolve around questions of what is experienced as "difficult." As Eliezer Diamond, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf and Ramdas Lamb observe, the degree of rigor in practice may vary from one individual to another even within the same set of norms.
Or as Anne Trubek asks, in a section sub-titled "Why It Is Impossible To Teach This Course," how should a pedagogy instructor "teach heuristic methods heuristically" to novices who are quick-marching toward (or already teaching in) the composition classroom?
Yet at least regarding this last worry, I found that such language can easily be related to heuristically rather than substantively, attuning us to the participation of the plays in an ongoing cultural concern rather than genuine invitations to imagine Shakespeare in these ways.