“Middle-Out” Explanation

The idea of “middle-out” explanation — as contrasted with either bottom-up or top-down varieties — is that in real life we always start in the middle of things that are already ongoing, and then iteratively evolve our understanding. We never have an absolutely clean beginning or a fully complete overview for explaining life, the world, and things, but we do nonetheless have real insight, and are capable of improving it.

This is one of the most characteristic features of Aristotle’s non-foundationalist approach to things. Hegel’s adoption of a similar approach in his Phenomenology has a broadly Aristotelian grounding.