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Old 03-26-2017, 06:24 PM
hibernicus hibernicus is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Dublin, Ireland
Posts: 2,208
Word for someone who asks questions that wouldn't occur to most people

I came across (and forgot) a word that can be used to describe someone who makes observations about the world or asks seemingly simple questions that wouldn't occur to most of us because they relate to things that we take for granted.

I am not looking for a word that implies that the person is stupid or naive; possibly the contrary. While it is true that asking such questions can annoy other people (for example, if someone says "why are children so noisy?" it may be interpreted as a complaint or criticism rather than a neutral question about the world), the word I am thinking of does not carry such negative connotation.

I'm pretty sure the word is similar in form to the word "positivist" - that is to say it is not "positivist" but it does end in "-ist", and has a technical feel like a term from philosophy. I'm pretty sure also that it is NOT derived from a proper name, like "Socratic".

Anyone have any ideas?