“Heuristic (adjective): Serving as the discovery of truth or furthering investigation, as in the case of a useful and stimulating (if not logical or conclusive) method, presentation, or argument, and especially one used by a student to learn for himself. Adverb: heuristically; noun: heuristic.
‘My coarse distinctions between two kinds of fiction are useful heuristically, but they give a damaging impression of clear boundaries and a misleading impression of two armed camps.’ Annie Dillard, Living by Fiction”
Excerpted from: Grambs, David. The Random House Dictionary for Writers and Readers. New York: Random House, 1990.