jeudi 9 août 2018

Dooyeweerd: The antithetic position of the Philosophy of the Cosmonomic Idea in respect to immanence-philosophy

THE ANTITHETIC POSITION OF THE PHILOSOPHY OF THE COSMONOMIC IDEA IN RESPECT TO IMMANENCE-PHILOSOPHY.
     The philosophy of the cosmonomic idea requires, as we have seen, a radical self-critique on the part of those who engage in philosophic inquiry.

     By its transcendental critique of theoretic thought it leads to the discovery of a radical antithesis between the transcendental ground-Idea of a philosophy which is entirely ruled by the central motive of the Christian religion, and that of immanence-philosophy in all its various trends. This antithesis may not be bridged by any compromise and runs along a line of separation entirely different from what has hitherto been supposed.

     The necessity of this radical break with the immanence-standpoint could not be understood, before our transcendental critique had laid bare the all-controlling position of the transcendental ground-Idea in respect to the inner development and direction of philosophic thought.

     Genuine Christian philosophy requires a radical rejection of the supra-theoretical pre-suppositions and "axioms" of immanence-philosophy in all its forms. It has to seek its own philosophic paths, prescribed by its proper transcendental ground-Idea. It cannot permit itself to accept within its own cadre of thought problems of immanence-philosophy which originate from the dialectic ground-motives of the latter.

The basis of cooperation between Christian thought and the different trends of immanence-philosophy.
     Nevertheless, this radical rupture with the starting-points and transcendental ground-Ideas of immanence-philosophy does not mean, that an intrinsically re-formed Christian philosophy should intend to break off philosophical contact with Greek, scholastic, and modern Humanistic philosophy. On the contrary, because of its radical-critical standpoint, the Christian philosophy developed in this work is enabled to enter into the most inward contact with immanence-philosophy. It will never break the community of philosophical thought with the other philosophical trends, because it has learned to make a sharp distinction between philosophical judgments and the supra-theoretic prejudices which lay the foundation of every possible philosophy. The danger of breaking this community of thought is, as we saw in an earlier context, always caused by the philosophical dogmatism, which makes its religious pre-suppositions into theoretic "axioms", and makes the acceptance of the latter the necessary condition for philosophical discussion.

     Meanwhile, the question remains: On what basis can philosophical trends, differing radically in their religious ground-motive and their transcendental ground-Idea, cooperate within the framework of one and the same philosophical task? What can be the common basis for this cooperation? As regards this point we will in the first place consider a popular argument against the entire Idea of a Christian science and philosophy, an argument which could just as well be raised against the general result of our transcendental critique of theoretical thought focused in the thesis, that theoretical thought is always dependent upon a religious ground-motive.

A popular argument against the possibility of Christian science and philosophy.
     The popular argument, referred to here, runs as follows: 2 x 2 = 4, no matter whether a Christian or a heathen passes this judgment.

     Doubtless, this argument is a poor affair, if it should be brought up against the results of our transcendental critique of theoretic thought. Nevertheless, at the same time it draws our attention to undeniable states of affairs that must necessarily form the basis for a cooperation of the different philosophical schools and trends in the accomplishment of a common task. Let us for a moment consider these two aspects of the argument more closely.
Partial truths are not self-sufficient. Every partial truth is dependent upon truth in its totality of meaning.
     The proposition 2 x 2 = 4 is not "true in itself", but only in the context of the laws of number and the logical laws of thought. This context is, as we have seen, possible only in the all-sided coherence of meaning of all modal law-spheres and supposes a totality of meaning of which both the numerical and the logical aspects are special modal refractions in cosmic time. There exists no partial truth which is sufficient to itself. Partial theoretical truth is truth only in the coherence of the theoretical truths, and this coherence in its relativity pre-supposes the fulness or the totality of truth.

     Consequently, also the philosophical view of the mutual relation and coherence of the numerical and the logical aspects — and thereby of the modal meaning of number and of logical concepts — is influenced from the start by the transcendental ground-Idea of philosophical thought and by the religious groundmotive which determines its content.

The undeniable states of affairs in the structures of temporal reality.
     On the other hand, however, it must of course be granted, that the judgment 2 x 2 = 4 refers to a state of affairs in the numerical relations which is independent of the subjective theoretical view and its supra-theoretical pre-suppositions. Not in the sense, however, that this "state of affairs" is a "truth in itself" and has an "absolute validity". For just like the proposition by which it is established, this "state of affairs" is dependent upon the cosmic order of time and the inter-modal coherence of meaning guaranteed by the latter. It has no meaning outside of this temporal order.

     Nevertheless, it is founded in this order, and not in a theoretical view of the numerical aspect and its modal laws. Well then, this cosmic order with all temporal laws and structural states of affairs founded in it, is, indeed, the same for every thinker, no matter whether he is a Christian, a pagan or a Humanist. Structural states of affairs, as soon as they are discovered, force themselves upon everybody, and it does not make sense to deny them. It is the common task of all philosophic schools and trends to account for them in a philosophic way, that is to say in the light of a transcendental ground-Idea. They must learn from one another, even from fundamental mistakes made in the theoretical interpretations of the laws and the structural states of affairs founded in the temporal order of our cosmos. Immanence-philosophy can discover many states of affairs which had up to now been neglected in a philosophy directed by an intrinsically Christian transcendental ground-Idea, and vice versa.

     In the philosophical effort to account for them in the context of a theoretical view of totality, there may be a noble competition between all philosophical trends without discrimination. We do not claim a privileged position for the Christian philosophy of the cosmonomic Idea in this respect. For even the Christian ground-motive and the content of our transcendental ground-Idea determined by it, do not give security against fundamental mistakes in the accomplishment of our philosophical task. On the contrary, for the very reason that in the Christian ground-motive the fall into sin is an essential factor, the possibility is excluded that a veritable Christian philosophy should lay claim to infallibility in the respect. The danger of ascribing infallibility to results of philosophic investigation is much greater on the immanence-standpoint, especially on the Humanistic, insofar as it seeks the ultimate standard of truth in theoretic thought itself. We shall return to this point presently in the discussion of the problem of truth.

(Herman Dooyeweerd, New Critique of Theoretical Thought, Vol I, pp 114-117) 
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samedi 21 juillet 2018

Dooyeweerd: The Idea of the Individuality Structure and the Thomistic Concept of Substance

The Idea of the Individuality Structure and the Thomistic Concept of SubstanceA Critical Investigation into the foundations of the Thomistic doctrine of being
by Herman Dooyeweerd

Excerpts translated by J. Glenn Friesen (2007)

Translator’s Introduction
This is an important article by Dooyeweerd contrasting his Idea of the individuality structure with the concept of substance. It is a very long article (original 131 pages), and was published in four installments. Most of the article concerns detailed criticism of Aristotle and of Thomas Aquinas.

Below is a translation of about 26 pages of the article. The largest excerpt is from the concluding installment, pages 41-52. I believe that these excerpts in particular help to understand Dooyeweerd’s own ideas. In particular, we see how his Idea of individuality structures is something that can be understood only from the standpoint of our supratemporal religious root-unity. Dooyeweerd also says that Aristotelian logic is inextricably linked with the view of substance, an idea that Dooyeweerd rejects. We can also understand how, although he is critical of Roman Catholic thought in this article, Dooyeweerd later appreciates the new Catholic theology with a different view of the selfhood.

Apart from clarifying the Idea of individuality structures, this article is helpful in understanding Dooyeweerd’s Idea of the Gegenstand-relation. It is therefore useful in understanding Dooyeweerd’s last article [35 page pdf - English translation by J. Glenn Friesen of “De Kentheoretische Gegenstandsrelatie en de Logische Subject-Objectrelatie”], where he says that the Gegenstand-relation has been confused by some reformational philosophers with the subject-object relation.

Download 
'Thomistic Concept of Substance'
PDF (31 pages):
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mercredi 18 juillet 2018

'The Tradition of Scottish Philosophy' by Alexander Broadie


The Tradition of Scottish Philosophy: A New Perspective on the Enlightenment 
by Alexander Broadie (2011)
Paperback £14.99
www.birlinn.co.uk
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See also:
by Alexander Broadie
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Prof. Alexander Broadie: 
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jeudi 12 juillet 2018

'NATION 1: Faroe Islands' & 'NATION 2: Iceland' (Lesley Riddoch)


Phantom Power | Ajoutée le 29 mai 2018


Phantom Power | Ajoutée le 10 juil. 2018
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lundi 2 juillet 2018

Dooyeweerd: Modal Structures & Individuality Structures as constants within divine world-order.

Peter Brueghel the Elder: "The Peasant Dance" (1568)
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The 15 EXPERIENTIAL, IRREDUCIBLE, 
LAW-SPHERES of COSMIC TIME 
(Also called Aspects/ Modes of Consciousness/ 
Modalities/ Modes of Meaning)
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These last two diagrams show the structures of the Logical Modality and the Historical (Cultural Formative) Modality with irreducible nucleus (moment or kernel) surrounded by analogies (links) to all remaining Aspects. No Aspect can function within Time (ie within concrete reality) apart from these analogies. They are otherwise merely theoretical abstractions. All Aspects are mutually irreducible. "Logicism" and "Historicism" are in effect attempts to infringe the irreducibility of all 14 other Aspects by absolutising the Logical or the Historical, ie by making all other Aspects mere products of either Logic or of History (Culture). 
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Dooyeweerd: Modal Structures & Individuality Structures as constants within divine world-order.

“In this sense, for example, state, nuclear family, and church institution, just as natural things and so-called cultural objects, have their constant intrinsic individuality structure, which is no more subject to change than the modal structures in which they function.”

Historicism
What we have come to see is that all the difficulties and self-contradictions in which historicism’s view of reality entangles itself, whether in respect of the science of history or of law, result from a failure to define properly the modal meaning of the concept of history. In my opinion, at this point the theory of the modal law-spheres as developed in the Philosophy of the Cosmonomic Idea may bring greater clarity to the debate about the relationship between law and history.

I think that I may assume some acquaintance with the sharp distinction made in our philosophy between the two interconnected structures of reality, namely modal structures and individuality structures, both of which are part of the divine world-order.

Modal structures
Modal structures are investigated by the theory of the law-spheres. According to this theory, the distinct aspects of reality, namely those of number, space, movement, [physical energy,] organic life, feeling, analysis, symbolic signification, social interaction, the economic, the aesthetic, the jural, the moral and the pistical [ie certitudinal], do not find their origin in the a priori organisation of the knowing consciousness, but in the world-order called into being by God’s creative will. These aspects are enclosed in law-spheres which on the one hand are marked off from each other by their mutually irreducible modal meaning but on the other hand are articulated by the temporal world-order in a constant and irreversible order and an indissoluble coherence

The modal structure of the different law-spheres displays an architectonic association of modal moments. The nucleus as the central or qualifying moment guarantees the original uniqueness as well as the sphere-sovereignty of the modal aspect. “Analogies” or “retrocipations” point back to the nuclei of the earlier aspects. “Anticipations” guarantee the temporal coherence with the aspects that appear later in the cosmic order; they deepen and disclose the modal meaning of an aspect and ultimately point beyond the temporal meaning-diversity towards the religious fullness-of-meaning and root-unity of creation.

This architectonic structure, in which the cosmic time-order is expressed and which therefore does not possess anything like a supra-temporal character makes it possible that every modal aspect reveals its coherence with all other aspects and that each aspect reflects, in its own modal fashion, the totality of modal aspects. In the theory of law-spheres, this state of affairs is designated the sphere-universality of the modal aspects, which is merely the reverse of their internal sphere-sovereignty.

This explains the apparent persuasiveness of all the isms in philosophy, historicism being just one of many. “Isms” originate in the immanence standpoint that is rooted in the primary absolutization – the proclamation of the self-sufficiency – of theoretical thought. It is a standpoint that compels the thinker to seek the deeper unity and coherence of the diverse aspects of experience (so far as he considers them knowable) in a particular aspect that he isolates through theoretical analysis and elevates to be the common denominator of the whole of temporal reality. The sphere-universality, which under the divine world-order properly belongs to such an aspect, is then interpreted as an absolute universality.

Individuality Structures 
The theory of individuality structures, which treats a second main theme of the Philosophy of the Cosmonomic Idea, goes on to show how these modal aspects of reality in concrete entities and societal forms are grouped in a typical way within the individual whole of an individuality structure. This guarantees the typical inner nature of transient entities or transient societal forms.

Individuality structures too are grounded in the temporal world-order. They make possible the coming into being and passing away of things and societal relationships by providing the constant law-conformative framework for their existence. In this sense, for example, state, nuclear family, and church institution, just as natural things and so-called cultural objects, have their constant intrinsic individuality structure, which is no more subject to change than the modal structures in which they function. Just as the modal aspects of reality are indissolubly interwoven while retaining their sphere-sovereignty, so are the individuality structures. In the case of the individuality structures, sphere-sovereignty acquired the concrete meaning given them in Kuyper’s well-known expositions of this principle. One can also find substantial points of contact in Kuyper’s work for the sphere-sovereignty of the law-spheres.

Not subjective constructs
[…] Law and history have different modal meanings even though within the temporal world-order they are indissolubly intertwined. Once insight into this state of affairs is gained, ontological historicism is defeated in principle.

In the theory of the law-spheres I have tried to offer a theoretical analysis of the modal meaning of history. The method I followed was to combine this structural analysis with that of the aspects of reality that occur earlier and later in the cosmic order. It is a method which requires the greatest degree of critical scrutiny, but [yields compellingly solid results] by showing that the discovered modal moments are indeed something more than merely subjective constructs.
Extracted from:
Herman Dooyeweerd, Time, Law, and History: Selected Essays Series B – Volume 14, ‘Law and History’, Paideia Press, 2017, pp 419-421)
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See also:
Dooyeweerd: The Idea of the Individuality Structure and the Concept of Substance: A Critical Investigation into the Thomistic doctrine of being
(PDF download, 31 pages)
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Dooyeweerd: Individuality Structures, Metaphysics, Classical Darwinism as Theoretic Magic Trick
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J. Glenn Friesen: Dooyeweerd’s Idea of Modalities: The Pivotal 1922 Article
(PDF download, 33 pages)
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J. Glenn Friesen: Individuality Structures and Enkapsis:
Individuation from totality in Dooyeweerd and German Idealism
(PDF download, 48 pages)
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FOR STARTERS...
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MEET THE MAN...
(Ropey but unique archive footage from 1973)
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samedi 16 juin 2018

Dooyeweerd: The radical unity of God’s law transcends temporal diversity

Johannes Vermeer, The Milkmaid (1658–1660)
“To illustrate totality and temporality, Dooyeweerd uses the image of the prism. Totality is analogous to white light before it is refracted by a prism into many colours. In this analogy, the prism is cosmic time, which refracts the totality into the differentiated and  individuated temporal reality. The unrefracted light is the time-transcending or supratemporal totality of meaning of our cosmos, both as to its law and subject sides. And just as this unrefracted light has its origin in the Source of light, so this supratemporal totality of meaning has its origin in the Arché or Origin by whom and to whom it has been created. The totality and deeper unity of meaning ‘must transcend its modal diversity’ (NC I, 102; WdW I, 66-67).” J. Glenn Friesen, p7 Dooyeweerd, Spann, and the Philosophy of Totality’ (pdf)
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The 15 EXPERIENTIAL, IRREDUCIBLE, 
LAW-SPHERES of COSMIC TIME 
(Also called Aspects/ Modes of Consciousness/ 
Modalities/ Modes of Meaning)
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IMPORTANT NOTE 
ON DOOYEWEERD'S USE OF THE TERM 
“RELIGION” -
“To the question, what is understood here by religion? I reply: the innate impulse of human selfhood to direct itself toward the true or toward a pretended absolute Origin of all temporal diversity of meaning, which it finds focused concentrically in itself." 
(Herman Dooyeweerd, Prolegomena, 
New Critique of Theoretical Thought, p57)
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Dooyeweerd: The radical unity of God’s law transcends temporal diversity

The radical unity of God’s divine law truly transcends the temporal diversity of ordinances. It is revealed to us through Christ as the commandment to love God and our neighbor, a love that must proceed from an undivided heart, embrace our entire understanding, and call upon all our strength. This is the religious fullness, the fulfillment of the law, which reflects the way in which the religious concentration point of our entire temporal existence is located in the heart. 

But according to the divine world-order, this unity of God’s law is attuned to a rich temporal pluriformity of law-spheres, through which the manifold wisdom of God is revealed, just as the heart or soul of a human being is attuned to the body and understood as a created whole whose interwoven individuality structures comprehend all the functions of a person within all the spheres of temporal life. 

As little as the soul can be substituted for the body, so it is impossible to substitute the religious commandment of love for the pluriformity of divine ordinances in the various normative aspects of human society. The temporal moral law, which governs the moral relationships here on earth, is just one of the many aspects which the divine law exhibits in its refraction of meaning. The moral aspect is indissolubly intertwined with all the other law-spheres; when it is absolutized it loses its moral meaning.

In this sense, the moral law in its positive form is also intertwined with history, just as legal norms, social norms, lingual norms, and so on. To deny this indissoluble coherence is to succumb to a rationalistic metaphysics of natural law; to try and reduce the positive moral law, positive legislation, and so on, to “historical phenomena” is to fall headlong into the evil of historicism.
Extracted from:
Herman Dooyeweerd, Time, Law, and History: Selected Essays Series B – Volume 14, ‘Law and History’, Paideia Press, 2017, pp 412-413)
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vendredi 1 juin 2018

J. Glenn Friesen: Dooyeweerd, Spann, and the Philosophy of Totality


Dooyeweerd, Spann, and the 
Philosophy of Totality
by J. Glenn Friesen
'[Othmar] Spann helps us to situate Dooyeweerd’s philosophy within a tradition that goes back to Romanticism, to the Christian philosophy of Franz von Baader, and to the German mystics, including Meister Eckhart and Jakob Boehme. Spann was associated with what may be called “the philosophy of totality” [Die Philosophie der Ganzheit]. There were many philosophers in the early part of the 20th century who emphasized the idea of totality. Some of those who influenced Dooyeweerd are Spann, Husserl, Cassirer, Nicolai Hartmann, Hans Driesch and Felix Krueger.' 

[...] 'Totality is one of the key ideas of Dooyeweerd’s philosophy. On the second page of his “Prolegomena” to A New Critique of Theoretical Thought, Dooyeweerd refers to totality six times (NC I, 4). He says that the temporal coherence of the modal aspects points beyond itself to a central totality. And conversely, this totality expresses itself in the temporal aspects. Our selfhood is a totality that expresses itself in its temporal functions. And our selfhood in turn is the expression of the image of God (the Origin of totality). Later Dooyeweerd says that these three Ideas – temporal coherence, totality, and Origin – are the three transcendental Ideas that are found in the Ground-Motive for any philosophy; different philosophies give different content to these Ideas.' 

[...] 'To illustrate totality and temporality, Dooyeweerd uses the image of the prism. Totality is analogous to white light before it is refracted by a prism into many colours. In this analogy, the prism is cosmic time, which refracts the totality into the differentiated and individuated temporal reality. The unrefracted light is the time-transcending or supratemporal totality of meaning of our cosmos, both as to its law and subject sides. And just as this unrefracted light has its origin in the Source of light, so this supratemporal totality of meaning has its origin in the Arché or Origin by whom and to whom it has been created. The totality and deeper unity of meaning “must transcend its modal diversity” (NC I, 102; WdW I, 66-67).'

[...] 'The difference between Dooyeweerd and many philosophers of totality is that for Dooyeweerd the totality is transcendent and supratemporal. Some other philosophers of totality find totality within temporal reality, whether in a vitalism or a psychologism or a logicism. Dooyeweerd refers to these philosophies as “immanence philosophies,” because their view of totality is wholly within time. If we do not understand the importance of totality for Dooyeweerd, we cannot understand his transcendental critique of these immanence philosophies.'
Download PDF of full essay (32 pages)
(Corrected link)
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Visit J. Glenn Friesen's 
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