lundi 2 juillet 2018

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

Peter Brueghel the Elder: "The Peasant Dance" (1568)
(Also called Aspects/ Modes of Consciousness/ 
Modalities/ Modes of Meaning)
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). 
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.”

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)
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)
Dooyeweerd: Individuality Structures, Metaphysics, Classical Darwinism as Theoretic Magic Trick
J. Glenn Friesen: Dooyeweerd’s Idea of Modalities: The Pivotal 1922 Article
(PDF download, 33 pages)
J. Glenn Friesen: Individuality Structures and Enkapsis:
Individuation from totality in Dooyeweerd and German Idealism
(PDF download, 48 pages)
(Ropey but unique archive footage from 1973)