My Personal Views on Dooyeweerd
Since I am 'gatekeeper' of The Dooyeweerd Pages, it is only right that you should know something of my own understanding and opinions of Dooyeweerd's ideas, so that you can adjust anywhere where you think they might have distorted the Pages.
I set out here some of my own views, and will (hopefully) expand on them at a later date.
** NOTE: This was written six years ago, and during that time my views have changed enormously, not least because I have discovered areas of Dooyeweerdian thought that I did not at first appreciate, and some early misunderstandings have been set right. So the text below is due for a major overhaul. Nevertheless, much of my views remain intact. A.B. 23 November 2005 **
- I like Dooyeweerd's fifteen aspects. I have no quarrel with those he has proposed, and disagree with Hart's conflating of the lingual with the analytical and de Raadt's insertion of several aspects and rearrangement of the analytical. I find Dooyeweerd's set seems to fit reality well and naturally, once I have understood it.
- I like Dooyeweerd's emphasis on meaning rather than existence.
- I like his restoring dignity to everyday ('pre-theoretic', 'naive') living and thinking.
- I like his attempt to forge a philosophical framework that is consistent with the ground motive of Creation-Fall-Redemption, one that places God at the base.
- I like his view of entities. That there can be several 'individuality structures' in an 'enkaptic structural whole' seems a very elegant solution to many problems we find.
- I like his concept of enkapsis. Ditto.
- I like his treatement of the subject-object relationship, and especially as it brings together the two apparently distinct meanings of the word 'subjective' in English.
- I like his idea of law, that it enables rather than constrains.
- I like his emphasis on logic and reason being only one among many aspects, and not having any priviledged place with respect to knowing.
- I like his concept of a science as being the isolation of an aspect to study its laws, and each science being centred on an aspect. I like the idea that each aspect centres a different (type of) epistemology, as opposed to the assumption that there is only one Epistemology.
- I like his analysis of history based on ground motives. But I recognise that there is more to it than that.
- I like his way of integrating reality, of bringing together unity and diversity - a way that is not reductionist.
- I like the way his ideas are neither rationalist/positivist nor yet interpretivist/constructivist and yet shares something with both sides.
- I like the way his aspects bring together both normative and determinative sides of reality.
- I like the way his ideas offer a good basis for interdisciplinarity and sustainability and 'shalom'.
Positive about Dooyeweerd's Critical Philosophy
- I like his starting with the na´ve attitude rather than presupposing theoretical thought.
- I like him immanent critique, which attempts to understand other thinkers from their own point of view rather than from his own point of view.
- I like his transcendental critique, by which he uncovers their presuppositions.
As you can see, few of these negatives are germane to his framework.
- I believe there is more to dialectic than merely a swinging between the poles of a dualistic ground motive.
- I don't like the idea that all aspects earlier than e.g. the analytical have determinative laws and those after it have normative laws. I prefer the idea, as implied by de Raadt and also by Walsh and Middleton that there is a gradual moving to greater normativity as we move along the aspects.
- I don't like the idea that the pre-physical aspects can never have concrete entities qualified by them. e.g. pure movement.
- Bring the above two together, I don't like the separation of aspects into hard and fast groups; rather I prefer there to be something in all.
- I don't really like the idea, or is it the use, of qualifying aspects. Maybe it's how it's used that I don't like. When we put a lot of effort into identifying 'the qualifying aspect' it seems to me that in most cases this distorts and narrows our thinking, it shifts us to particularizing thinking rather than integrative thinking, and in some situations the emphasis should be on integration rather than differentiation and identification. (But I know that the idea of a qualifying aspect is central to enkapsis, which I like.)
- I don't like the way there seems to be a tendency among some Dooyeweerdians to make his concept of the opening process (and the necessity thereof) an excuse for supporting 'progress' and going against putting a brake on development. I am a green at heart, committed to stewarding God's creation for its own sake rather than for ours (see A New View In Thgy).
- I suppose that some of the above dislikes can be summed up by saying that I don't like it when Dooyeweerd's ideas (whether by him or by others) tend to bolster the materialistic, rationalistic, individualistic world view.
This is part of The Dooyeweerd Pages, which explain, explore and discuss Dooyeweerd's interesting philosophy. Questions or comments are very welcome.
Compiled by Andrew Basden. You may use this material subject to conditions.
Number of visitors to these pages: . Written on the Amiga with Protext.
Created: 14 September 1999.
Last updated: 7 February 2001 mailto. 23 November 2005 .end. .nav, warning, new stuff on critical philosophy and links.