Herman Dooyeweerd

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= "G.E. Langemeijer, chairman of the Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences, professor at the University of Leiden, and appellate attorney general, lauded Dooyeweerd as "... the most original philosopher Holland has ever produced, even Spinoza not excepted." [1]


From the Wikipedia:

"Herman Dooyeweerd (7 October 1894, Amsterdam – 12 February 1977, Amsterdam) was a professor of law and jurisprudence at the Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam from 1926 to 1965. He was also a philosopher and principal founder of Reformational philosophy[1] with Dirk Vollenhoven,[2] a significant development within the Neocalvinist (or Kuyperian) school of thought. Dooyeweerd made several contributions to philosophy and other academic disciplines concerning the nature of diversity and coherence in everyday experience, the transcendental conditions for theoretical thought, the relationship between religion, philosophy, and scientific theory, and an understanding of meaning, being, time and self.

Dooyeweerd is most famous for his suite of fifteen aspects (or 'modalities', 'modal aspects', or 'modal law-spheres'), which are distinct ways in which reality exists, has meaning, is experienced, and occurs. This suite of aspects is finding application in practical analysis, research and teaching in such diverse fields as built environment, sustainability, agriculture, business, information systems and development."



From the Dooy.info site:

"Dooyeweerd's philosophy is unusual and interesting in several ways:

1. It might be the best philosophy of everyday life yet available. With Pragmatism, Phenomenology and Existentialism, it takes everyday life seriously but, whereas they employ theoretical thinking to understand the pre-theoretical, Dooyeweerd employs the pre-theoretical attitude to understand the theoretical.

2. Dooyeweerd puts meaningfulness and normativity (law) at the centre, as the ground for existence, process, ethics and rationality. (Most philosophers either ignore meaningfulness or treat it as a mere byproduct of subjective or intersubjective attribution.)

3. Dooyeweerd went deeper than Kant, Husserl, Habermas, Bhaskar or Foucault in understanding the non-neutrality of theoretical thinking in sciences and philosophy, penetrating to the very attitude of thought. With a wide-ranging immanent critique of 3000 years of thinking with a deeper transcendental critique than these applied, he revealed inescapable religious presuppositions underlying all theoretical activity.

4. What Heidegger did for Being, Dooyeweerd did for Meaningfulness. Dooyeweerd can heal the Cartesian rift between subject and object and the Kantian gulf between ontology and epistemology, without denying any of them.

Dooyeweerd's philosophy is valuable because:

1. Valuable in practical analysis and action. Dooyeweerd's suite of modal aspects provides a useful, self-critical conceptual tool for analysing, understanding and responding to the complexity of diversity and coherence. It has proven useful in a number of fields. An inherent normativity makes it useful for action as well as analysis.

2. Valuable in research in the natural sciences and humanities. Dooyeweerd provides a new understanding of sciences and disciplines, and a foundation for interdisciplinarity. His transcendental critique offers fresh explanations of the dialectical tensions that prevail in many fields, and possibilities of overcoming them.

3. Valuable in philosophy. Dooyeweerd provides new foundations for understanding meaning and law, being and time, diversity and coherence, subject and object, intuition and knowledge."


More information

  • The Dooyeweerd Pages: a growing website designed to aid scholars in understanding the philosophical framework of the late Herman Dooyeweerd - [2]