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Description of Each Aspect

The purpose of this page is to help readers develop their intuitive grasp of the meaningfulness of Dooyeweerd's aspects, and also be able to discuss them. It offers a systematic easy-to-refer-to summary of each of Dooyeweerd's aspects, mainly drawn from Basden [2011].

For each aspect, is offered:

What follows is my own interpretation of what I think Dooyeweerd was getting at in each aspect, based on 25 years of using and reflecting on the aspects, so please beware of possible biases and misinterpretations.

Contents:

Click the heading-name of each aspect, to reach the main page discussing that aspect.


The Quantitative Aspect

Kernel: Discrete quantity / amount ("numberness").

Experienced as: One, several and many, and comparisons of less and more.

The quantitative aspect and some of its constellation

The quantitative aspect and some of its constellation

Good:

Foundational Dependencies:

Differences from Neighbours: See Spatial.

Notes, Discussion: NC,II, 79-93

Analogies of this Aspect:

Mistakes:

Antecipations:

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The Spatial Aspect

Kernel: Continuous extension (extendedness).

Experienced as: Here, there, between, around, inside and outside, shape, proximity.

The spatial aspect and some of its constellation

The spatial aspect and some of its constellation

Good:

Foundational Dependencies:

Differences from Neighbours:

Notes, Discussion: NC,II, 63-5, 85-96, 98-106.

Analogies of this Aspect:

Mistakes:

Antecipations:

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The Kinematic Aspect

Kernel: Movement.

Experienced as: Going and flowing; forward and backward.

The kinematic aspect and some of its constellation

The kinematic aspect and some of its constellation

Good :

Foundational Dependencies:

Differences from Neighbours:

Notes, Discussion: NC,II, 93-106.

Analogies of this Aspect:

Mistakes:

Antecipations:

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The Physical Aspect

Kernel: Energy.

Experienced as: Matter, forces, energy, etc. (whether at the microscopic, human-level or macroscopic spans)

The physical aspect and some of its constellation

The physical aspect and some of its constellation

Good:

Foundational Dependencies:

Differences from Neighbours:

Notes, Discussion: NC,II, 95,99,100,101 -- patchy.

Analogies of this Aspect:

Mistakes:

Antecipations:

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The Organic / Biotic Aspect

Kernel: "Vital unity" and "organizing" [NC,II, 110]; often seen as "life functions".

Experienced as: Living as organisms in an environment.

But what is "living"? It consists at least in the organism maintaining its equilibrium separately from the environment, with repair, and also the ability to reproduce after its kind.

The organic / biotic aspect and some of its constellation

The organic / biotic aspect and some of its constellation

Good and Evil:

Foundational Dependencies:

Differences from Neighbours:

Notes, Discussion: NC,II, 107-11

Dooyeweerd's discussion is brief and not entirely clear. He argues why life cannot be reduced to physical and chemical processes even though it depends on them, and argues against both vitalism and mechanistic views.

Analogies of this Aspect:

Mistakes:

Antecipations:

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The Psychic / Sensitive Aspect

Kernel: Feeling, emotion

Experienced as: Sensing, responding and feeling (such that animals have, like fear, hunger).

Psychic functioning is both of the whole organism and also of the organs and cells (nervous system and neurones). The functioning of neurones and nervous system includes signal transmission, pattern-detection, pattern-recognition and memory.

The Psychic-sensitive aspect and some of its constellation

The Psychic-sensitive aspect and some of its constellation

Good and Evil:

Foundational Dependencies:

Differences from Neighbours:

Notes, Discussion: NC,II:111-118

Example Analogies:

Mistakes:

Antecipations:

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The Analytical Aspect

Kernel: Distinction: "setting apart what is given together" [NC,I, 39]

Experienced as: Conceptualising, clarifying, categorising and cogitating.

Conceptualising is of something meaningful in the world. We clarify that meaning, separating 'this' from 'that'. Categorising differentiates ways of being meaningful. Cogitating is thinking that involves these.

The analytic aspect and some of its constellation

The analytic aspect and some of its constellation

Good and Evil:

Foundational Dependencies:

Differences from Neighbours:

Notes, Discussion: NC,II:118-125

Analogies of this Aspect:

Mistakes:

Antecipations:

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The Formative Aspect

Kernel: Formative power.

Experienced as: Shaping, making, planning, achieving; innovation [NC,II, 198]; goals, techniques, tools, technology.

All kinds of things can be shaped: clay into pots, concepts into concept-structures, reasons into arguments, words into sentences, people into performers, social relationships into institutions, etc. Historical impact is formative.

The formative aspect and some of its constellation

The formative aspect and some of its constellation

Good and Evil:

Foundational Dependencies:

Differences from Neighbours:

Notes, Discussion: NC,II,68-9,192-217,218-98

Analogies of this Aspect:

Mistakes:

Antecipations:

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The Lingual Aspect

Kernel: Symbolic signification.

Experienced as: Expressing, recording and reading/hearing. This can be by speech, writing, pictures, gestures, and even such things as boundary stones.

The lingual aspect and some of its constellation

The lingual aspect and some of its constellation

Good and Evil:

Foundational Dependencies:

Differences from Neighbours:

Notes, Discussion: NC,II, 221-7,284-5

Analogies of this Aspect:

Mistakes:

Antecipations:

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The Social Aspect

Kernel: "Social intercourse" [Dooyeweerd], "Company" [Stafleu 2005]

Experienced as: We, us and them; agreeing, appointing and associating.

Agreeing implies shared action, belief, assumptions, etc. Associating implies treating others as like myself and submerging (though not obliterating) the I in the we. Association is either relationships or institutions, and implies roles (reader-writer, leader-follower, etc.), hence "appointing".

Communities and organisations are social wholes, formed of agreement and association, with more or less internal structure. Different types are led by different aspects (target aspect of social functioning), such as business (economic), the state (juridical) and the media (lingual).

The social aspect and some of its constellation

The social aspect and some of its constellation

Good and Evil:

Foundational Dependencies:

Differences from Neighbours:

Notes, Discussion: NC,II, 141,227-8, 565-624.

Analogies of this Aspect:

Mistakes:

Antecipations:

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The Economic Aspect

Kernel: Frugality

Experienced as: Managing limited resources carefully, treating them as having value. Economic functioning is "the sparing or frugal mode of administering scarce goods, implying an alternative choice of their destination with regard to the satisfaction of different human needs" [NC,II, 66].

This can be at levels of individuals, organisations, societies and humanity as a whole. Resources can be of any type (here, words). Limits imply value.

The economic aspect and some of its constellation

The economic aspect and some of its constellation

Good and Evil:

Foundational Dependencies:

Differences from Neighbours:

Notes, Discussion: NC,II, 66-7,122-7,344-5,360-2.

Analogies of this Aspect:

Mistakes:

Antecipations:

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The Aesthetic Aspect

Kernel: Harmony, delight.

Experienced as: holism, orchestation, integration, rest, leisure, enjoying, playing, beautifying, humour and fun. Surprise, originality are aesthetic.

The orchestra of daily life, a multitude of instruments, generates something harmonious, interesting and enjoyable - or not as the case may be. "Whole is more than sum of parts."

The aesthetic aspect and some of its constellation

The aesthetic aspect and some of its constellation

Good and Evil:

Foundational Dependencies:

Differences from Neighbours:

Notes, Discussion: NC,II, 66-7, 128, 139, 345-8

Analogies of this Aspect:

Mistakes:

Antecipations:

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The Juridical Aspect

Kernel: Due.

Experienced as: Appropriateness, responsibility and justice.

We can experience this personally and socially as intuition of what is appropriate in situations, as debt (due to another), as rights and responsibilities, as legal proportionality, the actions of rewarding or punishing ("retribution" [NC,II, 129]), and as (un)fairness, oppression or emancipation.

The juridical aspect and some of its constellation

The juridical aspect and some of its constellation

Good and Evil:

Foundational Dependencies:

Differences from Neighbours:

Notes, Discussion: NC,I, 29,550,553; NC,II, 67-70,119-138,181-185 and much in 290-411; NC,III discussion of the state.

Analogies of this Aspect:

Mistakes:

Antecipations:

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The Ethical Aspect

Kernel: Self-giving Love.

Experienced as: Attitude of self-giving, generosity, openness, vulnerability, trust and willing sacrifice.

In almost all cultures, those we admire and call "truly good" exhibit such things.

The ethical aspect and some of its constellation

The ethical aspect and some of its constellation

Good and Evil:

Dependencies:

Differences from Neighbours:

Notes, Discussion: NC,II, 141-60

Analogies of this Aspect:

Mistakes:

Antecipations:

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The Pistic Aspect

Kernel: Faith, commitment.

Experienced as: Belief, commitment, certainty, motivation, courage, ultimate meaningfulness, hope, morale.

Pistic ranges from that "immediate certainty which manifests itself ... in practical life" [NC,II, 299] by which we live moment by moment (e.g. assuming the chair I am about to sit on will hold my weight), to firm ideological or religious belief for which people give their lives.

Pistic is found at personal, group and societal levels as, for example, personal beliefs and the courage of those who stand alone; group beliefs and mindset (including Weltanschauungen); presuppositions that determine the direction in which theoretical thinking develops.

The pistic aspect and some of its constellation

The pistic aspect and some of its constellation

Good and Evil:

Foundational Dependencies:

Differences from Neighbours:

Notes, Discussion: NC,II, 298-334

Analogies of this Aspect:

Mistakes:

Antecipations:

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References

NC: Dooyeweerd H. 1955., A New Critique of Theoretical Thought, Vol. I-IV, Paideia Press (1975 edition), Jordan Station, Ontario. See [NC].

Basden A. 2011. A presentation of Herman Dooyeweerd's aspects of temporal reality. Int. J. Multi-aspectual Practice, 1(1), Paper 1. Available at "papers/ijmap/issue1/basden-aspects.html"

Chaplin J. 2011. Herman Dooyeweerd: Christian Philosopher of the State and Civil Society. University of Notre Dame Press, Notre Dame, IN, USA.

Clouser R. 2005. The Myth of Religious Neutrality; An Essay on the Hidden Role of Religious Belief in Theories, 2nd ed. University of Notre Dame Press, Notre Dame, Indiana, USA.

Seerveld, C. (unknown date). Rainbows for a Fallen World. IVP?.

Seerveld, C. (2001) Christian aesthetic bread for the world. Philosophia Reformata 66(2), 155-76.

Stafleu, M.D. (2003) On aesthetically qualified characters and their mutual interlacements. Philosophia Reformata 68(2), 137-47.

Strauss DFM. 2009. Philosophy, Discipline of the Disciplines. Paideia Press, Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA.

Strauss D. 2013. Understanding the Linguistic Turn and the Quest for Meaning: Historical perspectives and systematic considerations. South African Journal of Philosophy, 32(1), 90-107.

Zuidervaart, L. (1995) Fantastic things: critical notes toward a social ontology of the arts. Phil. Ref. 60(1), 37-54.


This page, "http://www.dooy.info/aspects.smy.html", 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.

Written on the Amiga with Protext.

Created: 30 October 2018 Last updated: 28 March 2019 updated lingual with improved version, and added the antinomy from information theory. 5 April 2019 updated quantitative to organic to formative, social to pistic. 11 April 2019 spatiality replaced by proximity.