Critiques of Dooyeweerdian Thought
Because Dooyeweerdian thought is so little known, there have been few real, good critiques of it. Any developing system of thinking requires critique. If you can help provide some, please email me. Here we include:
Most 'critiques' so far have come from the reformational or protestant-Christian stable, because Dooyeweerd was attempting to propose a Christian(-friendly) philospophy, and many thinking Christians do not like new ideas, so they misunderstood him and rejected his ideas. Another set of critiques have come from Roman Catholic thinkers, and a third set from Humanist thinkers. I am indebted to Yong-Joon Choi for researching responses to Dooyeweerd's ideas and collecting them together in his thesis.
Dooyeweerd himself was relatively modest about his philosophy. He acknowledged that much of it stood in need of critique and refinement, and I think he was rather disappointed that it received so little good quality critique. The reason for his modesty is to be found partly in his Christian faith, that sees humility as a virtue, but is also to be found in his philosophy itself. Philosophy is not some avenue to absolute truth, because it is functioning in aspects, all of which are non-absolute. In particular, its central analytical aspect is non-absolute. Therefore every philosophy, including his own, must be questioned. This page is an attempt to assemble a number of critiques.
I try to differentiate different types of 'critique', indicating them by a short abbreviation now explained:
The types of critique can overlap. Note, however, I do not mean to suggest that the first two are valueless; they point to issues that need tackling, though they do not invalidate Dooyeweerd's ideas as such.
- PC, Positive Critique: An appreciative comment. There are a few of these here, but most are not mentioned in this page; I expect to gather them into a separate page sometime. There are also some on the Justification page.
- NYT, Not Yet Tested: Dooyeweerd's being outside the mainstream is not itself a genuine flaw, nor is lack of proof that his ideas are valid, since the testing has yet to be done. But this type of critique can be useful in pin-pointing areas that deserve investigation and debate.
- D, Dislike or Disagreement: Disagreement with Dooyeweerd's ideas, or dislike of them, is also not genuine critique. 'Dislike' might be a criticism of style as well as animosity. But this type of critique can be a useful indication of how to, and how not to, present Dooyeweerd.
- OF, Out of Fashion: Dooyeweerd took a particular approach that may be unfashionable today. When we criticise Dooyeweerd on this ground, it is not a genuinely valid critique, and says more about us and our own limitations and prejudices than it does about Dooyeweerd. However, it is a useful indication of how Dooyeweerd's ideas should or should not be 'packaged'. Not unlike SOT.
- SOT, Similarities with Other Thinkers: Some criticisms are levelled because Dooyeweerd's ideas have similarities with those of other thinkers, e.g. "This has a distinctly Aristotelian ring to it". Usually meant as a criticism, it might not be. We must ask ourselves whether perhaps this is, instead, a point of contact with the other thinker rather than a flaw. Such criticisms should perhaps be taken as pointers to directions to explore what each thinker really had in mind.
- CF, Criticism of Followers: The 'followers' of Dooyeweerd have sometimes misunderstood him or misrepresented his ideas, often giving emphasis to individual levels. Those who value Dooyeweerd are in danger of misusing Dooyeweerd in a number of ways. However, criticism of Dooyeweerd's 'followers' is not real critique. But it may be useful in alerting us to where Dooyeweerd tends to be misunderstood.
- GC, Genuine Critique: Genuine critique is that which shows some inconsistency in Dooyeweerd's thought, either with itself or with some obvious thing outside it. The inconsistency must be an inconsistency within the Dooyeweerdian framework, and not just rest on postivistic or interpretivistic assumptions, which would be ...
- CBX: Critique on the basis of expectations or assumptions that we ordinarily make but which are not those that would be accepted by Dooyeweerdian thought. This type of critique can be useful in decide how to engage with other thinkers of today.
- LC, Limited coverage: This criticises Dooyeweerd for not addressing certain important issues. However, since what is important to me might not have been important in his scheme for various reasons - for example he probably knew very little about computers - so this critique is only levelled when one would have expected him to have addresses the issue. This type of critique can be useful in suggesting areas that need research and development.
- INR, In Need of Refinement: Dooyeweerd's ideas here are an initial proposal and need to be refined. Especially to cover contexts and possibilities that Dooyeweerd did not consider or did not even know about. For example, Dooyeweerd knew little about computers and probably nothing about the Internet. Has links with LC, and with NYT, because testing might be needed to help refinement.
I also add comments of my own in some places.
If Dooyeweerd's ideas can be criticised then we should be able to modify them. But not all of his ideas are equally modifiable. Not all that Dooyeweerd said it to be taken with the same degree of agreement; there may be several tiers of critiique, each with a different degree to which modification of his ideas would be appropriate:
- Tier 1: Major framework ideas, such as the notion of aspects, the importance of everyday thinking over against theory, and that Meaning is more fundamental than Existence, that we must take the notion of Creator seriously in philosophy.
- Tier 2: Development of Tier 1 in light of human history and experience, such as Dooyeweerd's suite of aspects, ways of knowing, etc.
- Tier 3: Working out Tier 2, often in light of particular cultural contexts which have influenced the thinker, knowingly or unknowingly, such as Dooyeweerd's attempts to explore in more detail the kernels of various aspects, leading to, for example, his theory of social institutions, his theory of progress, etc.
- Tier 4: Quoted Passages in Dooyeweerd's writings. When he wrote, he did so for a particular purpose, and subjected to particular pressures on the one hand and joys on the other. Also, though sometimes the wording was carefully chosen and expresses well something from tier 1, at other times they are mere speculations and suggestions.
We who criticise need to clearly differentiate the tiers.
But we must do so without pulling them apart from each other, because some of Dooyeweerd's Tier 3 ideas were interwoven with Tier 2, and even Tier 1. For example, his theory of progress, though it can be seen as the opening up of one of his aspects, it can also be seen as part and parcel of his theory of Time and of the Human Heart, such that these would probably have to be rethought if we rejected his theory of progress. As with any genuine attempts at an holistic view, all is interconnected.
At present, I merely point to a couple of 'why I like Dooyeweerd' pages:
- See the blog by David Koyzis and look for entry on September 21, 2003, with the title "All right, I admit it: I like Dooyeweerd"
- Gregory Baus and see his September 19, 2003, entry with the title "Why I Am A Dooyeweerdian".
Some Confusions in Dooyeweerd
- On Anticipations and Retrocipations. Danie Strauss [2009, p.158] points out that Dooyeweerd is often confusing in his concepts for anticipations and retrocipations, and in examples of these concepts. Strauss tries to clear up the confusion. For example, our experience of historical feeling is said by Dooyeweerd [1979, p.3] to be the sensitive aspect anticipating the formative (history, to Dooyeweerd, is of the formative aspect). Strauss claims this is in fact a retrocipation from the formative to the sensitive aspect. An example of a genuine anticipation from sensitive to formative would be emotional control. [Personally, I think I agree with Dooyeweerd rather than Strauss on this particular example, but I have found confusion in Dooyeweerd between anticipations and retrocipations.]
- On Individuality Structures. Dooyeweerd speaks often of "individuality structues", which refer to sets of aspects in a way that characterizes the individual or its type. For example, a poem is both a piece of writing or speaking (lingual aspect) and an aesthetic artefact (aesthetic aspect), among others. However, it is not clear whether he means law-like structures for individuals to exist, or factual structures of the individual, which describing or speak of how it exhibits each aspect. The individuality structure for a poem is the lingual and aesthetic (and other) laws that define what is a (good) poem, while the individuality structure of a poem is an account of how that poem or collection of poems actually functions in these aspects. It is not always clear whether he is referring to actual individuals, to collections thereof, or their types as types. This confusion is discussed, for instance, by Strauss  pages 26, 399, 450-1, 458. Clouser and others prefer the term 'type laws' for the law-like version of these.
- On Qualifying, Founding, Leading Aspects. Dooyeweerd noticed that though all things are multi-aspectual, the aspects relate to each type of thing in different ways. For example, a piece of writing is qualified by the lingual aspect, but the poem is founded in the lingual aspect (some would argue for different founding) and qualified by the aesthetic aspect. But these two are not sufficient, and so Dooyeweerd introduced the notion of leading aspect. Even this is not enough and, for organisations he needed also an internal leading aspect. This suggests that his notion of the different roles that aspects play is far from being completed, and needs serious working-out. FUTURE RESEARCH: Rethink Dooyeweerd's idea of qualifying, founding, leading, etc. aspects.
Choi's Critique of Dooyeweerd's Transcendental Criticism
Choi, seeking to apply Dooyeweerd's transcendental critique to cultures, found the following weaknesses:
- Dooyeweerd hoped, by means of his transcendental critique, to open up dialogue with thinkers of other streams. But this has been less successful and fruitful than he hoped. [NYT]
- Dooyeweerd's approach in his transcendental critique is quite theoretical and abstract. [D]
- Also, though he applied it to theories about society and the state he did not apply it to actual society or cultural phenomena. [NYT]
- Though Dooyeweerdian gave an extensive critique of theoretical thought, he did not write much on a critique of culture as such. [NYT]
However, Choi also gives a number of strong points, and concludes that "It should be clear that Dooyeweerd's transcendental criticism can function as a cultural critique. It gives marvellous insight into understanding the root and dilemma of Western culture throughout its history ... but also offers insight into the possibility of reforming or transforming it from a Christian perspective."
In Nash's Dooyeweerd and the Amsterdam Philosophy (Zondervan, 1962) we find the following wise suggestion:
"Inasmuch as it is the purpose of this book to prepare the way for more profitable discussions of this new philosophy in the future, it would seem some suggestions are in order.
We have yet to hear the last of either for or against the Philosophy of the Idea of Law. I trust that this brief study may help point out the future discussions of it should take."
- First of all, there should be exerted in all future writings of this philosophy a greater effort to avoid the ambiguity and problems of terminology that are to be found in all of the previous publications. Good thinking is never complimented by and should never be accompanied by poor communication.
- Secondly, I believe attempts should be made to come to grips with the objections raised by others and myself.
- Thirdly, I believe that Dooyeweerd's American disciples should extend the implications of his philosophic thought to the peculiar American and English brands of philosophy such as Logical positivism and the school of linguistic analysis.
- Van der Hoeven believed that "historicism ... cannot be fought effectively with Dooyeweerd's theory of history as a modal aspect." [Choi]. This is more a limitation than a weakness. [GC]
- ==== more to come
Olthius, ends his excellent exposition of "Dooyeweerd on religion and faith", with a discussion of a number of criticisms of it, most stemming from Dooyeweerd's view of time and supra-temporality. Dooyeweerd posits a supra-temporal realm within creation that is beyond time and which the human heart inhabits; this is explained in the page on spirituality. The criticism Olthius makes is fundamental [GC, tier 1], and results in a number of problems:
- Klapwijk applauds Dooyeweerd's transcendental critique for making "the structure of theoretical thought transparent", but he suggests there is a weakness in that "transcendental epistemology and cosmology are caught in a vicious circle". See Choi:138a. [GC/CBX]
- But what does this mean? Is this really a critique? It could perhaps be argued, on the basis of the non-absoluteness of the aspects and of all created reality that we cannot expect anything else but a "vicious circle".
- Dooyeweerd's concept of culture and progress as the unfolding of aspects is seen by Klapwijk as "a speculative product of German idealist metaphysics of history" which has "romantic-organismic, progressivistic and universal-historical connotations", rather than as truly emerging from his main thought. "Dooyeweerd continued to espouse the basic idea of a universal-progressive process of disclosure that in one way or another eventuates, as it turns out, in modern Western culture." See Choi:138b. [GC]
- However, this portion of Dooyeweerd's thought seems to be a secondary one, in which he is trying to work out details within one aspect (the formative). The primary areas do not seem to be jeopardised if we reject or modify this portion.
- Klapwijk sees Dooyeweerd's four ground motives as world views that are based on two basic ground motives. See Choi:138c. [D]
- Klapwijk sees Dooyeweerdian thought, and especially how it has been worked out in America, as too antithetical to other types of thought. He argues that it is neither necessary nor fruitful nor even right to take such an antithetical stance. See Choi:139a. [GC/D]
- (But I am told that this was not Dooyeweerd's intention and that though the English version of NC gives this impression, the Dutch is much softer in how it comes across. It would seem to me that the force of the emphasis that Dooyeweerd gave to antithesis must depend on what his local purpose was when he wrote: if he was trying to introduce people to the radical dichotomy between two thought systems then he could be expected to give it more force.)
- Klapwijk points out that Dooyeweerd and others (e.g. Vollenhoven) are adamantly opposed to synthesis-philosophy while, in another place, Dooyeweerd argues that synthesis-philosophy is impossible. How can one be opposed to what is impossible? [GC] See Choi:139b. Furthermore, it seems Klapwijk also disagrees and believes that synthesis can be useful. [D]
- There seems to be a major inconsistency here. However, we could also read it as at two different levels, with 'philosophy' meaning two different things, one pure and one impure for example.
- Future work: Therefore it might be useful to work out three things: what it is that is truly impossible according to Dooyeweerdian thought, what is the real status of what Dooyeweerd called synthesis philosophy, and in what ways, if any, synthesis can be possible.
McIntire (1985), in "Dooyeweerd's philosohpy of history", made a number of useful observations from the point of view of an historian that help us see some weaknesses in Dooyeweerd's ideas, some of which can be overcome by refinement. Here I merely list them for now, with little comment.
- Duplication. If we posit both a temporal and supra-temporal realm within creation, then many issues require treatment in both realms, leading to much duplication. For example "creation-fall-redemption in its central sense" and "creation-fall-redemption as articles of faith" [Duplication is not only a waste, but can be a source of inconsistencies.]
- Important Events. Cosmically important events (such as the death and resurrection of Christ is to Christians) are temporal and tangible. Dooyeweerd tries to get round this by saying that the real event is supra-temporal but is 'signified' in the temporal - but this smacks of Plato's notion of an eternal realm of perfect Forms or Prototypes contrasted with temporal realm of copies.
- ==== to be continued.
The Christian thinker, Cornelius van Til, criticised Dooyeweerd for being not antithetical enough with regard to non-Christian thought. Dooyeweerd proposed three parts to a transcendental critique:
- ".. but in one respect at least the notion that modal order is the same as temporal order seems highly implausible. Assuming phenomena in reality are describable in some fashion as exhibiting biotic, social, ethical, and other such modal aspects, can we imagine anything coming into existence or starting to function in a temporal order one mode at a time? Does not anything in reality that exists, including infants, exist as a whole and function as a while right from the start of its existence? Moreover, does the temporal order of the emergence of functions in an infant [Dooyeweerd used the apparent correspondence between that and his aspectual sequence to motivate this hypothesis] and tell us anything about the order of the emergence of functions in a state or a guild or a bee colony? It would seem that Dooyeweerd, while consciously identifying ontological order with time order, has mistakenly done so." (p.86) [Tier 3, GC, LC, maybe Tier 2]
- Discussing Dooyeweerd's view of time as involving progress, "There is a relationship between potential and actual. Everything that can be is potentially there, but human action is required for anything in particular to exist. As a result most potential is never actualized (NC 1:105, 2:335-36, 3:173-74). All of this has a distinctly Aristotelian ring to it, despite Dooyeweerd's protests to the contrary (cf. NC 1:25, 226). It evokes images of innumerable laws and other phenomena resting in some preexistent state, as if there were such a thing." (p.87) [Tier 2, GC, SOT]
- "It evokes images of innumerable laws and other phenomena resting in some preexistent state, as if there were such a thing. It has no obvious connection with time." [It is part of Dooyeweerd's theory of Time] (p.87) [Tier 3, GC]
- A positive critique: "Everything that can be is potentially there, but human action is required for anything in particular to exist. ... It has no obvious connection with time. It does seem, however, to be a genuine attempt to explain in a theoretical way how human phenomena might be understood as manifestations of God's creative presence. ... Human history is not merely history with all our relativity and historical situation; human history is also dependent upon and in some way a revelation of God's will for the creation. I would count this as one of Dooyeweerd's main insights for us to follow up." (p.87) [Tier 1/2, PC]
- "his theory of cosmic time is .. a misnomer. It might better be called a theory of creation order and creation law." (p.87) [Tier 4]
- Here is a major criticism: "What we may notice about all this is that our self - our unity, our religious dynamic, our initiation of action - is, according to Dooyeweerd, supratemporal, that is, beyond and transcending time. This concept created problems for Dooyeweerd, if if our self is supratemporal, how ma 'I' exist in time and how may my religious impulse and initiation of action have consequences in time? Am 'I' with my religion and my origination of action not temporal? ... for Dooyeweerd, neither 'I' nor my religion may be studied empirically (NC 1:57-58). He contradicted this claim himself, however, by giving us what he regarded as empirically based theories of the self and religion. And he tangled himself in explanations about how the supratemporal may escape being enclosed beyond time and may instead 'penetrate' to the 'temporal sphere of our consciousness' (cf. NC 1:55) All in all, his theory of the supratemporal erected what would appear to be an unnecessary middle realm between eternity and time. Once again it appears that he conflated the problem of unity and diversity with questions of time. A more fruitful line of thought might be to explore how we as temporal creatures are, by virtue of our being temporal, both in communication with God and capable of manifesting God's presence in history." (p.88) Compare with Olthius's comments. [Tier 1, GC]
- Account for abstraction; Dooyeweerd's answer was that the analytic aspect 'opposes' other aspects to bring this about.
- Account for synthesis between the analytic and other aspects, to form a theoretical concept.
- Account for critical self-reflection.
Dooyeweerd held that antithesis between Christian and non-Christian thought comes about at the third stage. Van Til held that it occurs at all stages. An account of this debate can be found in Choi's thesis.
Van Til holds the view that there is a complete hiatus between Christian and non-Christian thinking, and that even the analytical processes of abstraction are distorted in non-Christian thought. If we take theorizing to be multi-aspectual then it is of course affected by our pistic commitment, and Van Til might be right. But if we consider only the analytical aspect of our theorizing, then it is not so dominated by pistic commitment and Dooyeweerd might be right. However, this critique of Dooyeweerd's position seems to be relevant only to Christian thinkers who want to find a complete hiatus between their way of thinking and what they lump together into non-Christian ways of thinking.
Bruce Wearne, in an email on ThinkNet, April 20 2005, discussed Van Til's reservations about Dooyeweerd's 'second way to a transcendental critique', which cannot be ignored as part of the historical legacy of reception of Dooyeweerd's thought. Was it not Van Til with others who encouraged the translation of the WdW? And so when NCTT appears with its 'second way' Van Til found himself caught in cognitive dissonance.
Vander Stelt's discussion in Philosophy and Scripture (1978 p.269) indicates that Van Til's reservations about Dooyeweerd were somehow included in his second thoughts about G C Berkouwer and Abraham Kuyper as well. Nevertheless, the 'second way' seems to have been other than what Van Til had understood as Calvinistic philosophy when he had read the WdW back in the 1930s and it seems he was unaware of this when he wrote his WTJ review of NC in 1955. It was later therefore that a concern developed about Dooyeweerd's theoretical analysis going 'off the rails'. Dooyeweerd in NCTT suggests that the transcendental critique needed refinement lest his philosophy promote a dogmatic anti-dogmatism.
By drawing attention to what Dooyeweerd wrote in 1949, BW considers that Dooyeweerd already answered Van Til's criticisms before they even appeared.
One major criticism is by Frame and Coppes. Their critique seems more a tirade of dislike [D] from a couple of Christians about something they do not properly understand, in which they try to find as many negative things as they can to say about Dooyeweerd's ideas, but all that is available via that link so far is my own rather angry critique of their misunderstandings of Dooyeweerd. However in it you might find some useful pointers to possible criticisms of substance of Dooyeweerd.
Frances Bell's Critique: Dooyeweerd Too Broad
My colleage Frances Bell, at the University of Salford Business School, made a critique that is relevant to applying Dooyeweerd, especially his aspects: Dooyeweerd's aspects are too broad. Her point was that in undertaking realistic research projects, e.g. at PhD or masters level, students who use Dooyeweerd tend to go broad and shallow rather than investigating in depth. So - especially relevant for PhDs, in which researchers are learning to become independent researchers - they do not have a chance to learn and practise the skills needed for in-depth research.
In my view, this is a valid criticism. My own PhD students have benefited from broad views that take all factors into account, and have become experienced in interdisciplinary and holistic thinking as a result. That is a real benefit. But most of them have not engaged as deeply with extant literature and theory as many other PhD students do. That is a real problem.
Frances Bell's criticism it might be better seen as a characteristic rather than a weakness as such, because there is some research, especially interdisciplinary research and research in philosophy, which requires breadth more than depth. Research of an interpretivist nature especially depends on an openness to a wide variety of meaningfulness, which Dooyeweerd's aspects can provide if used judiciously. See Interpretivist Research - The Contribution of Dooyeweerd.
Note: Frances' critique is not about whether the aspects of Dooyeweerd are acceptable or not as such, but that using them leads to broad, shallow research.
Unfortunately, Frances has not yet published this critique and, as far as I know, nobody else has done so. However Frances has a small blog comment, where she opens explains her concern in more detail.
FUTURE RESEARCH for somebody: Publish a critique of the breadth of Dooyeweerd.
Most critiques of Dooyeweerd focus on specific issues. But since Dooyeweerd's thought is so interconnected, it would not be surprising to find a negative critique that takes the form of a tangled web rather than focusing on a specific issue. In such a critique - what we might call a critique network or tangle - the critique is not directed strongly at specific parts but rather at a certain web of interconnections between what Dooyeweerd says.
- See separate page on Plantinga's Early Critique of Dooyeweerd's Idea that Meaning is the Being of All that has been Created - Most of his criticisms are invalid, but a few are valid and offer useful challenges. --* New 8 June 2018 *--
- (Suggested by Gareth Jones.) Dooyeweerd does not seem to address issues of democracy, participation, emancipation, and the like. In view of his social theory and juridical theory, one would have expected much more discussion of these things. He does not even seem to have given reasons why these issues might be unimportant; they just were overlooked. (LC)
- Dooyeweerd's New Critique [NC] Volume I, begins with a critique of theoretical thought. Unfortunately, I find two motives or agendas mixed together here: (a) Dooyeweerd wanted to uncover the transcendental conditions that make theoretical thought possible. (b) Dooyeweerd wanted to generate a 'Christian philosophy'. Both are laudable in their own right, when elements of both are mixed together, those who wish for each can be put off by the presence of the others. CBX
- Some suggestions that arose in discussion with Bill Gordon:
- Constraining and unexciting. People tend to get stuck in the modal aspects. They keep on having new insights into each aspect. But this constrains the types of insight they have. It can be richer to gain insights from a variety of thinkers. [CF]
- Style. Packaging and marketing. The way Dooyeweerd writes is off-putting. It will not capture the hearts of people. His thought need to be re-packaged in a way that will capture the hearts of people. [D]
- Old fashioned. Dooyeweerd engaged in systematic philosophy, in building a system of philosophy. That is now a 'dead' approach that nobody uses. [But will it come back again once thinkers become disillusioned with postmodern approaches?] [OF,CBX]
- Future work: Tackle these issues from a Dooyeweerdian perspective, and feed the results back into his philosophy. But we must be sensitive to diverse views as we do this (e.g. American, European, African, Asian views), lest we unwittingly bias Dooyeweerdian thought towards one view.
I can think of the following as an example of a critique net or tangle, in which the problem lies not in specific claims but in what they tend to say or connote when brought together in a certain way. It is to do with Dooyeweerd's view of the difference between humanity and animals, and how this impacts on how he has understood the kernel meanings of some aspects:
- Dooyeweerd held that humanity is special in all creation, in being made in image of God - which imparts certain roles and capabilities on humans that animals do not have. This is OK (apart from those who hold as a dogma that there must be no fundamental difference between humans and animals).
- Dooyeweerd held that animals may function as subjects only up to the sensitive aspect whereas humans may function as subject in all aspects. Again, this is OK.
- Therefore, whatever animals do or can do (as subject-functors) must be of the sensitive or earlier aspects, and not of the analytic or later. A reasonable deduction.
- This means that things that at first sight seem to be (subject-)functioning in post-sensitive aspects cannot be so. For example:
(In the main, this seems so, but I do not like to hold it as a dogma or primary belief, because it may be that we will discover behaviour in animals that it is difficult to place in anything but the later aspects.
- Animals can distinguish their mates. Therefore this type of distinguishing must be sensitive.
- Animals seem to form social groups - but this cannot be genuine social functioning.
- Animals care for their young - this cannot be self-giving care (ethical).
- In the main, such things are explained as of sensitive or earlier aspects but anticipating later ones.
- The above leads to attempts to define kernels of later aspects in terms of what they are not - specifically, they are not what animals do - rather than what they are. While we might see some validity in doing this (especially taking account of Kelly and his Repertory Grids and Personal Construct Theory), it seems out of tune with Dooyeweerd to rely on negativity so much. The kernel meanings of aspects are positive, rich things.
- An alternative theory is to allow that (at least some) animals subject-function in later aspects, but in a very restricted way.
It may be that the main areas where a real critique can be made - critiques that are useful in refining and developing Dooyeweerdian thinking - are around issues that had not arisen while Dooyeweerd was still alive, including the overwhelming nature of information and communication technology and the Internet, and the advent of global environmental problems, global climate change, global pollution and the destruction of cultures. Dooyeweerd was very positive towards the idea of 'development', but he lived in an era in which the problems associated with it had not become as visible as they are today.
As to being old-fashioned in adopting a systematic approach, what I can say is this.
Dooyeweerd opened a path through virgin territory for us to tread, so we might enter, explore and enjoy new and fascinating terrain. From the path he laid we can gain new views of the fauna, flora, geology and landscape around us, views that nobody else can obtain from any other path. He paid careful attention to the foundations and quality of the path he laid, so that it will not move or sink into the mire, or wear out. So we can walk along with confidence and enjoy the vistas it affords us. He expected us not only to tread his path, but also to extend it, and thereby enable more and more people to enter, explore and enjoy the new terrain.
Strauss, D.F.M. (2009). Philosophy: Discipline of the Disciplines. Paideia Press, Grand Rapids, MI, USA.
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: 9 April 2000.
Last updated: 7 February 2001 copyright, email. 19 February 2002 added Choi, van der Hoeven, rewrote some. 20 February 2002 Types of critique; added klapwijk. 6 March 2002 democracy etc. 1 April 2002 van Til. 17 September 2002 some comments from Bill Gordon; the Path; expanded Types of Critique, with why each might be useful; new section Tiers of Critique; std ending. 18 September 2002 Olthius critique. 1 November 2002 Critique by McIntire. 20 November 2002 frame.coppes file moved to ext/. 16 January 2003 McIntire spelling corrected; Added para about interwovenness of Tiers. 1 March 2003 Choi relocated in papers/, not ext/, .nav. 3 March 2003 changed link to knowing.html. 6 March 2003 Modesty section added. 22 September 2003 added positive critique, with two links, and made local hyperlinks to types of critique. 20 May 2004 Tangle critique. 28 June 2005 VT 'afraid'. 1 July 2005 BCW's correction of this. 21 November 2005 unets. 14 March 2006 Nash's suggestion. 7 August 2012 Bell's critique. 14 August 2012 FBell's blog. 3 October 2013 confusions Strauss, refs, .nav, .end. 4 October 2013 confusion about individuality structures and aspectual roles, links to research.html. 28 September 2016 NC mixed agendas. 19 May 2018 Found it had lost its pt6 so reinserted them, and corrected a few errors on the way through. 8 June 2018 plantinga.ctq.