By dynamism, in this discussion, we do not mean mere movement and change. Rather, we mean a kind of freedom that enables the actor to move, change, act in any way s/he/it chooses. Aulin's taxonomy of types of systems ends in the most dynamic kind, self-steering systems, which speak of this extreme type of dynamic freedom: the actor chooses its own goals as well as its own ends. Does Dooyeweerd's framework extend even to this type of freedom-dynamism?
A very good challenge.
I had to think about this. On that basis, I offer the following suggestions of why Dooyeweerd's framework of thought inherently allows for, and even encourages, dynamism rather than statis.
So even if all other aspects are static, Dooyeweerd's suite contains at least one aspect that is flagrantly dynamic in its kernel meaning. But, when we examine other aspects, most of them seem dynamic in its own way. The kinematic aspect is also flagrantly dynamic in its kernel. Here is a table of the dynamism in each aspect:
|Quantitative||Reaching forward or back in infinite series.|
|Kinematic||Flowing movement is the kernel meaning.|
|Physical||Energy is the kernel meaning.|
Continous exchange with environment. |
Birth, growth, death.
Nerves attrify if unused.
|Analytical||The immediacy of making a distinction.|
Shaping is the kernel meaning. |
Achieving, goals, will, history, progress.
The time dimension of utterance. |
The meaning of symbols shifts continuously.
Info goes out of date.
|Social||Social interaction is the kernel.|
|Economic||Management is a dynamic activity.|
|Aesthetic||Statis destroys harmony and surprise.|
What is due to an entity is always changing |
because the entity is always changing (see below).
|Ethical||Self-giving is always active.|
In human living we are continuously making little-commitments. |
Maybe this makes it the most dynamic aspect?
"For the reality of a thing is indeed dynamic; it is a continuous realization in the transcendental temporal direction. // The inner restlessness of meaning, as the mode of being of created reality, reveals itself in the whole temporal world. To seek a fixed point in the latter is to seek it in a 'fata morgana', a mirage, a supposed thing-reality, lacking meaning as the mode of being which ever points beyond and above itself. There is indeed nothing in temporal reality in which our heart can rest, because this reality does not rest in itself."
Even though the aspects might be given, the whole of thing-reality is in dynamic restlessness. The notion of restlessness is tied up with Dooyeweerd's ground motive that involves a Creator. Under this ground motive, nothing in reality is absolute, self-dependent, but everything refers beyond itself to its Divine Source and Destiny. All reality yearns towards that Source-Destiny.
For example, consider a living thing: because of its biotic aspect it is continuously exchanging material with its environment; its very existence as a biotic thing depends on this dynamism. Consider an utterance (lingual aspect). It is inherently dynamic. But now consider it written down on some medium. Though the physical form of the symbols might seem static (except for e.g. fading, decay), their meaning is dynamic, in that different people can attribute different meaning to them, or the same person at different times. In similar way, all Being is dynamic.
Except for mathematics? Surely 2 * 2 always makes 4? Can we not rely on this?
No we cannot. Dooyeweerd made clear that even the supposed 'truth in itself' of "2 * 2 = 4" is an untruth if absolutized. (See Dooyeweerd's notion of truth.) There is no 'truth in itself'. But all truth refers beyond itself to the Divine absolute truth. So 'truths' are not static. Even truth is dynamic to Dooyeweerd.
(Note: I used the word "rely on" above. We tend to assume reliability correlates with stasis. This is a false view, according to Dooyeweerd. The only One on whom we can truly rely is God. And that reliance is a dynamic trusting, a functioning in what might be the most dynamic aspect of all, the pistic.)
(That was a note that I placed here when I first made up the file. I have no idea what it was referring to. But I'll retain it in case it becomes clear. Maybe someone knows to what it refers? Contact me.)
Compiled by Andrew Basden. You may use this material subject to conditions.
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Created: 1998 as a small page with notes. Last updated: 5 March 2003 filled out. 21 November 2005 unets.