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Glossary

Initial version; this will grow.

'Anticipatory structure' (of an aspect): the collection of anticipations of later aspects that this aspect makes, both dependency in the anticipatory direction and analogical anticipations. [NC II:275]

Apostate philosophy: philosophy conducted from the Immanence standpoint.

Aspect: See the pages on aspects. A central notion in Dooyeweerd's positive philosophy. In some places, the word 'aspect' is used almost as in ordinary speech to denote a distinct way of seeing reality that cannot be reduced to other ways of seeing. For example we can view a business from a social, economic or legal, or other, viewpoints, and in so doing we are acknowledging it has social, economic and juridical and other aspects. In some places the word 'aspect' is used more technically to mean a sphere of meaning and law, but this is related to the ordinary use of the word as follows. To Dooyeweerd, all temporal reality is Meaning, and there are distinct spheres of meaning. So when we take a view on anything (i.e. an aspect), we are seeing it from within that sphere.

Central sphere of occurrence [NC,I:32]: ?

Cosmic time: Probably best understood as: Ongoing actuality from beginning to end (the actual being-and-occurring of the entire cosmos including all human and social stuff, past, present and future). It is NOT just clock time (physical), but is multi-aspectual. See time.html.

Idionomy, Idionomic. Having laws of its own, a term used by Klapwijk 2008 in preference to 'autonomy', (setting its own laws)which suggests not only the intended irreducibility of the laws, but also an independence that runs counter to the interrelatedness of reality.

Immanence Standpoint (or Immanence Philosophy): A deep presupposition that the fundamental Principle of all temporal reality that is may be found within temporal reality itself. It usually leads to reductionism. Example; materialism. Clouser [2005] explains it well.

Immanent critique: Criticism of a position or stream of thought in terms of what it itself finds meaningful and important and seeks to achieve, usually to expose presuppositions it makes to show they are contradictory. Opposite of transcendent critique but very often combined with transcendental critique. Used especially by Habermas and others as well as Dooyeweerd.

Irreducibility (of aspects, meaning, law, etc.): The meaning and laws of one aspect (sphere or meaning and law) cannot be explained in terms of those of other aspects (spheres) without denaturing it. It is an important property of the Dooyeweerdian notion of spheres or meaning and law (aspects) that enables and explains the diversity of reality. It runs counter to 'reductionism', which ignores irreducibility.

Law-side [NC, ]: One side of reality, being the laws that enable the subject-side of reality to be and occur.

Logical object-side [NC, II:389]: If anything temporal reality has a logical object-side this means that it can be logically thought about, analysed, that a concept can be made of it. This occurs when an entity functions as subject in the logical (analytic) aspect. According to Dooyeweerd, only humans can function as subject in the analytic aspect.

Logical subject-side [NC, II:389]: If an entity has a logical subject-side it can function as subject in the logical (analytic) aspect.

Meaning [NC,I:4 passim]: Meaningfulness, as in "the meaning of life". Not to be confused with lingual meaning, which is the signification that symbols carry, nor with ascribed meaning, by which a thing or occurrence is meaningful to me or you. Meaning, to Dooyeweerd, is almost a synonym for Reality as such. All Existence or Being is made possible because of Meaningfulness. Meaningfulness has the character of referring, referring beyond itself to all other things, and ultimately to its Origin.

Object-side [NC, II:389]: If anything in temporal reality has an object-side it can be the object of aspectual functioning. Everything in temporal reality has an object-side, so on its own 'object-side' does not tell us much. Usually it is used in conjunction with an aspect, as in logical object-side, to stress that it is a thing that logically thought about.

Origin [NC,I:4 passim]: That from which all things exist. All that exists and occurs is non-self-sufficient and relative to an Origin, which is self-sufficient and absolute. Theists would see the Origin as God the Creator, but 'Origin' is used to indicate the philosophical function that is being referred to, separating the notion from connotations of, for example, beliefs, creeds, worship, etc. It is the Origin alone that has Being in itself, and to which all Meaning(fulness) refers.

Plastic horizon of experience [NC,II, 557-8; III, 3]: The horizon of human experience is that beyond which we cannot see or understand; we have no inkling of anything beyond this. The law-side aspects form this horizon; anything that is not meaningful within these aspects cannot be experienced by us. However, since our knowledge of the aspects is continually being opened up, the horizon itself is not fixed and static but plastic and dynamic.

Religion: "the innate impulse of human selfhood to direct itself toward the true or toward a pretended absolute Origin of all temporal diversity of meaning, which it finds focused concentrically in itself." [Dooyeweerd, 1984,I,p.57]. NOT to be confused with particular creeds or religious practices, but rather with the human tendency to commit to something, to believe, to be motivated by a vision. Sometimes 'religion' can be likened to ideology, but it goes beyond this.

"Religious sphere of human existence" [NC,I:24]:

"Modal speciality of meaning" [NC,I:9]: This refers to the diversity of meaning, that meaningfulness has distinct modes or aspects, or spheres of meaningfulness. It is the meaningfulness in which we function.

'Subjectively actual' (speaking of a thing in an aspect): approximately, existence, and sometimes a better term than existence. For example, it is imprecise and problematic to speak of whether certain things 'exist', and better to speak of whether they are 'subjectively actual', especially when speaking of infinite sets that can only be imagined. For example: "The totality of the spatial positions, passed through by a point, a line, a plane, merely in imagination, in the mathematical movement of thought, is not subjectively actual in the original spatial aspect of time. No more is the totality of the finite numbers in an approximative series subjectively actual in the modal meaning of arithmetical time." [NC II:102]

Subject-side [NC, ] (also fact-side and entity-side): One 'side' of temporal reality: Actual temporal reality, as it occurs and exists; it is called subject-side because Dooyeweerd believed everything exists and occurs by being subject to the law-side.

Systasis, systatic [e.g. NC, I, II]: Dooyeweerd employed this obsolete word to refer to his belief that reality is a cohering diversity, or a diverse coherence: both diverse and yet coherent, united, integrated. This is important because he argued that we can articulate the diversity by means of theoretical thought (splitting it up into aspects) but that it was originally coherent before we split it up. This contrasts with some interdisciplinary thought that believes that reality originally starts as fragmented and we have to put it together. Dooyeweerd believed it was originally coherent. e.g. "The real datum is the systatic coherence of meaning" [NC, II:433] means "Theoretical thought should get its data from the original diverse coherence of reality rather than from already-abstracted aspects of it."

Transcendent critique. (Not to be confused with transcendental critique.) Criticising a position from the perspective and value-system of a completely different position (e.g. criticising Marxism from Capitalist perspective or vice versa.) Opposite of Immanent critique.

Transcendental. (Not to be confused with transcendent.) That which transcends the topic we are discussing or thinking about and sets parameters for it from outside the topic. This is used in various ways by Dooyeweerd.

Dooyeweerd writes [NC,I:88]: "Transcendent and transcendental, taken in this sense, are thus no "either-or". For the actually transcendental direction of theoretic thought pre-supposes the transcendent and central sphere of consciousness from which the direction starts, since this starting-point is not be found in theoretic thought itself". (Thanks to Danie Strauss for making some of those clear.).


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.

Written on the Amiga with Protext.

Created: 20 September 2003. Last updated: 21 November 2005 u-net. 24 March 2008 transcendental, etc. 3 August 2009 various. 5 January 2010 idionomy, aspect. 3 September 2015 corrected '../'; rid counter; new .nav. 28 August 2017 plastic horizon.