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Karl-Otto Apel Prepares Way for Dooyeweerd

In Karl-Otto Apel's [1998] Towards a Transformation of Philosophy, he uses his last chapter to argue that we need to find the transcendental conditions that make logic (and argumentation) possible, and that these involve something value-free that he calls 'ethics'. In fact, it seems that Apel ends up where Dooyeweerd starts, by proposing that

"the actual business of philosophical foundation must consist of reconstructing the necessary preconditions for human argumentation as completely as possible ... to reconstruct the ethical preconditions for the possibility and validity of human argumentation and, consequently, of logic" [p.266-7] "everyone must take upon himself a non-groundable - or not completely groundable - 'moral' decision of faith." [p.285]

So we may take Apel's work as an excellent argument for the need for what Dooyeweerd has attempted to do. Apel sets his argument out clearly and step by step.

Here is an initial collection of excerpts from Apel that are relevant to Dooyeweerd (Apel's emphasis retained). The purpose of this page at present is to demonstrate a content-connection between the two thinkers. Much needs to be added, and at present this page contains a rather limited view of what Apel thought and wrote.

Dooyeweerd may thus be read in this light: as suggesting one answer for the question that Apel poses for us. And Apel might be read as providing a clearer view of the question than Dooyeweerd was able to give us.


Many thanks to Albert Gedraitis, who made a number of useful recommendations for this page.
This page is part of a collection of pages that links to various thinkers, within The Dooyeweerd Pages, which explain, explore and discuss Dooyeweerd's interesting philosophy. Email questions or comments would be welcome.

Copyright (c) 2004 Andrew Basden. But you may use this material subject to conditions.

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Created: 23 August 2004. Last updated: 24 August 2004 changes from AG, and link to Habermas.