Groen Club 1955

Posted 16 October, 2011 by stevebishop
Categories: Uncategorized

Runner at the ICS opening 1967

Posted 17 April, 2011 by stevebishop
Categories: Images

Clockwise from the top: Henk Hart, Calvin Seerveld, H E Runner and Francois Guillaume

Walking in the Way of the Word – new publication

Posted 7 December, 2009 by stevebishop
Categories: Uncategorized

H. Evan Runner, Walking In The Way of The Word: The Collected Writings of H. Evan Runner. Volume Two. 336 pp. ISBN 978-0-88815-203-9.
Walking In The Way of The Word is the second of two volumes that will bring all the various writings, both published and unpublished, of Prof. Runner together in a two volume set. The two volumes together amount to almost one thousand pages pages of text. Volume two is a republication of all the lectures from the Christian Perspective series from 1959 to 1961 that have been published already in various forms. These lectures will be an invaluable resource for beginning students and seasoned faculty member alike given the broad range of topics addressed. Volume one represents the collected lectures, speeches, and papers, from 1940 to 1994 and contains 632 pages of text.

More Runner resources on-line

Posted 22 November, 2009 by stevebishop
Categories: Uncategorized

The Reformational Publishing Project have now added more of Runner’s works on-line:

Runner, H.E.. Point Counter Point PDF (pdf file 1 meg)

Runner, H.E.. Radical Christian Facing Today’s Political Malaise PDF (pdf file 219 k)

Runner books and articles now on-line

Posted 5 October, 2008 by stevebishop
Categories: By Runner, Weblinks

The Reformational Publishing project has placed on-line several of Runner’s books and articles on-line:

Life is Religion ed. (pdf file 2 meg)

Scriptural Religion and Political Task
(pdf file 851 k)

The Relation of the Bible to Learning (pdf file 1 meg)

Christianity and Humanism (pdf file 391 k)

Critisch-Historisch Onderzoek naar de Sociologische Ontwekkeling van het Beginsel der Souvereiniteit in eigen Kring” (pdf file 158 k)

The Christian and the World (pdf file 422 k)

The Development of Calvinism in North America on the Background of its Development in Europe (pdf file 354 k)

Plantinga on Runner

Posted 17 April, 2008 by stevebishop
Categories: On Runner, Weblinks

Theo Plantinga has posted his article on Runner from Life is Religion: Essays in Honor of H. Evan Runner ed H Vander Goot (Paideia Press, St Catherine’s Ontario, 1981): The Christian philosophy of H. Evan Runner pp 15- 28.

Lecture 45

Posted 9 December, 2007 by stevebishop
Categories: By Runner, Lectures

Do these ideas really exist?  How did Plato know that these ideas exist?

Unfortunately apart from these two sentences the tape is blank!  This was the final tape – so this series of lectures has now come to an abrupt end.   Sorry!

Lecture 44

Posted 9 December, 2007 by stevebishop
Categories: By Runner, Lectures

In connection what we were doing last time I handed out 1967 lecture point counter point – at this stage go back and read them and find how much more you get out of them. Page 5 of that lecture it says:

That does not mean we do not have a controversy on with the men of our time for the abandonment of metaphysically established substances [people don’t believe in substance any more, replaced by function, Prof Cassier, one of the great German minds …]

does not mean as so many moderns have gratuitously assumed that we are left with only an assortment of functional processes in this world which the special sciences are intended to explain. For in the first place It is the unity of things we experience when in life we turn our attention to rocks and trees and dogs and other human beings. We experience each of these things as a unity and not as an aggregate of a number of distinct functions by its very abstracting nature science cannot succeed by explaining this unity yet our experience of the unity remains to be explained. Moreover, when we reflect scientifically on several functional process that occur in all created things we discover that our experience is not just of a number of functions as an aggregate but iof an order in the functions, a functional coherence.

Our scientific analysis drives us beyond science to explain as men the unity of things to which this functional coherence points. Far from being a rehabilitation of the old metaphysics, with its doctrine of this is simply a persistent effort to to explain what occurs to us phenomenology in our experience. [There is no such thing as mind, mind is a substantialisation of a logical function with someother higher functions, a cluster of functions regarded as some underlying substance.] This state of affairs and this problem confronts every man.

The Greeks – I want to say something about the Greeks, before get on to Plato, to get onto the development after Plato before get on to the repristination of that later Greek thinking in the renaissance. Some of this is in 2nd lecture: p 65 – end of 2nd lecture Scriptural Religion and Political Tasks

The three classes of thinkers: resigned, conservative and radical believers.

In the way of what we have been talking about the most basic problem for any philosopher is how a man responds to the question: what is law? Law is the most fundamental problems of any system – not law in law school, but cosmic law, the whole of creation is subject to the law word of God.

We find that in every way, law for the numerical, for the spatial, the kinematic and so on.

Spoke of difference laws of the natural side, up to the psychically, in which the law for the functionality is embedded in the functionality, doesn’t mean function is the law, beginning with logical they are norm laws, they may be repudiated, they have to be positivised

Two differences, there is the law of religious concentration and we say it is this that we find now diversified in all these modal laws. The whole creation is subject to the law of God, called decrees, statutes etc in the OT.

You won’t have this pointed out to you in textbooks, but see that this is what is being talked about – there is a blindness in the discussion.

The Greek background: a coming together of two cult religions: natural and cultural. Through geographic, military expansion, though living side by side. The Greeks all that background have to recall, the early Greek philosophers have a simple ontology (read Relation of Bible to Learning – distortions of law p 77-85).

The earliest Greek philosophers, didn’t know God of the Scriptures, they don’t know a sovereign law giver. How could they have a correct view of the law? If the law if the word of the sovereign God? Every Greek philosopher thinks immanetistically about the law – up to Plato. The idea of substance hasn’t been developed. They talk about stuffs: fire, air, water, earth, fiery cloud (between fire and air) Aristotle just used the four. They always occur in this order. they see some kind of cosmic order. fire is identified with nous, mind, logical functions, rational thought. Firery cloud comes in as psuche, the psychical modality, feeling. The air pneuma relates to organic these become the sub-organic, for example water becomes blood, earth becomes flesh and rocky ground becomes bone. There is a kind of a cosmic order, it doesn’t go higher than the analytical.

The earliest Greeks were universalists. There were three answers to the question of the universal to the individual [universalism, individualism and partial universalism]. Most people think there are universalists or individualists: macrocosm and microcosm. These are individual things, perhaps just men, perhaps animals and men, sometimes plants, animals and men grouped together, but they are all macrocosm, there is only one macro-cosm the world of universal stuff. The macrocosm is the law for the individuals and the individuals are structured like individual things every individual, the microcosm, mimics the structure of the macrocosm.

Fire is not just fire, firery cloud, air water, earth, for we said was nous, universal nous, the big universe of heaven and earth is looked upon as a great big human being or a god, the universl is more long lasting, it abides through many generations of microcosm. Every microcosm resembles the structure of the macrocosm.

When talk about fire and nous, talk about divine nous, to which human nous corresponds. Lot of this in Plato and early Aristotle moisis Latin simulitudo.

The earliest Greek philosophers were subjectivists – they don’t know God and they don’t know his word, as God’s creatures in God’s world, they are uncomfortable, they sense the presence of law and they are driven to give answers for it. Where do they place the law? They don’t know the depth of the human person in his religiois concentration, the heart, they only have a number of different ways of functioning:

nous – analytical
psuche – sensitive

Somewhere there they must find law. As we saw, there are subject and object functions. Earliest Greek philosphers put law on the side of the subject function, they are subjectivists.

In that functional diversity they talk about the law – they only recognise subject functions. Look at Aristotle:

the warm and the dry – fire
the warm and the moist – air
the cold and the moist – water
the cold and the dry – earth

What are these warm, cold, moist? They are psychical object functions.

When we experience things we experience the basic subject functions in constitutive structure of things for sure. That what the earliest Greek philosophers talked about. They talked about fire, earth, air, water as “stuffs”, stuffs that are they experienced; they talked about them as things with certain subject functions.

Later Greeks, who we’ll call objectivists, who saw that fire is always accompanied by certain qualities had certain qualities associated with this stuff – the stuffs represent the basic subject functions, the qualities represent certain psychical object functions.

From Aristotle the stuffs are always accompanied by these qualities – the earliest philosophers hadn’t go to that yet. They hadn’t distinguished water as cold as being different from water. They hadn’t distinguished psychical object functions, so they can’t be described philosophically as objectivists.

Subjectivists locate the law in subject functions.
Objectivists locate the law in object functions.

After the Greek subjectivists came the objectivists. Objectivism was a richer – more complicated – ontology. They only knew a certain number of functions, but distinguished the subject and object. They placed the law in the object.

It is just as false as subjectivism, despite being more analysis or complicated. There is no such thing as mere analysis; functionings always comes from the heart, which is directed towards God or towards falsehood. We can’t arrive at truth by careful scientific analysis.

Plato distinguishes subject and object he puts behind this whole world he puts his ideas, the primal mathematicals, and this background world becomes the law for the foreground world – I’ll explain next time. We get subject functions, object functions and law. But the law is not a law as a command or ordinance it is a thing, a purely intelligible thing, as opposed to sensible and material things. One of the big things Plato did was to make a soft distinguish between knowing and thinking and sensing. But his law is things: paradigms and models. This background world is a world of medols. There is not a word of truth in this! He is seeing some things, his organisation of it all is false. His more complicated thinking is equally false, analysis doesn’t bring us to the truth.

Lecture 43

Posted 30 September, 2007 by stevebishop
Categories: By Runner, Lectures

Modal abstraction was the real feature of science, but when we abstract the biotic from the others, its embodiment in the whole, and look at it apart, it is not functioning apart from its whole.

I was talking about subject and object functions, I read you from a couple of books. I want to look at that second point (b).

1.It presents us with an irreversible order of time
2.It displays an indissoluble coherence of meaning aspects in
(a) the question of subject and object functions
(b) anticipations and retrocipations
3.It points beyond itself to a deeper underlying unity of functions

What we experience in everyday life is whole structures, whole things, whole persons, whole institutions, whole relationships etc a scientific attitude toward these wholes will bring out one of the modalities. A psychologist will bring out the psychic and so on.

These aspects are the constituent elements that make up the whole and God’s creation everywhere shows this complex structure. If what we are saying is correct, rememebe r this is a human statement and is subject to correction, revison and enlargement. This is what we find in our scientific analysis of all the wholes.

Looked at water. A modern thinker would simply call water a physical thing. They make a split, this cluster of functions make up the body – they see it as an underlying substance of body; by the 19th century and Comtean positivism they see it as certain types of functions.

Often things are reduced to the logical, logical thought about language, society and so on. This cluster of functions are called mind. They are thinking principally of the logical function.

This simplistic and reduced ontology would say that water is a physical thing. That’s why I used to ask students to write a paper: ‘What is a thing?’ Water exists in connection with plants, man and animals and so on it is only with these creational relationships can we understand water. Important to understand the subject object functions. Water has four subject functions; we have a certain internal structure what Dooyeweerd calls typical structures of individuality. Anything that is a physical thing will display this structure: four subjects functions and the rest object functions. The highest subject function has a very important organising role. For example human technical intervention in the life of plants and animals and so on – a weeping beech tree, done through technical intervention, when you do that the technician who interferes by tree surgery has to think about the organic structure of the tree, this is the highest function for the tree. Only man has a subject function in all the modalities.

If we have animal surgery, the sensitive is the highest subject function, the animal in its technical object function is operable, but in terms of the sensitive subject function as it is sensitive to pain.

In the case of the tree the technical object function of the tree is related to the organic subject function; for the animal the technical object function it is related to the psychic function. The highest subject function has a governing role.

For example, the social function of a plant – put around to make the room nice – it has to relate tot he physical. If we have a pet, the social object function has to relate to the sensitive.
There is a typical structure of individuality. There is a real structure: mineral, plant, animal kingdoms.

I want to talk about 2(b) anticipations and retrocipations. I’m going to take the logical – there is no such thing as a modality by itself. There is nothing that is purely analytical, there is nothing that is purely biotic, and so on. Sphere irreducibility or sphere sovereignty is compensated for by sphere universality. There is no such thing as something that purely logical, it doesn’t mean that there isn’t something distinctly logical, it does mean that what is distinctly logical shows its participatory in all the other modal senses of the cosmos exists only in indissoluble coherence with all the other modal apsects and yet an irreducibly logical fashion it retains its irreducible logical sense while drawing on all the other aspectual meanings of the cosmos.

‘The logical’ has been listed out by so many philosophers as something that exists apart from the physical world.

The circle represents the logical modality – a spot = nucleus, 6 lower in the modal scale – 6 semi circles beneath it, the logical and then 8 modalities higher than the logical by 8 semicircles above the core.

The core, or nucleus, the spot symbolically suggests something that makes it irreducibly logical. Each of the modalities is this circle.

The numerical: why is the numerical within the logical circle? Anything that has logical meaning displays quantity a number of concepts, judgements. There has to be number in any logical life, an expression of logical life. Spatiality, the Germans have a word ‘thought space’, we have to step back, get concepts straightened out in mind, need conceptual space.

We call these 15 modalities aspects. When we talk about the internal structure of an aspect can’t use aspect again call it moment, nuclear or core moments. Retrocipatory moments areones that are lower than the core. Ones higher than the core moment we call anticipatory moments. This modal scale is an irreversible order of time, by the time we get to the logical all the lower ones. Numerical though the psychical are earlier, they are the indispensable foundation for the stucture of the logical. Retrocipatory are moments that grasp backwards upon earlier aspects of meaning.

What about the kinematic? I talked about syllogisms major and minor premise; if the mind accepts the major premise then it is compelled to go on to the accept the minor, then the mind is compelled to go on to the conclusion we call that logical motion or movement, we also speak of logical necessity, it is necessary for the mind to accept it, necessity is a kinematical concept. It is kinematic in a logical sense.

Biotic: the organic there is an organic structure of thought.

Psychical, sensitive: a logic class will be split into two groups, there is hardly ever a middle – certain people have a feel for logical theory others don’t.
Dooyeweerd in his Transcendental Problems of Philosphical Thought (Eerdmans, 1948) provides an outline of this whole logical modality:

Nuclear moment: rational distinction

Analogical moments
logical apperception
logical thought-life
logical movement of thought (subjected to the principle of logical causality, viz., the principium rationis sufficientis).
logical thought-space (Denkraum)
logical unity and multiplicity (of logical characteristics)

Moments of anticipation

logical domination [ruling by systematic (theoretical) concepts or logical forms]
logical symbolics
logical commerce
logical economy of thought
logical harmony
logical right
logical (theoretic) “eros” (platonic love)
logical certitude
Logical domination: a man who thinks clearly, sharply and comprehensively can control that situation – he has historical control.

Economic: Occam’s razor (14th century), is a principle well-known to scientists: entities are not to be multiplied beyond necessity; the simplest explanation is to be preferred: economy of thought. Economy of thought is thought, thinking! The logical meaning reflects upon the economic.

Harmony, balancing of thought; logical right, logical eros, certain love relations; logical certitude.

Help you to get general idea.
A second modality ‘aesthetic’ lifting it out. It has:

a core moment;
three anicipatory moments: jural, ethical pistic; and the rest
retrocipatory: numerical etc.

There is no purely aesthetic. It exists only in indissoluble coherence with all the modal aspects; this is empirically discernible.

Number: there have to be a number of elements in a piece of music or poem
Spatial: take the matter of metre, iambic pentameter, a line of five iambs. Spatial extension.
Movement: has to be movement in a historical novel, has to be movement in a building or music.
Biotic: an organic structure to a painting or concerto
There is a difference between anticipatory and retrocipatory moments
A very general principle the modal scale represents an irreversible order of time
Every modality that is lower in the modal scale is also earlier and is the necessary foundation
The higher ones are later in the order of time.

Let’s take the aesthetic and the jural. When we talk about the jural – The Romans: to render to each its own – to each its proper view, they had some notion of order
At the end of the middle ages a famous school called the Flemish school – people sitting by windows and see that the distant is painted with the same precison as the foreground – and the Italians the background is less sharp. generally regarded as an improvement in technique. they rendered the background as background. Why is it an improvement in painting? The artists of the Italian school have realised to a greater degree the jural moment of meaning within the aesthetic functionality.

I am going to give one more example. The jural modaility. The ethical is anticipated within the life of the jural.
There was a harshness of ancient law: an eye for an eye a tooth for a tooth; retribution. Gilbert and Sullivan: to make the punishment fit the crime. A mark of jurisprudence. Law books in which a certain crime was pared off with a punishment. In the course of the later 19th C we have to take the total; person into consideration, what was his background, what other experiences came into this life. Maybe two people did the same crime, but under such different circumstances, but maybe two different penalties involved. 20th century law, a greater realisation that there is an ethical moment to jurally qualified activities; it is only an improvement if the ethical meaning is realised to a greater or lesser degree.

Difference between retrocipatory and anticipatory
Retrocipatory moments are earlier they are indispensable foundation of the aspect you are talking about
Anticpatory moments are higher and since they are higher in the order of time every aspect will participate in those higer ones , just because they are later in the order of time there is the possibility of there being realised to a greater or lesser degree. There is an opening up process that goes upwards through the modal scale so the lower modalites can be enriched by being opened up more and more to the higher modalities. In this sense civilisation, culture, can be enhanced

There is a problem before the philosophers of history – how do we account for progress? Dooyeweerd the discovery of more object functions eg copper wire can be used to send messages; copper wire does not have a social subject function but it has a socil object functionality. As we discover more object functions, so society, culture is enhanced And in the greater degree of realisation of anticipatory moments as seen above.

A third point this is cosmic diversity- the creation is one. The indissoluble coherence – that there is somehow a whole. Where do we find this whole? No where in this diversity, although everywhere you see a reflection of a whole. Every one of these modalities in its own distinct and irreducible way, reflects the whole modal scale. Dooyeweerd suggests that the only way that wholeness can be experienced is to transcend the area of cosmic diversity, go beyond it, to a religious point of concentration, or point of view.

He uses the word idea in a very different way from concept. Concept: the distinctness of the various spheres; Idea: the idea of history , language etc, then talking about that in the light of this coherence as pointing beyond itself to a unity which is no where found within this scale of diversity. The modal scale points beyond itself to a underlying unity no where present in the modal scale but everywhere suggested by it.

Lecture 42

Posted 10 September, 2007 by stevebishop
Categories: By Runner, Lectures

The question of subject and object functions – we are looking at this at the moment.

We might hear something like this: Hegel is a very subjectivistic thinker; what does it means to call someone a subjective thinker. In someone’s mind, he is theoretically exaggerating the subjective. We now have to decide what the subjective is, it goes back to subject; what does that mean?

As we saw last time, for the most part, subject has meant the realm of mind. We have: the experiencing subject; the experienced world or object. This is the way subject and object are used.

In the middle ages, philosophers distinguished properties and qualities of things. I said we had to look at the Latin words in these two terms: Properties propos – my own proper self; properties are characteristics that are its own. Characteristics that it has in and of itself without reference to something else.

Qualities – quala – it means of what sort it is for the other person or thing; qualities have to do with characteristics it has in reference to another.

This distinction was no longer observed on the seventeenth century and everything became qualities – primary and secondary

Wiley chapter 5:

Since the advent of the Copernican theory …. things are not what they seem, neither are what they have been said to be by the authorities.

Rapid rise of mathematical physics we get men who have this peculiar angle of vision as a special science who come by the materials by abstraction, but not aware it is an abstraction, and so comes to think of this matter as the world. It becomes a concrete world of real things. So we get matter and mind.

For Galileo, properties of figure, motion were the primary qualities of matter, qualities said to be in things and could be measurable and expressible in mathematical formulae. Secondary qualities such as taste, colour, sound. Secondary because they are irrelevant to mechanics AND they are mental phenomenon, they are only in relation to the senses, not objective entities.

Two divisions: man and the world; subjective and objective. It’s what every one thinks, it must be right, right? No!

Sound is nothing more than physical waves – sound is not waves, sound is what I’m hearing. In all physics classes people are taught that sound is waves in motion!

Psychical object functions require the lower subject functions.

There is no creation except man at the centre. Everything created is in reference to him. We don’t have things without this subject-object correlation. Object functions are not actualised until creatures having certain level of subject functions are present.

Anything in God’s creation all these functions either subjectively or objectively. Let’s take water.

Physical this is the highest law sphere in which water has a subject function. Water has relations to plants and animals.

Biotic Water is indispensable for all organic plants; organic functioning requires water. He created creatures so that water is indispensable for their being. Water doesn’t have an organic subject function. It has an organic object function.
Psychical Humans enjoy the feel of water – bathing, fishing etc. When it’s warm enough whole populations migrate because of the feel of water – it doesn’t mean water goes around feeling. It has no psychical subject function. water functions in the psychical world objectively.

Social Put water in a glass and add ice cubes, it enhances the social meeting. The social functioning is not adequately described without introducing water as an element in it.
Economic Water has a high monetary value. If you don’t believe me go to the desert!

Plants has biotic as highest subject function and animals sensitive as highest subject function. In training animals they are reacting instinctively, condition and response – not something they initiate on their own. It belongs to the instinct, the senses, not the social.

Wiley: For Galileo and Descartes, colour or sound (secondary qualities) is merely a sign in consciousness of the existence of this reality outside. The sense do not give knowledge of the thing itself – this is behind Locke’s empiricism by the way – only the abstracting intellect can approach such knowledge of the thing in itself. It does so by filtering sense impressions as clear as possible of subjective ingredients. That’s what the scientific mind does; only science opens up reality to us.

True knowledge would be knowledge to which the mind itself contributed nothing.
Thus the analysis of the properties of matter into primary and secondary in the seventeenth century effort to separte the true from the false, primary being true and secondary false or fictitious. Descartes used those words: what the sense present us with is false or fictitious.

To get to what is really real we must get away from the mind!

What the seventeenth century called secondary qualities and which the medieveal metaphysicists called qualities as distinct from properties we call psychical object functions, but that’s not all the object functions that there are.

There are a whole range of object functions. Even Greeks, Socrates made a big point of technical object functions. Socratessays: ‘No man knowingly errs’; he has reduced the mind to the technical dimension, he is technicistic. No man would make shoes of marble, a man must know his piece, he doesn’t err. Man and the craftsman as the object function.

The Greeks recognised different object functions. Economic object functions: ‘economic goods’ – we refer to things, physical or plants or even man as a slave, as economic objects. They are economically manageable. With -ing on the end it is an object function; with -able it denotes a subject function.

What is a point? Only when we get geometrically, spatially, extended figures, we get points. Only in this connection, with spatial subject functions, we get points, a point points back to the discontinuity of the number series; they belong to a higher modality but point back to a lower modality. Likewise, the path of Mars or Venus, we know it so exactly, we can send out objects to be there at the appointed time, a mathematical circuit we can determine. But the paths is not Mars, Mars is a physical body, its path is a place in space, but you don’t have it until we get to the kinematic. The path of Mars refers back to the earlier modality of spatial extendedness and yet it can only occur in a kinematical subject function. That is what we call a kinematic object function. And so we find it all the way up.