Lecture 38

I mentioned previously William James – he said systems had to be closed, a humanist can’t sure that there is a system unless it is closed. With the Christian that is different we have the revelation of a creation order. We have to go with what is the best description of creation order we have, that is how we should view this modal scale.

No one would reduce a chipmunk to the tree it is climbing; or a tree to the ground in which it is rooted. A tree is a tree, a chipmunk is a chipmunk. The organisation of animals is different to the organisation of men. The cell structure of males is different to the cell structure of females.

There are three points:

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

There are a number of names for the modal scale: functional ladder, the modalities, lawspheres – these have sphere irreducibility, ontic a prioris.

In modern philooophy Kant made a great deal of talking of a prioris. He meant epistemological a prioris; our mind has certain ways of fashioning through the senses what comes to it. The mind organises into certain categories, which are not empirically arrived at. A prioris what is there from the beginning is a condition of experiencing at all. Dooyeweerd talks about ontic a prioris; what makes experiences possible is a creation which is structured. The creation order is a foundation for being and knowing.

Numerical
Spatial
Kinematic
Energetic or Physical
Organic or Vital
Sensitive
Analytic or Logical
Historial
Lingual or symbolic
Social
Economic
Aesthetic
Juridical
Ethical
Pistical

The modal scale is an irreversible order of time.

Numerical: by this we mean discrete quantity. Discrete means discontinuous. Number is not like a continuous line, in the number series we have a number of discrete. We mustn’t call it a definition, because these are ontic a prioris, we can’t define the given. There is no more universal class than these a prioris. Have to recognise that this is not defining in the strict terms of logic. We are simply stating what we all sense to be at the core of its meaning. Can’t define what is the ultimate. We are not talking of the concept of number.

Spatial: is circumscribed as the sphere of continuous extension. The spatial is distinct from the numerical or arithmetic. You can’t have extendedness without number, though we can have number without extendedness. The spatial presupposes the numerical; but the numerical does not presuppose the spatial. You can’t have extendedness without a number of sides or dimensions.

Kinematic : involves mathematically measurable motion in space – motion, that’s the key word. Motion and energy release.

Dooyeweerd has a principle, the number of aspects so far have to be distinguished and confusing and two of them results in paradoxes of thought. For example, Zeno’s paradox. Zeno was a mathematician, a pupil of Parmenides. The tortoise and the hare and the flying arrow. At point A aim for B and hit it. Before it gets to B it must go half way. Before it must go half that distance and then half that distance and so on. We can keep on adding half way points. The arrow in a finite amount of time has released at A and arrives at B; but I can prove by thinking that it is impossible. Zeno is a typical Greek he divided the body from the thinking mind. I see it arrive there, but my mind shows me that motion is impossible – so motion doesn’t exist.

What Dooyewerd says, you are talking about motion, but when you try to explain it you are talking about points on a line. Motion can’t be reduced to points on a line, it is original and irreducible. Confusing two meaning aspects produces paradoxes in the mind.

Physical: energy and mass [This is missing from the tape]

Biotic: or organic modality involves life functions; growth. Every time we go up the lader something new is added and organises all the lower in it. We have molecules in living things that are orgainised in different ways than we have in non-living things

Sensitive: feeling ‘ow!’

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