Lecture 39

This diversity in the sciences and to try to grasp the core meaning of any modailty requires a good knowledge of the various sciences, Dooyeweerd was at home in so many special sciences. He was a law professor concerned with the relationship of the jural to the ethical. He was also a second generation of Kuyper the relationship of the heart to the mystical function and the relation to the ethical and the pistical and jural and ethical to the pistical and the heart; he was concerned about economic life and its relation to society, social and economic. He knew a lot about history, linguistics, psychology. His brother in law Vollenhoven, who he worked with for over 40 years, had done his dissertation in mathematics and expert in physical and organic science and in psychology. They put this scale together in The Hague in 1921-3 when taking walks among the dunes by the sea, they put there expertise together and suddenly it dawned on Dooyeweerd how this modal scale could arrange what people had known through the centuries. There were two things going on culturally: a sensing that there is a diversity in sciences that is unique and reducing of it to a single method.

We have 15 ontic aprioris, for us to experience at all for there to be an experience there are 15 conditions which make it possible. They are distinct, they make a coherence, an experience of distinct ways of functioning, but each is a picture of the whole of all the others, depending on its place in the whole – see this in anticipations and retrocipations.

Every one of these distinct, unique and irreducible ways suggests that beyond this diversity is some whole that is being pictured in these ways. Every picture of the whole is diverse, but what is the whole that is being diversely pictured?

Scientific abstraction can never picture God’s created reality; it s only experience in our original, naïve, pre-scientific experience. Abstraction is a tearing way from its place in things.
Theory of functions; a second theory: typical structures of individuality. Individuals, concrete individuals such as we experience in out naïve experience, such as the chipmunk or robin. There is no such thing we find in God’s creation as just an individual – that is why we have the term typical; individuals belong to universal classes, a physical, a plant an animal a human or whatever it might be. The universal and the individual inter-penetrate. Wherever you have an individual you have typical structure and wherever you have a typical structure we have individuals.

All things function in the aspects either subjectively or objectively. How does a ring function ethically? It is a pledge, a pledge of troth; that’s the meaning of that ring. You can’t discover the sense of that ring until you talk about the ethical. We can only talk about these modalities in individual things. It is only in these things that we can analyse and see these modal aspects.

There is an opening up process – opens up a deeper meaning to these lower modalities. A special science abstracts one. Philosophy talks about the interrelatedness of them all.

Ontic a prioris, these are the building blocks of the creation that are found in typical structures of individuality.

The word empirical is such a ‘demon’. In the seventeenth century there was a big split between mind and matter only in the mind do we have empirical sciences – that can be measured such as the mathematical physicist can do. There are those who attempt to reduce biology to mathematics, but they will not succeed. Mechanistic biology is dominant in this country, but in Germany there has been a revival of vitalism. The biotic is not reducible to the physical-chemical. There are schools of mathematics, that give different answers to key issues. Mathematics won’t solve it.

Would a philosophy which attempted to discover all the a priori be empirical? If God’s creation involves all these building blocks – wouldn’t an empirical sciecne have to come to recognise all these building blocks?

How do we define the term empirical?

Willhem Dilthey, we don’t hear his name in America – he said we have to enlarge the concept of the empirical to include not just the natural sciences.

The laws are norm laws, involves two things: first, the law is given in that it requires positivision of man; second, a norm law can be disobeyed, but it still holds

Sensing: ‘feeling’, ‘thinking’. I can distinguish at least three different use s of the word feeling First, sensory feeling, and that’s what we mean here; second, aesthetic feeling, feel the rightness of a symphony rendition of Schumann, done the way it should be done; third, that religious feeling Schliermacher talked about, religious feeling or sensing. Sensory feeling ‘ow!’, there are no norms involved, in the others there are norms involved.

There is a tendency to reduce the psychical to the organic – hormones etc. It does has an organic
The psychical presupposes the organic since perception is dependent upon organs, but it is nort reducible to that foundation.

Logical / analytical: Dewey mind is an activity; there are no such substances as mind. The analytical or logical modality is the distinguishing of difference by way way of concept formation or building. Distinguish and difference; how do we distinguish the difference? God’s creation is differentiated. Difference belongs to the creation itself. We in our cognitive responses as knowing beings distinguish creational differences rightly. Distinguishing is epistemological, difference is ontic. There are different ways of distinguishing difference. My little puppy went up and down the street smelling, he distinguished it by scent – we are not talking about that; another way is the way plants distinguish light sources, animals distinguish organic and sensibly, plants distinguish organically, men distinguish organically, psychically and logically, but concept formation.

Aquinas following Aristotle distinguished simple apprehension, the forming of a concept, the act of judgement and the act of reasoning. Why is it empiricistic logic? According to empiricism we need sense input ot then form the concepts in judgement. Kant denied that there was the simple act of apprehension; according to Kant first is judging.

According to Kant, the concept is all these judgements.

Distinguishing difference by concept building. Judging is a particular way of distinguishing difference

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