given

Linked Glossary of Terms
(references to De Wijsbegeerte der Wetsidee, unless indicated. See concordance for correlation with pages in the New Critique. The concordance is in pdf format.)

given I,5, 46, 60

II, 399, 405, 410

III, 1 (gegeven der naieve ervaring), 2 (not a phenomenon), 2 (ident-blijvende der zich veranderende dingen), 3 (der ding-ervaring), 10 (robbed of its fulness by theory), 12, 15, 16 (not functionalism), 16 (not sensory impressions, Hume), 17, 24-25, 28

NC I, 3 (reality as it is given)

NC II, 579

De Crisis der Humanistische Staatsleer, in het licht eener Calvinistische kosmologie en kennistheorie (1931), 89 (een gegeven)

“Het transcendentale critiek van het wijsgeerig denken,” Philosophia Reformata 6 (1941), 1-20 at 10. Naive experience is the natural fitting into [instelling] of our consciousness in reality. It is a given and not a theory that can be disputed. Page 13: The “given” is contrasted with what we make into t a theoretical “problem.”

givenness
gives I, 11, 48
II, 410; last article, “De Kentheoretische Gegenstandsrelatie en de Logische Subject-Objectrelatie,” Philosophia Reformata 40 (1975), 91.

Dooyeweerd emphasizes the given nature of our experience. There is an ontical foundation to our experience and our knowledge of temporal reality. We do not construct it.

Our naive experience is a given [een gegeven], and not a theory (De Crisis der Humanistische Staatsleer, in het licht eener Calvinistische kosmologie en kennistheorie(1931), 89 ). Immanence philosophy falsifies the given nature of reality.

Theory merely gives an account of what is given in naive experience (I, 47; not in NC; I, 61):

Philosophic theory must enable us to give an account of the structure of temporal reality given in naive experience (NC II, 579).

The givenness of our experience is in the individuality structures of temporal reality, and we experience this givenness as a systasis: In his last article, Dooyeweerd says,

…we also find in [D.F.M.] Strauss a continual confusion between the “ontical” and the epistemological states of affairs. In the Prolegomena of the transcendental critique of the theoretical attitude of thought and experience, I have remarked that in the subject-object relations of naïve attitude of thought and experience, empirical reality is understood as it gives itself, that is to say in the continuous systatic coherence and relatedness of its modal aspects within cosmic time. But in the Gegenstand-relation, these modal aspects are epistemologically (notontically”) split apart and set over against each other, with the intention of bringing them into view in their general modality, and thereby making them available for theoretical concepts. (p. 91)

Dooyeweerd opposes what is “given” in pre-theoretical experience with the product of theoretical analysis in the Gegenstand-relation. See “Het dilemma voor het christelijk wijsgeerig denken,” Philosophia Reformata 1 (1936) 1-16 [‘Dilemma’] at 7.

Meaning is also given to temporal reality by the Origin (I, 11). It is not that we ourselves ascribe meaning to something that is inherently meaningless.

An early emphasis on givenness as opposed to the construction by logical creativity is his 1923 article “Roomsch-katholieke en Anti-revolutionaire Staatkunde” (cited by Verburg 60). He says that our thinking and our giving of meaning are discontinuous. The relation between the aspects (gezichtsvelden) cannot be expressed in logical relations, because that relation only has meaning within that particular field of view [ingeklemde (wedged in) gezichtsveld].

“Dat echter die wezenssamenhang tusschen alhet bestaande en ons ik-bewustzijn een onaantastbare realiteit is en dat de geheele kosmos, onze logos inbegrepen, is “gegeven” door de Goddelijke Noesis, door het Goddelijk woord, moet het alpha en de omega zijn van iedere waarachtige kentheorie.”

[The alpha and omega of each true epistemology must be that the essential relation between all that exists and our self-consciousness is an intangible reality, and that the whole cosmos, including our logos, is “given” by the Divine Noesis, through the Divine Word].

And we find the idea of givenness in Baader, who opposed Kant’s constructive view of reality. Already in his early writings, Baader says that there must be a givenness that we ourselves do not give:

Überall um den Menschen wird allen alle Augenblicke gegeben und alle empfangen. Sie selbst geben sich es nicht, darum muß wohl etwas außer ihnen sein… (Franz von Baader: Seele und Welt: Franz Baaders Jugendtagebücher 1786-1792 (Volksverband Bücherfreunde, 1928), 61).

Our experience is a discovery and not an invention (‘finden’ not ‘erfinden’). The knowledge that we find derives from a source that ‘dominates’ and founds this knowledge. But that our experience is given does not mean that it is a static structure. For Baader, what is given (gegeben) is also given as task (Aufgebung) to be returned (as Rückgabe) to the Giver. Even our act of prayer is not something we construct, but we give back what has already been given to us (Werke 1, 346, 397; 5, 347; 7, 182; 8, 37; 9, 110; 12, 163).

Revised Jan 11/09