my own

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.)

own II, 408-410 (ons eigen), 414

NC II, 473-74 (474: self-reflection on the modal aspects as being our own), 478-79

32 Propositions on Anthropology

Encyclopedia of the Science of Law, 223.

Reformatie en Scholastiek in de Wijsbegeerete, Vol. I, 137; cited by Verburg 266 (innerly his own; innerlijk eigen maakt).

not foreign
I, 10, 47 (the theoretical attitude is foreign to naive experience)

II, 409 (the meaning-modalities are not foreign, but our own).


NC II, 474

Encyclopedia of Legal Science (1946), 9 [the Gegenstand is foreign to our consciousness]

De Crisis der Humanistische Staatsleer, in het licht eener Calvinistische kosmologie en kennistheorie (1931), 103 (the a-logical meaning-functions are not foreign, but our own)

relate to my Self II, 413

As humans, we have a supratemporal selfhood, which expresses itself in its temporal functions. Ourintuition relates these temporal functions to our selfhood. The problem of how our supratemporal selfhood relates to its temporal functions has not been discussed in reformational philosophy. This is probably because most of these philosophers have rejected Dooyeweerd’s key Idea of the supratemporality of the selfhood.

In my article “

Imagination, Image of God and Wisdom of God: Theosophical Themes in Dooyeweerd’s Philosophy (2006), I discuss the role played by imagination and intuition in making temporal relaity our own..

The modal aspects are not foreign to our selfhood, in the sense of being transcendent to it. They are cosmically our own, and have no meaning or existence apart from the religious root in which our selfhood participates:

The modal aspects of temporal reality are not alien to us in the sense of transcending the human selfhood. They are cosmically our own. Apart from the religious root in which the creation finds its totality of meaning and in which our selfhood shares [deel heeft], they have no meaning.(NC II, 474).

The WdW adds that the aspects have no existence apart from this root.

Dooyeweerd says that intuition relates our temporal functions to our selfhood in several ways:

(1) In naive experience, our intuition shows us that our temporal functions are “our own.” We have an immediate enstatic experience of temporal reality as our own (II, 414; NC II, 479). The aspects are our own “cosmically” (II, 409; NC II, 474). Even the identification of a sensation such as a sweet taste would be impossible without intuition:

How could I really be aware of a sweet taste, if I could not relate this sensory impression to myself, by means of my intuition entering into the cosmic stream of time? (NC II, 478).

(2) Intuition is the basis for our experience of the subject-object relation in naive experience.

Only in intuition do I experience the coherence of a psychical impression with the pre-psychical aspects of empirical reality, in which the sensory subject-object relation is founded (NC II, 478).

(3) The temporal bottom layer of our actual analysis is our intuition (NC II, 473). Although Dooyeweerd refers to our actual analysis (an act), he locates intuition in relation to the logical aspect.

It is that temporal bottom layer of the latter [the analytical modus] by means of which our analytical function of thought is embedded in cosmic time itself. Through this bottom layer our thought is in continuous temporal contact with all the other modal functions which our selfhood can claim in time as its own.This temporal bottom layer of actual analysis is our intuition (NC II, 473).

Although in this passage intuition is related to our act of thinking, elsewhere he relates intuition to our analytic aspect itself:

Only in our intuition is our logical subject-function in actual temporal contact with the other aspects of reality. (NC II, 478).

(4) Our acts also occur in the central supratemporal selfhood, and are expressed in the temporal. In our acts, under the leadership of normative points of view, we direct our self intentionally to states of affairs either in reality or in the world of our imagination.

By relating these (now) intentional states of affairs to his “I-ness” he makes them internally his own. (“32 Propositions on Anthropology“)

(5) In theoretical thought (one of our acts), our intuition allows us to enter cosmic time:

It [intuition] is the temporal bottom layer [dieptelaag] reality of our activity of thinking. By this our analytical function of thinking is itself fitted enstatically [ingesteld] within cosmic time, and through it this function of thinking remains in continuous temporal contact with all other aspects that our selfhood has as its own within time (II, 408)

Our intuition of time allows us to “enter into the temporal cosmos” and to set apart and combine the modal aspects in theoretical thought (NC II, 480).

(6) In theoretical thought, our intuition also relates the Gegenstand, which has been split out from the temporal coherence, back to the coherence of our selfhood. Intuition recognizes the theoretical datum as “our own.” If it did not, the Gegenstand would be foreign [vreemd] to our consciousness.

But theoretical insight, originating from antithetical disjunctive thought, and reading the disclosed and opened modal aspect as its “Gegenstand,” cannot itself reveal this modality to us as our own. The true datum is never that which has been merely theoretically read.(NC II, 475).

In other words, our intuition relates our theory to the experience of our supratemporal self. This is confirmed by Dooyeweerd:

My intuition moves to and fro between my deepened analysis and its “Gegenstand” to bring them into actual contact in the inter-modal synthesis of meaning. […] In this intuition I implicitly relate the intermodal meaning-synthesis to the transcendent identity of the modal functions I experience in the religious root of my existence. (NC II, 478-79)

Note: The NC translation speaks of an “inter-modal synthesis of meaning.” This is confusing. The original Dutch only speaks of a meaning synthesis [zin-synthesis]. The theoretical synthesis is between our actual thought [an act from out of our selfhood] and the Gegenstand of abstracted aspects, which is not actual or ontical, but only intentional. See synthesis.

(7) Theoretical thought is based on our pre-theoretical cosmic consciousness. In cosmic consciousness, we expereience the temporal aspects as our own. We experience an identity between inner and outer. And this same experience occurs in theoeretical thought, only deepened:

In het vóór-theoretisch zelfbewustzijn blijft naar de kosmische westsorde het theoretische gefundeerd. Aan alle theoeretisch denken over de zin-zijden der werkelijkheid en aan alle schouwend in-zicht ligt een be-leving in identiteit ten grondslag, welke in het theoertitsch-schouwend in-zicht slechts verdiept, maar nimmer opgeheven kan worden. (WdW II, 415).

The NC translation does not make this clear, so I will re-translate:

In accordance with the cosmic law-order, our theoretical self-consciousness remains founded in this pre-theoretical self-consciousness. At their foundation, there is an experience in identity [be-leving in identiteit] between all theoretical thought about the meaning-sides of reality and all intuitive in-sight. This identity can only be deepened in the theoretical-intuitive in-sight, but never sublated [opgeheven].

The identity is the correspondence between our intuitive in-sight and our theoretical thought about the meaning-sides of reality. In naïve expereince, we have a cosmic consciousness of the identity of our selfhood with its funcitons. In theoretical thought we have a cosmological consciousness of the identity of the Gegenstand with the meaning-sides of reality.

(8) Our naive experience is learned. I understand that this means we must learn how our supratemporal selfhood relates to the temporal world. We must understand that our functions are our own. We must learn how to live in the temporal world, to make it our own. We must also learn the subject-object relation, by which we understand that objects can be distinguished from ourselves. Dooyeweerd says that a child’s life is not only pre-theoretical, but it is pre-experiential. Infants

…have not yet learned the practical function of things and events in social life. Experience in its proper sense presupposes a sufficient development of the typical act-structure of human existence and a practical acquaintance with the things of common life which is not acquired by animal instinct. (NC III, 33)

The infant’s experience is like animism:

Animistic representations may belong to an infantile and consequently pre-experiential phase of human development. such representations are due to a provisional inability to conceive subject-object relations (NC III, 34).

Thus, the infant has not yet learned the subject and object functions of the things around him or her. We must learn that temporal reality does not have all the subject functions that we possess. But we must also learn that temporal reality exists in relation to our selfhood as its supratemporal root. If there were a thing existing in itself, it would not at all exist “for us” (NC II, 56).

(9) In Encyclopedia of Legal Science (1946) Dooyeweerd says that the Gegenstand as it is understood by German thought,is a reality that is foreign to our consciousness:

Now what is unique to naïve experience is that it does not set the functions of consciousness over against a reality that is foreign to it (the Gegenstand of knowledge, as it is called by the Germans).(p. 9)

At WdW II, 410, Dooyeweerd says that the Gegenstand is not ontical, and that is why it cannot by itself be seen as our own. It has been abstracted from the continuity of cosmic time.

(8) But although the theoretical Gegenstand is foreign to our consciousness, and needs to be integrated back to our selfhood, our pre-theoretical experience is not foreign because we are fitted into temporal reality, and all of the functions (not only the logical) are experienced as our own:

De a-logische zinfuncties zijn niet vreemd aan het zelfbewustzijn. Ze zijn alle gezamenlijk eigen aan onze zelfheid. Alleen daarom kuunen wij ze in hare zin-wetmatigheid leeren kennen. (De Crisis der Humanistische Staatsleer, in het licht eener Calvinistische kosmologie en kennistheorie (1931), 103),

[The a-logical meaning functions are not foreign to our self-consciousness. They are all together owned by our selfhood. It is only because of this that we can learn to know them in their meaningful conformity to law].

(10) To see the modal functions as “our own” is known by self-reflection.(NC II, 474).

Revised Oct. 8/07