quadrat

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.)

Quadrat
Quaternity

These are terms found in Baader. Baader wrote about Pythagoras and the idea of the Quadrat. He wrote the article “Über das pythagoreische Quadrat in der Natur” in 1798. That was in his second period, and after writing some critiques of Kant. Baader refers to the fact that Pythagoras offered the idea of quaternity to his students as the key to nature (Werke 3, 267). This does not mean that he accepted everything that Pythagoras said. He rejected the dualism of Pythagoras (Werke V, 48; Philosophische Schriften, II, 171).

There is an excellent article by Hans Grassl: “Baaders Lehre vom Quaternar im Vergleich mit der Polarität Schellings und der Dialektik Hegels,” in Peter Koslowski: Die Philosophie, Theologie und Gnosis Franz von Baaders (Passagen Verlag, 1993).

See my discussion of how Baader uses this idea. It can be found in my article “Imagination, Image of God and Wisdom of God: Theosophical Themes in Dooyeweerd’s Philosophy,” (2006). The article discusses the Wisdom tradition within which Dooyeweerd’s philosophy is situated, and discusses quaternity in relation to Wisdom. Wisdom is not a fourth Person in God, but the body of the Trinity.

Baader’s use of the term ‘quaternity’ does not in any way involve an idolization of mathematics. He uses the symbol of a triangle with a point in the middle. That is the Quadrat. In one way, he seems to use it to show the dynamism of the Trinity. The “fourth” is the underlying inner unity of the Trinity. The complete triad is a quaternity (Betanzos 88). The fourth element is not on the same level; rather, a ground for the other 3, source of its unity (Werke 2,243). These ideas may relate to Boehme and Eckhart, and the distinction between God and Godhead. They also relate to the idea of “embodiment.” According to Baader, there is embodiment even in God.

Baader sees the same dynamism at work in our own experience. Since we are the image of God, we also need embodiment. Kuyper praised Baader for this emphasis on embodiment. There must be interaction between inner and outer, between immanent and emanent powers. Baader uses the idea of the Quadrat to criticize Hegel’s dialectic, in a way that seems similar to Dooyeweerd’s view of synthesis. Grassl says, “Duality or polarity only counts to two. Baader wants to count to four.” Baader’s view is in contrast to Schelling’s idea that everything in nature proceeds from polarity and dualism. [Is this not also the case with postmodernism’s emphasis on différance?] Schelling’s views lead to a gnosticism that ultimately posits the origin of evil in God. With respect to Hegel, we cannot just make a logical opposition (a duality) and then a synthesis (the three). There must also be a fourth, which involves relating it all to the supratemporal root.

Compare this to Dooyeweerd’s idea that a merely intermodal coherence is insufficient, and that we must seek the supratemporal totality. Dooyeweerd says that there is a dialectical method in theory. But the opposites are relative and not absolute, and we must search in theory for their higher synthesis (Roots 8). We cannot get beyond the antithesis in the Gegenstand relation unless it is directed above itself to a transcendent supra-temporal concentration point (NC I, 31). In intuition we recognize the theoretical datum, the Gegenstand, as our own (NC II, 475-480).

Jung also uses the term ‘quaternity.’ Although Jung was aware of Baader, and may have been influenced by him in this regard, Jung also uses ‘quaternity’ in a very different way. He brings in evil and shadow as the fourth member of the Trinity. This is contrary to Baader, who would regard it as a pantheistic combination of the temporal with God’s eternity. Although Baader seems to the fourth as a Ground within the Trinity, he would never regard this Ground as the source of evil.

Revised May 29/09

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