temporal succession

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.)

before and after NC I, 29 (cosmic time has an order of before and after)
stream of time [‘tijdsstroom’] II, 413

NC I, 27 (Bergson’s Erlebnissstrom)

order of cosmic time I, 70
II, 47-48NC 1, 29 (temporal character of cosmic time disclosed in the opening process)NC II, 49-50
successive I, 71 (successive refraction)
temporal succession

Cosmic time differentiates the supratemporal totality into a diversity of aspects. These aspects are experienced in a cosmic order of earlier and later. The earlier aspects “found” the later aspects. And the later aspects “lead” the earlier aspects in the opening process.

This foundation of the later aspects by the earlier has too often been regarded as merely a logical relation. To be sure, there is a temporal prius and posteriori in the logical mode. But Dooyeweerd says that the aspects really appear in a temporal order of succession. The aspects are” arranged in the order of cosmic time, in a cosmic succession of prior and posterior (NC II, 50). The logical is just one of the aspects within that temporal order. The obscuring of this Idea of temporal succession is due to Vollenhoven’s denial of the temporal succession of the aspects. (“Problemen van de tijd in onze kring” March 29/68).

The Idea of the temporal succession of the aspects is one of the key thoughts in Dooyeweerd’s philosophy.

It is the very signification of cosmic time in its correlation of order and duration to be successive refraction of meaning into coherent modal aspects (NC I, 106).

Temporal succession of the is is related to the following Ideas:

(1) The idea of earlier and later aspects appears in the distinction between retrocipatory and anticipatory moments within each aspect.

(2) The distinction between concepts and Ideas. Concepts include only retrocipatory moments, and Ideas include anticipatory moments.

(3) The distinction between foundational and transcendental. Our naive experience is in the foundational direction, towards our Ground. Philosophy is in the transcendental direction towards fulfillment, seeking to unify what has been separated in the theoretical dis-stasis.

(4) The distinction between ground and fulfillment. Fulfillment is at the end of cosmic time. Ground is what is prior to the differentiation by cosmic time.

5) There is an “unfolding” of reality within time. The opening out process involves the discovery of the anticipatory moments in our experience, and their positivization and concretization in history. The temporal nature of the order is disclosed in the opening process (NC I, 29).

(6) Succession of the aspects is also important in the architecture of individuality structures . There is an architecture which knits together the successive moments into a structure:

What is a structure? It is an architectonic plan according to which a diversity of ” moments ” is united in a totality. And that is only possible so long as the different ” moments ” do not occupy the same place in the totality but are rather knit together by a directive and central “moment”. This is precisely the situation with regard to the structure of the different aspects of reality. They have an enduring structure in time which is the necessary condition for the functioning of variable phenomena in the framework of these aspects.(“Introduction to a Transcendental Criticism of Philosophic Thought” Evangelical Quarterly XIX (1) Jan 1947, 46)

(7) The order of the aspects appears in the development of a human being. Dooyeweerd shows how the modal order is the same time order in which these functions begin to operate in the life of a newborn baby (NC II, 112-13).

(8) Dooyeweerd says that our central supratemporal heart is the sphere of all occurrences of our actions. These actions are expressed in our temporal functions. I believe that this means that our actions unfold in an order of earlier and later as well.

Revised May 17/05; Dec 24/16