The Idea of the Individuality Structure
[De Idee der Individualiteits-structuur
Philosophia Reformata 8 (1943), 65–99; 9 (1944) 1–41, 10(1945) 25ff, 11(1946) 22ff.
by Herman Dooyeweerd
Excerpts translated by
A .pdf version of this article is available here.
Note: The text below is a provisional translation of excerpts from this article. Copyright is held by the Dooyeweerd Centre, Ancaster, Ontario, and publishing right is held by Mellen Press, Lewiston, New York. A definitive translation will be published in the series The Collected Works of Herman Dooyeweerd.
This is an important article by Dooyeweerd contrasting his Idea of the individuality structure with the concept of substance. It is a very long article (131 pages), and was published in four installments. Most of the article concerns detailed criticism of Aristotle and of Thomas Aquinas.
This is a translation of about 26 pages of the article. The largest excerpt is from the concluding installment, pages 41-52. I believe that these excerpts in particular help to understand Dooyeweerd’s own ideas. In particular, we see how his Idea of individuality structures is something that can be understood only from the standpoint of our supratemporal religious root-unity. Dooyeweerd also says that Aristotelian logic is inextricably linked with the view of substance, an idea that Dooyeweerd rejects. We can also understand how, although he is critical of Roman Catholic thought in this article, Dooyeweerd later appreciates the new Catholic theology with a different view of the selfhood  .
Apart from clarifying the Idea of individuality structures, this article is helpful in understanding Dooyeweerd’s Idea of the Gegenstand-relation. It is therefore useful in understanding Dooyeweerd’s last article, where he says that the Gegenstand-relation has been confused by some reformational philosophers with the subject-object relation.
A. Philosophia Reformata 8 (1943), 65–99
[p. 65] Now one of the fundamental propositions of the Philosophy of the Law-Idea is that temporal reality explicitly gives itself in naïve experience only in its individuality structures. Furthermore, we understand the individual things that are entrusted to this experience only within these structures.
[pp. 72-74] In its transcendental critique of philosophy, the Philosophy of the Law-Idea has demonstrated that theoretical thought, by virtue of its inner structure, requires a supra-theoretical point of departure of an intrinsically religious character, and that it can therefore never be autonomous with respect to that point of departure.
For in contrast to the pre-theoretical attitude of thought in naïve experience, the theoretical, scientific attitude of thought is characterized by what is called the ‘Gegenstand-relation,” in which we set the logical aspect of thought over against the non-logical aspects of the field of investigation, which thereby becomes the “Gegenstand” of the logical analysis. The scientific problem first arises in this distancing, in this splitting apart and setting over against each other of the modal aspects.
In this Gegenstand-relation, the non-logical aspect, which forms the field of investigation, finds itself in a true theoretical anti-thesis over against the logical aspect of thought. This anti-thesis, this setting over against, is the product of a theoretical splitting apart of the aspects of reality, which in naïve experience are given as a unity  in an unbreakable coherence.
And this splitting apart is only possible by means of theoretical abstraction, in which we subtract [aftrekken] from temporal reality in its given structure precisely that which holds the aspects in that unbreakable coherence. This appeared to be the cosmic order of time, in which all aspects of reality are grounded in their modal structure, and which overarches all of them, and interweaves each of them with the other in an unbreakable way, and which itself expresses itself in their structure.
Theoretical thought–and this is the second step of the transcendental critique–can really not stop with the theoretical anti-thesis, that is, the problem of the “Gegenstand.” It always tries to obtain a concept of the “Gegenstand.” In order to do this, it must necessarily proceed from the theoretical anti-thesis—the setting of the logical over against the non-logical aspect—to the theoretical syn-thesis, in which the aspects that have been split apart and set over against each other are again connected into a theoretical unity. Only in this way do we come to a logical concept of number, spatiality, movement, organic life, feeling, history, language, beauty, justice and the remaining modal aspects of reality.
And with this arises the central problem of any possible philosophy: From which standpoint do the aspects, which have been set apart and set over against each other in the Gegenstand-relation, permit themselves to be united again in the theoretical view of totality?
As will become clear, this point of departure may never try to reduce the non-logical Gegenstand-aspect, which forms the field of investigation, to the logical aspect of thought, or to another aspect that has already been synthetically grasped by a concept, for in this way we would fail to appreciate the irreducible character of the aspects.
A unity that is constructed in this way is in conflict with the structure of the Gegenstand-relation, and such a unity can never be accounted for or explained in a purely theoretical, purely scientific way. It always amounts to the absolutization of one aspect at the cost of the uniqueness of all the other aspects.
Theoretical synthesis can only honour the uniqueness and mutual irreducibility of the aspects if it chooses the point of departure for science above the Gegenstand-relation (and therefore above theoretical thought itself). It must choose this point of departure in the religious root-unity of all modal aspects and individuality structures of reality, as these are grounded in the cosmic order of time. 
Now as the Philosophy of the Law-Idea has shown in its transcendental critique, the choice of the Archimedean point is determined by the religious Ground-motive of philosophy. Only the Scriptural Ground-motive of creation, fall and redemption through Christ Jesus can concentrate theoretical thought upon the integral religious root-unity of the temporal aspects and of individuality structures. 
Only this Ground-motive can deliver to theoretical thought the integral Idea of the Origin, which in the third step of the transcendental critique was seen to determine the content of the Idea of the deeper (root-) unity of all the aspects that were split apart in the theoretical Gegenstand-relation.
In contrast to this, as long as a thinker proceeds from an intrinsically dualistic and dialectical Ground-motive, this integral root-unity will remain hidden to him, and he will be left seeking the common denominator–in which must be sought the necessary unity of all theoretical diversity–within the theoretical concept itself.
[p. 75] [The Philosophy of the Law-Idea] does not claim to give us an actual theoretical concept of the creaturely spiritual (religious) root-unity of the temporal cosmos. But it does theoretically give an account to us of the way in which we must allow our theoretical thought to be directed by the Scriptural Ground-motive, if theoretical thought—according to its inner nature and structure—is really to come to a synthetical knowledge of the structures of temporal reality. This philosophy points to no other way to penetrate to the spiritual root-unity of the temporal cosmos other than the way of religious self-knowledge and knowledge of God given by Divine Word revelation. This philosophy is therefore essentially concentrically directed to the supratemporal religious dimension of the horizon of human experience, from which all temporal-theoretical diversity is understood in the central vision of its spiritual unity. And from this dimension alone can the temporal dimensions of this horizon of experience disclose to us its diverging structures.
[p. 78] Undoubtedly, Thomas arrives at the Idea of an Origin-Unity in the divine fullness of being of everything that exists. But he cannot arrive at the idea of the (creaturely) religious root-unity of all the diversity within the temporal horizon that has been split apart by theoretical thought. And without this transcendental Idea of root-unity, theoretical thought misses the common denominator for distinguishing structures of reality. [This true common denominator] really leaves the structures intact and does not replace them by an autonomously leveling theoretical construction.
[p. 80] Now there can be no polar dualism between “form” and “matter” within the cultural aspect of reality. All cultural activity requires a material that is available for form-giving. The “material” stands in the modal historical subject-object relation to the “form-giving;” it does not stand in a contrary opposition, such as the oppositions that we know in the normative aspects, such as logical-illogical (here the contrary opposition is dominated by the principium contradictionis), historical-unhistorical (reactionary), beautiful-ugly, just-unjust, moral-immoral, etc.
Cultural religion deified this [modal] form principle…
[p. 83] Undoubtedly, the distinction between potentiality and actuality in reality has in itself been a brilliant and fruitful discovery. Western philosophic thought has indeed been enriched by this distinction; it is also found in all of its possible variations in modern philosophy. Biology in particular cannot do without it. And it is certainly not the intention of the Philosophy of the Law-Idea to reject or to minimize an Aristotelian distinction that has appeared to be fruitful. But, as has continually been the case in the area of philosophy, in the Aristotelian and Thomistic metaphysics, the schema of potential-actual acquires a completely particularly philosophical sense because of the religious Ground-themas from which these thinkers proceed. The discovery, important in itself, of a fundamental state of affairs within given reality is thereby taken up into a metaphysical frame of thought which is only acceptable to those who proceed from the same Ground-motives.
[p. 85]. The cultural aspect knows of no polar opposition of pure form and pure matter.
[p. 86]. This understanding of creation as merely a one-sided “relation” is certainly good Aristotelian [philosophy], but it is definitely unscriptural.
God’s work in His creation completely transcends human understanding, but according to the Word revelation it is nonetheless the original fullness [oorsprongvolheid] of working, of activity in the original meaning of the word, and of which all human activity is merely a weak shadow. The “theoretical” rest of Aristotle’s first “unmoved Mover” is the radical opposite of the “acting God,” who reveals himself in His Word (“My father has worked until now, and I also work.” 
[pp. 87-89] Certainly, by virtue of its Origin, we can call all of creation ‘divine’ [goddelijk] , but we can never make a distinction within creation between two principles of being, of which one is and the other is not honoured as “divine.”
God’s work of creation is complete, and knows no principle of incompleteness. It is precisely in its polar character that the Greek view of the protè húle as the flowing and chaotic is in principle totally foreign to the Scriptural view of creation.
It must be the case that by accepting a metaphysical concept of being, which is permeated by the dialectic of the Greek form-matter motive, the Scriptural Idea of creation is itself denatured in its integral character.
In the Word-revelation concerning creation, what is at stake is the Self-revelation of God. In the Word-revelation concerning the religious root-unity of human nature, what is at stake is the divine Revelation of man to himself. 
The Ground-motive of divine Word-revelation–the motive of creation, fall into sin and redemption by Christ Jesus–forms an indivisible unity. Whoever denies the radical character of the fall into sin and of redemption has per se an unscriptural view of creation. And also the reverse is true: whoever holds to an unscriptural view of creation must then also per se come to a view of the fall into sin and redemption that inadequately understands Word-revelation.
Well now, the Roman [Catholic] synthesis of nature and grace leads Thomas to accept an accommodated Aristotelian conception of human nature, which denies the religious root-unity, the integral center of all of temporal existence. The religious community with God is only acknowledged as a donum superadditum, a supernatural gift of grace to [man’s] “rational nature.” In that way, and in the first place, the view concerning the relation of “soul” and “body” is understood in a way that is completely in conflict with the integral creation-motive. According to the Greek conception, the human soul as “anima rationalis” is proclaimed as the form of the body, and the “body” as “material-body” is reduced to an abstract complex of the first three aspects of temporal reality (number, spatiality and movement). Only in the substantial form of the soul does the body in fact acquire actual existence; it is therefore not itself elevated to a “substance,” but all the higher functions, including that of organic life are really [viewed as] form-functions, which the material body can only derive from the “rational soul.”
And because the “anima rationalis” (qualified by the theoretical function of thought) is hypostatized as a “substance,” albeit as an “incomplete substance,” which after bodily death can also exist apart from the material body, [this synthesis] accepts a dicho-tomy in the temporal side of human existence. And this is completely in conflict with the Scriptural teaching of creation. In this way, it is impossible for Thomas to discover the soul, the heart of the whole of human temporal existence, as it has been revealed to us in the Scriptures.
This all has the consequence that Thomas also cannot understand the radical meaning of the fall into sin and of Christ’s work of redemption, and that he defended with conviction the teaching of the Roman Catholic church, that the fall into sin only caused the donum superadditum to be lost, but that human nature itself was not corrupted, as in contrast to the scriptural teaching maintained by Augustine.
Thomas was completely consistent on this point. But the scholastic school in reformed theology was not consistent. It supposed that it could unite the Thomistic view of “human nature” with the teaching of the radical fall into sin. This is in fact impossible in principle. If human nature is not concentrated in a religious root, from which all temporal functions without distinction are determined in their spiritual direction, how then can “nature” ever be corrupted by sin in its root?
Man’s self-knowledge is completely dependent on his knowledge of God. If God is “absolute” Form in contrast to “absolute” matter, then man, too can only discover himself as form. If this “form” is the “anima rationalis” [rational soul], then there is no place left for an integral center of the whole of temporal existence.
In Thomas’s scholastic philosophy, this has the immediate consequence that we can find an Idea of the Origin, but no Idea of the root-unity of the temporal cosmos . The metaphysical concept of being, internally broken by the dialectical form-matter motive, has to replace this last Idea [of root-unity]. It can only offer a unity of “analogy,” which cannot be a genuine analogy, because the analogies cannot be brought back to their root. 
The metaphysical concept of being received its “transcendental determinations” by the basic concepts of unity, truth, beauty and goodness, and it received its first transcendental distinction by the schema of potentiality and actuality, matter and form. In Aristotelian-Thomistic metaphysics, it receives its more precise definition by what are called “predicates” or “categories,” which distinguish being into ten kinds (genera), which again differentiate themselves into species.
Aristotle extensively sets out these categories in his treatment of logic, but according to his “realistic” view, they have no purely logical meaning, but are to be understood as essentially modes of being; in themselves they have no reality.
So from this it is already clear that we cannot separate Aristotelian logic from Aristotelian metaphysics. And if it is still believed that the study of what is called ‘formal logic’ or ‘epistemology’ [denkleer] is a necessary preparation for theological studies, then this can only be explained by a scholastic encroachment in these studies, one which permeates to the deepest foundations of science.
It is completely superficial to want to separate “formal logic” from the whole of the philosophical train of thought in which it is included, and to wish to view it as a neutral “universally valid” teaching of thought with respect to philosophy.
In Aristotelian-Thomistic metaphysics, the first and foundational category of being is that of substance. It determines what a thing is according to its essence [wezen], as an individual independent unity of being, to which all other categorical determinations are ascribed.
The remaining categories do not say what a thing is according to its essence, but merely concern what are called ‘accidentia,’ the properties which are carried by the “substance,” and which can never exist apart from a substance. 
If one examines this whole table of categories, then it is immediately clear that they exclude in principle any insight into the modal structures of the distinguished aspects of temporal reality. It is oriented to a theoretical teaching of judgments, which views time merely as an external accidental determination of the being of “substances,” and it does not acknowledge time as the inner universal cosmic structural ordering of all temporal creatures.
[…] For as the Philosophy of the Law-Idea has demonstrated, these structures are not dependent on the things that function in them.… 
The things of naïve experience are merely individual unities in the diversity of their individual qualities within the modal aspects of reality, just as the modal structure of an aspect is merely a relative unity in the diversity of its structural moments.
For example, naïve experience would never understand the individual unity of a tree as a “material substance,” which in itself would be without number, without spatial extensiveness, without impulses of movement, without sensory qualities etc., and which was merely able to reveal itself in all of these “categories.”
For if we theoretically abstract from the full reality of the tree its quantity, spatiality and the remaining modal qualities (in their individualization within the individuality structure), there would remain nothing left of the tree. It is entirely enclosed within the temporal horizon of reality, which only permits individual totalities within the diversity of their aspects.
Definitive critique of the scholastic-Thomistic
concept of substance. The concept of substance
as an uncritical Idea of the root-unity of a thing
In contrast, the Aristotelian-metaphysical concept of substance requires a metaphysical unity above this diversity, as a unity per se, in itself, which is supposed to be the absolute point of relation for all of its accidental properties, and in which the properties are supposed to converge, as in their individual root-unity.
For in fact the unity of “substance” concerns a root-unity, which as we have seen, is really consciously excluded in [that school’s] transcendental concept of being.
But such a transcendental unity cannot be found within the whole temporal horizon of reality in which temporal creatures are enclosed. Our transcendental critique has shown that the convergence point for the temporal aspects and for the individuality structures can only be discovered in the religious center of the temporal cosmos.
Man indeed has such a religious center, but inorganic materials, plants and animals have purely a temporal structure. How then could they possess a transcendent point of relation for all aspects of their existence? Because the concept of substance really requires such an absolute point of relation for all “accidental” categories, it must in fact be religiously rooted.
If according to the belief in the Roman Catholic Church, the bread and wine are “substantially” transformed into the body and blood of Christ, then there must already be a mystical “substance” proper to the natural materials, which is then by divine “super-natural” intervention transformed into another “substance,” without thereby resulting in a visible change of the “accidents.” 
It is therefore all the more amazing that reformed scholasticism, which rejected this Roman Catholic dogma, so quietly took over the Thomistic concept of substance “for theological use.” Undoubtedly it was also used to find a “metaphysical foundation” for certain doctrines of Christian belief such as the resurrection of the body and the continued existence of the soul after the body is cast aside. But it is only the second doctrine [continued existence of the soul], which really concerns the root-unity of human existence, and this transcends the temporal horizon of reality.
But in contrast, the concept of substance also assumes an individual root-unity for things like inorganic materials, plants and animals, all of which are completely temporal [in den tijd opgaan].
B. Philosophia Reformata 9 (1944) 1–41
Already the way that the problem of individuality is posed in Aristotelian-Thomistic metaphysics clearly demonstrates that it completely fails to see it as a structural problem, but that the way of posing the problem is here completely ruled by the dualistic form-matter motive, which in principle makes impossible any insight into these integral structures that overarch all aspects in the same way.
If in fact the intrinsic structure of individuality is excluded, one can never penetrate to the center of individuality. For structure only reveals itself in a diversity-unity [veel-eenheid]  of moments, which do not all stand on the same level, but which are ordered in an architectonic whole, in which a nuclear moment always qualifies the whole, whereas all other moments are grouped around the first moment as the intrinsic and central moment. Just as such a nuclear moment (the modal meaning kernel) rules all other moments (analogies and anticipation) in the modal structures of reality, so also we must first find the intrinsic nuclear moment of individuality in an individuality structure, which [nuclear moment] imprints the typical character onto the individual whole, in its integral overarching of all aspects that are displayed in temporal reality.
In Aristotelian-Thomistic metaphysics, there really is no place for these structures, and thus the intrinsic nucleus of an individual whole cannot be approached.
Within the framework of the Aristotelian form-matter motive, individualization could only be accounted for by the matter principle. It was therefore the principium individuationis, the individualizing principle of being, and in particularly in its quantitative categories of spatial extensiveness and number (in Thomas’s terminology, the “materia quantitate signata”).
So if matter is the final foundation of being for the individuality of composite things, then individuality is also subjected to continual change, and the composite substances can as a whole have no durable individual character. It was especially Duns Scotus, Thomas’s great opponent, who made this objection to the Aristotelian teaching. And it is indeed most difficult for the Thomist to refute, for as soon as individuality is thought of as something “definite” [bepaalds], scholasticism must call for help from the form-principle, which is precisely what according to Thomas cannot become an individualizing principle.
According to the Aristotelian-Thomistic view, what is subjectively individual always arises not from form, but from its dialectical opposite: matter. And matter, in its purely quantitative determination, can give no structure to individuality.
Individuality only acquires structure in a typical grouping of its modal aspects within an individual whole.
For never–not in any single actually existing thing–does an individuality type have an original character in the aspects of number and spatiality, nor can it in that sense be the nuclear type of the individuality of the thing.
The whole has an integral individuality, and this individuality is itself determined by the structural principle.
The Idea of the individuality structure and the
In contrast, we must again point out that the Idea of the individuality structure, as this has been developed by the Philosophy of the Law-idea, really gives a theoretical account of the givenness of the naïve experience of things. It is developed form the Scriptural creation motive of Word-revelation, and it is grounded in the insight that individuality structures of reality are really structures of time of a typical nature, just as the modal structures of the distinguished aspects of reality (such as number, spatiality, movement, organic life, feeling, the logical analytical, the historical, the symbolic, etc) must be understood as really modal structures of time. 
For this reason, these [individuality] structures can never guarantee more than a temporal, that is a relative unity in the diversity of their aspects, or respectively their modal structural moments. 
And once we give a [theoretical] account of them, this is also evident in individuality structures–that they are a typical expression of cosmic time, which overarches the whole of temporal reality according to its aspects, in an unbreakable correlation of law-side and subject-side. Seen according to its law-side, time is order of time, that is, an order of earlier and later for an individual subjective duration of time within the subject-side of reality. 
And so each individuality structure is implicitly a typical order of time for the individual duration of existence of the subjective thing or being. This structure prescribes a typical law for its individual existence.
In this way, the subjective duration of existence of a plant is subject to the order of time for its individuality structure, which in a typical way connects the existence of this being to the organic function of life. For in the typical structural whole of the plant-body, this modal function attains the typical role of the qualifying or destination function.
The fundamental distinction between the individuality structures is found only in the typical manner by which they are grouped within the modal aspects into a whole. Just as we can point out a modal meaning nucleus in the aspects enclosed in the law-spheres of the modal structures, which qualify the whole modal structure with its analogical and anticipatory meaning-moments and which imprints on it its irreducible character, so in the individuality structures—at least when we leave outside consideration the special “act-structure of the human body —we can always point to a qualifying modal aspect, which imprints on the individuality structure its irreducible type.
At present we are only concerned with the inner contradiction found in the accommodated Aristotelian view of the soul, which remained mixed up with the ecclesiastical dogma concerning the individual “immortality of the soul.”
For this the famous psycho-creationist theory was first brought forward: God still separately creates each human soul! And this was said notwithstanding Gen. 2:1, 2, which expressly teaches that God’s work of creation was completely finished, and that according to the Scriptures, no new acts of creation can take place.
But once this way of trifling with Holy Scripture was begun, then one could of course go a step further and construe the “continued creation” of the “animae rationalies” in such a way that [this idea] could be accommodated to the Aristotelian teaching concerning “matter” as the individualizing principle.
The whole psycho-creationistic theory, as well as its antipode, (at least in its original form), the traducianist theory, is derived from the dialectic Ground-motive of form and matter in its impossible accommodation with Scripture.
If this conception [the concept of substance] was not able to do justice to the true unity of human nature, how could it give clarity in the theological discussions concerning the great revealed mystery of the “unity of the two natures” in Christ Jesus? Aristotelian metaphysics is certainly the very worst leader for Christology! 
The unity of human nature—and a fortiori the personal unity of Divinity and humanity in Christ Jesus—can never be understood from the Greek form-matter motive, because this motive requires a dichotomy within the temporal horizon of human existence, and [p. 33] excludes a limine [from the outset] the root-unity of human existence.
In Aristotelian metaphysics, anima rationalis and material body remain in a mutual dialectical relation of the form and matter principle, and as we have earlier seen, no higher unity of both can be found other than the analogical concept of being. Of what value is it then to say that human nature is a substantial unity of body and soul, if the concept of substance itself remains caught in the dualism of form and matter?
And in the “concept of person” that is based on this concept of substance, what remains of the spiritual root of individuality, which is expressed in such a concise way in Paul’s description of the corpus Christi [Body of Christ] with Christ as Head and the regenerated as individual members [of the Body]?
Man’s soul or spirit, in the pregnant religious meaning of Divine Word-revelation, is itself the root-unity of the “body,” which [body] encompasses the whole of temporal human existence, including man’s temporal act-life, with its three fundamental directions of knowing, imagining and willing, in one integral “enkaptic structural whole.” 
But then this “body” is totally different from the abstract “material body” of Aristotelian scholasticism, just as the soul in its pregnant-religious Scriptural meaning is completely different from the abstract “anima rationalis.”
It [the body] is then the integral temporal form of expression of man’s spirit, which does not let itself be excluded from any of the modal aspects of the temporal horizon. Just as sunlight is refracted by a prism into the seven colour ranges of the spectrum, so the spiritual root-unity of man’s existence is refracted by the temporal horizon into the rich diversity of modal aspects and individuality structures of bodily existence . But although the body of a plant or animal is merely a temporal unity in the diversity of modal aspects and individuality structures, the human body on the contrary has a real root-unity in the spirit or soul of human existence.
For the theoretical concept as such remains bound to the [p. 34] theoretical Gegenstand-relation, with its theoretical splitting up and setting over against of the temporal aspects of reality. It is precisely for this reason that it needs a supra-theoretical religious point of departure, which relates this theoretical diversity to its root-unity and Original Unity.
A theoretical Idea as a transcendental boundary concept [grensbegrip] of the human soul can be obtained in its Scriptural sense only by means of the concentric directing of all theoretically split-apart aspects and individuality structures of man’s temporal bodily existence towards their religious root-unity, which transcends temporal existence, so that nothing in this bodily existence is withdrawn from the religious fundamental relation to God in the “heart” of our existence in relation. Such a transcendental Idea really implies the rejection in principle of the Thomistic dogma concerning the autonomy of the naturalis ratio.
True self-knowledge is completely dependent on knowledge about God. No one arrives at this self-knowledge other than through the Word-revelation concerning the creation of man in the image of God, the fall into sin in its radical–touching the spiritual root of human nature–meaning, and the redemption through Christ Jesus as the equally radical rebirth in the heart of our life.
And so true knowledge concerning man’s individuality is also completely bound to the revealed insight into the root-meaning of this individuality. As long as man tries to reduce what is individual in human existence to a principle of matter or to something else within the temporal horizon, man’s integral spiritual individuality is necessarily excluded.
Ideas as Ur-forms of individuality in neo-Platonism.
Plotinus was the founder of neo-Platonism, in which again the Greek spirit, albeit mixed with non-Greek motives, elevated itself from out of its long inner process of decay to its full height in the religious concentration of Theoria. At the same time it set itself against the all-penetrating spirit of Christian religion. Plotinus completely saw what was unsatisfying in the Aristotelian view concerning the matter principle as origin of individuality.
But within the dialectical ground-theme of form and matter, in which his [Plotinus’s] thought remained oriented (at least in part), when matter was rejected as the individualizing principle, nothing else remained to fulfill this role except the form principle. [p. 35]
For Plotinus, the “ideas” in the divine logos
were the true prototypes of the individual in the sensory world.
This [idea] was undoubtedly in the line of Plato’s conception in the dialogue Sophistes, where Idea was understood not in the least as an abstract universal, but rather as a concrete fullness and totality of the form of being, which [idea] was intended to concentrically include at the same time both the universal and the individual, and which was then was represented as a thinking, living and self-moving being, which in the process of Theoria would actively work upon subjective, beholding [schouwende] thought. From [Plato's] Sophistes, Plotinus derived the categories by which the spiritual cosmos is more precisely defined: being, rest, movement, identity, diversity.
Platonic dialectic is fundamentally different from Aristotelian logic. Aristotelian logic understands genus as an abstract universal framework of the determination of being, which is enriched by the addition of the differentia specifica (specific characteristics) and which receives a final (no longer intelligible, because not specific) addition by being made individual [verenkeling] from “form” in matter. In Plato it is the other way round: the progress of the genus to the species is no addition or enrichment of content, but a transition from the whole of the Idea towards its parts: the particular eidè or form of being [p. 36] in which the parts still preserve the wealth of the whole. And in this second train of thought, the individual must also be enclosed within the supra-sensory whole of the Idea and its specific eidè. It can never be an addition that the eidos, as intelligible form of being, first receives when it is empirically realized in a material.
“Matter” adds nothing to the fullness of being of the world of Ideas. The Ur-image contains all true existing beings.
This was really exactly Plotinus’s opinion. He understood the individual Ideas as really separate Ur-forms for every individual being and thing in the sensory world, and in this he saw the ideal prototype for every empirical individuality within its universal determination of being (Enneads. V, 7, 1 §1).
C. Philosophia Reformata 10 (1945) 25ff
The Augustinian view of individuality
Of course, the said logos doctrine could not free itself from the Greek form-matter motive. Plotinus tried to transcend the religious dualism of this motive in his idea of the divine all-unity that was elevated even above the form of being. But he only knew how to do this in his mystical teaching concerning the emanation of the various levels of being from this unity, again merely dialectically—and thus merely an illusory [transcendence]. In the process of his gradual emanation, which continually decreases in clarity, the light of divine unity turns into its opposite: the dark depths of absolutely formless matter! Of course, Augustine replaced this theory of emanation with divine creation, and he replaced the neo-Platonic nous by the divine Word as the second Person in the Divine Trinity. He also did not accept that there were separate creation ideas for every individual thing or being. But at least on this point, he held to the Platonic view that the Idea as an indivisible whole includes in its universality also the individual.
But by interpreting the Idea as a creation idea in the Divine Logos (the Verbum), nothing changed in the Greek view of individuality, which it knew how to approach only in the polar Ground-motive of form and matter.
In the footsteps of neo-Platonism, Augustine assumed that “spiritual substances” (human souls and the angels) possess not only a form of being, but also a “matter,” albeit a “spiritual matter” (material spiritualis). And he found the basis of individual existence in the real connection of these two principles, not in one of them exclusively.
Within the framework of the form-matter motive in its Aristotelian conception, form must play the role of law in the sense of substantial or respectively accidental determination of being. If in fact the form as a law type should finally become completely individualized in itself, then it would no longer be able to fulfill its defining and limiting function with respect to “matter.” Then there would immediately arise the threat of the nominalistic consequence, the denial of the reality of universal determinations of being in the individual thing and the complete denaturing of the lawfully regular [het wetmatige] to a subjective construction of thought. And that would result in the wiping out of the metaphysical boundary between essentia and existential.
According to Thomas, the universal only has a real existence in the individual composita [composite being] according to its content and ground (fundamentaliter), whereas as “pure form” (formaliter) it obtains actual existence only in the human soul. The actual existence of pure form then occurs through an inner transformation of the material individuum in the sensory image (phantasma) and afterwards by an inner transformation of the sensory image received by the passive intellect into a “pure form” that is received by the active intellect (intellectus agens).
The abstraction of matter and of individuality, which the activity of thought achieves in this way is not thought of as a purely logical one, but as an ontological abstraction, which brings about a total trans-formation of the purely sensory given to a “purely spiritual” being.
There is an important epistemological difference between Duns Scotus and Thomas in this view of the universalia. The Scottish scholastic did in fact accept the Aristotelian-Thomistic view that the intellect can only form the universal concepts of being by abstraction from sensory perception. This was in contrast to the Augustinian teaching of illumination, according to which the anima rationalis immediately beholds the Ideas in the divine logos by divine enlightenment, independently of sensory perception. But in opposition to Thomas, Duns Scotus taught that the intellect directs itself immediately to the individual, and that it knows the individual earlier than the universal.
Because the Scottish school continued to hold to the metaphysical concept of substance in the framework of the Greek doctrine of being, it could no more than Thomistic scholasticism perceive the religious root-unity of individuality in human nature. For it, too, the human soul remained the abstract anima rationalis as “spiritual substance.”
This even more sharp dualistic construction concerning the relation of soul and body, which as we shall see, Thomas again adapted to the Aristotelian construction, is simply incomprehensible from a purely Platonic as well as from an Aristotelian standpoint. It only becomes comprehensible on the basis of Augustine’s view of the “first matter.”
According to the great church father [Augustine], the “earth,” of which the first two verses of Genesis speak, was identical with the “prima materia,” which God had created without any fixed form, whereas the creation of the “heavens” related to the purely spiritual world of the angels. From the very beginning, God really placed in this “Ur-matter” the seeds (rationes seminales) of bodily creatures, upon which depended the development of order in the temporal cosmos. This was a thought derived from the Stoic teaching of the logoi spermatikos. Then, as the ancient Stoa taught, there must already be accorded to this first matter as such an actual independence (ousia), and it cannot be viewed with Aristotle as merely “potential being” (dunamei on). From the very beginning, it is equipped by God with active seeds of development, from which bodily forms arise by the actions of natural agentia. 
D. Philosophia Reformata 11 (1946) 22ff.
For Plato, ousia (substance) is always transcendent to sensorily perceptible material things, whose visible forms are subjected to the stream of becoming.
[For Plato], the material body is merely the “vehicle” (ochema) of the soul, which possesses its principle of life, and a pre-existence of the body. All of human existence is an image of the eternal Idea of the living being (to zoon), which contains within itself all that is good and beautiful.
The “ousia” of man is therefore found in the man’s “rational soul.” The dualism in Plato’s conception is not that he thought of man as a composite of two “substances.” The dualism is found exclusively in the chorismos (separation) between the substantial form-principle and the sensory material body. The Aristotelian conception of a substance composed of both form and matter, and the thereby implicit Aristotelian conception of the soul as the immanent substantial form of the body, remained innerly foreign to him [Plato].
For Aristotle, who in his mature conception of “material substance” broke with the Platonic chorismos between form of being (ousia) and matter, neither the anima rationalis nor the “material body” as such were independent, and thus there could be no talk of a connection of two substances. Only individual man is an ousia in the primary meaning of the word, and this ousia is the individually ensouled material body, whereby the anima rationalis functions merely as the form of independence [zelfstandigheidsvorm] of the body.
The mature Aristotelian conception was at least internally coherent in its definition of the relation of soul and body. Thomas had to break this coherence for the sake of the scholastic teaching of the church. The “anima rationalis” now had to be understood at the same time as both the only “substantial form” of the material body and also as “immortal substance,” whereas the standpoint of psycho-creationism was by inner necessity compelled to go back to the traditional-scholastic view of the body as a particular “independent being” [zelfstandigheid].
Thomas’s true view is therefore that only the material substance in the substantial connection with the anima rationalis ceases to be “independent.” In contrast, the rational soul remains actually existing as substance in the connection.
Now this view of the anima rationalis (which is nothing other than a theoretical abstraction from man’s temporal bodily existence) as “substance” was indeed the source of all antinomies in the scholastic view concerning the relation of soul and body.
From this we also obtain the clarity that we wanted on the argument concerning the independence of the theoretical ability to form concepts in relation to the material body, which then again served Thomas in “proving” the substantial character of the anima rationalis.
[In such an argument], the activity of thought is viewed not as a concrete human “act,” but only in terms of the abstracted modal structure of its logical aspect. As such, thought is expressly abstracted from its pre-logical aspects (the sensory-psychical, the biotic, the physical-chemical, etc), and it is set over against the “material body.”
As the Philosophy of the Law-Idea has demonstrated in its transcendental critique of theoretical thought, the theoretical Gegenstand-relation is always the product of an intentional abstraction, directed to the given structure of temporal reality, by which the unbreakable coherence between the aspects of temporal reality is merely theoretically eliminated. The unbreakable coherence of the aspects is guaranteed by the cosmic order of time, and that is what in the first place makes possible the synthetic activity of concept formation.
In reality, this unbreakable coherence is of course not eliminated, for that would make the theoretical act of knowledge itself impossible as a real activity.
And as a real act, the theoretical act of knowledge functions in all aspects of temporal reality without distinction; as a theoretical activity it displays merely an individuality-structure, which is qualified by the theoretical-logical function.
There is then no single human act of thought that can exist, in which the human body is not in action as a temporal whole in all of its aspects.
If that is the case—and in human experience, no act whatsoever is given except in this concrete coherence of reality—then we must also be able to point to an individuality-structure in the human body, which makes [p. 42] possible the theoretical act of thought and in which alone the act of thought can be enacted. In the anthropology of the Philosophy of the Law-Idea, as it has been worked out by me in recent years, this individuality-structure is called the act-structure of the human body.
Concrete acts and the theoretical Gegenstand-relation
What do we understand by ‘acts?’ What we call ‘acts’ are the inner activities of a person, by which, under the guidance of normative points of view (e.g. logical, aesthetic, ethical or pistical), he intentionally (i.e. purposively and putatively ) directs himself to states of affairs in reality or in the world of his imagination, and makes these states of affairs innerly his own, by relating them to his selfhood (as the individual center of his existence).
These acts always proceed from the integral center of human nature, which as we have earlier seen, Scripture in its powerfully concise religious meaning calls the heart, the soul or the spirit of man. But these acts can only be enacted within the human body as an enkaptic structural whole of temporal human existence, and more particularly, within the said act-structure of the human body, by which it is qualified as a whole.
In the intentional, purposive and putative character of these acts is hidden their innerness. The intention of these acts is only realized by activities in the “outer world”–that is to say, outside of man’s individual bodily existence. So activity is never without act, but not every act realizes itself in an action. In this way, a theoretical act of knowledge, or an aesthetic act of imagination can remain completely inner. As opposed to this, an act of the will is of course directed to action.
Now to view the act as in principle something that is independent of the “material”body, a purely “spiritual” directedness of the human soul, is a view that was transmitted from scholasticism to modern ‘act psychology’ and phenomenology (Husserl), although they fundamentally reinterpreted it in accordance with the humanistic Ground-motive of nature and freedom. But this view can be shown to have derived from the absolutization of the Gegenstand-relation that we have earlier analyzed.
As is known, Franz Brentano, the founder of modern act-psychology, was strongly influenced by Aristotelian thought. In Husserl, act-psychology describes the act as “a spiritual experience of the selfhood, and which in its content is intentionally related to a Gegenstand.”  In this way, the intentional Gegenstand-relation is made into an inherent component of the human act-life in all of its manifestations. 
[p. 43] But only the theoretical act of knowing displays this relation. It remains innerly foreign to all other acts, including the pre-theoretical act of knowledge, where only the intentional subject-object relation is inherent. But the subject-object relation differs in principle from the Gegenstand-relation in that unlike the Gegenstand-relation, it does not split apart the structure of reality, but rather leaves it intact, in the unbreakable coherence of its aspects. The confusion of both of these relations in act-psychology and in phenomenology is merely the consequence of the fact that man has sought his point of departure in the theoretical attitude.
Only in the theoretical Gegenstand-relation can we set the logical aspect of our act of thought over against the pre-logical aspects of our bodily existence. By [wrongly] viewing this relation as a “metaphysical reality,” there arises for Aristotle the metaphysical illusion that the act of thought itself might be fundamentally separated from the pre-logical bodily aspects, which can of course be the “Gegenstand” of the logical aspect of thought.
And by a phenomenological absolutization of this relation, Husserl comes to his view of “absolute consciousness,” whose “being” is, according to the scholastic description of the concept of substance, “nulla re indiget ad existendum” [that which needs no res in order to be]. 
In truth, the Gegenstand-relation does not exist between the concrete act of knowledge and a “material body,” but only within the bodily reality structure of the act of knowledge between its logical aspect of thought and the pre-logical aspects of reality of human bodily existence.
And as we said, this Gegenstand-relation, in its conscious abstraction of the previously given coherence of all aspects of the body, has a merely intentional character. So in reality, it is impossible to separate of the logical aspect of thought from the pre-logical bodily aspects.
So the Aristotelian arguments, which at first make such an impression, can indeed never prove the independence of the logical activity of thought, and certainly not an abstract “anima rationalis.” These arguments rest on a speculative metaphysical misinterpretation of the theoretical Gegenstand-relation. We will demonstrate this in more detail by giving a separate critically look at these arguments.
Aristotle asserts that the “thinking spirit” thinks everything and that it therefore cannot be mixed with “bodily matter.” As we have earlier seen, he cannot be referring in this argument to the human activity of thought, but only to the absolutized theoretical activity of thought as an impersonal theoretical nous that is always actually thinking. [p. 44]. For it cannot be maintained that an individual human could in fact have a concept of everything.
So when Thomas uses the Aristotelian argument in relation to human intellect, he must give a different turn to it.
[Thomas says that] man does not by his intellect know the “nature of all things” in reality, but rather he only can do so, he only has the capacity to do so.
We must remark that if this possibility really exists, it can only be determined by the universally valid structure of the theoretical activity of thought. In this way we are again referred to the structure of the theoretical Gegenstand-relation, which characterizes the theoretical activity of thought and knowledge.
This relation contains in itself the logical aspect of thought and the abstracted non-logical aspects that are set over against it. Theoretical knowledge only arises in a theoretical synthesis between our logical conceptual function and the non-logical function of our existence, which we have fixed in the “Gegenstand.”
According to its modal structure, the theoretical-logical concept can indeed be directed to all non-logical aspects of reality. In the theoretical attitude of thought, we can even abstract the modal structure of the logical aspect itself from out of the concrete act of thought, and again subject it to an analysis in opposition to the non-logical aspects.
Human consciousness includes all aspects of
In order to acquire complete insight into this state of affairs, we must first of all consider that human consciousness, which is concentrated in the selfhood in its individual-spiritual character, includes all aspects of reality without distinction.
The conscious and the unconscious are not themselves aspects of reality, but much rather they are two mutually overlapping situations—without any sharp boundary—of the same existential reality in its integral individuality structures.
Modern ‘depth psychology’ (founded by Freud) has incontrovertibly demonstrated that there is an unconscious substratum present in the human act-life, which is hierarchically ordered under a conscious superstructure, and in which the continuity of this act-life is based. This “unconscious” is not limited to the pre-psychical aspects, but includes just as well the aspect of feeling, the logical aspect, and the later aspects of human existence.
On the other hand, the conscious act life is not limited to the function of feeling, the logical and post-logical functions, but it functions just as much in all aspects of temporal reality without distinction.
Only by insight into this state of affairs can we also give an account of the synthesis [p. 45] in the conscious theoretical act of thought. The Gegenstand-relation in its mere intentional character is in fact immanent to human consciousness. So the “Gegenstand” does not stand over against and outside this consciousness as a kind of “Ding an sich,” but only over against the theoretical-logical function of consciousness. 
In human consciousness, the synthesis is completed between the logical function of thought and the non-logical function of consciousness, which appears within the non-logical aspect that has been intentionally set over against the logical aspect of thought. And this is only possible because consciousness itself functions in the non-logical aspect. IT IS THEREFORE WRONG IN PRINCIPLE TO LIMIT HUMAN CONSCIOUSNESS TO ITS PSYCHICAL AND LOGICAL FUNCTIONS, AS REGULARLY HAPPENS IN CURRENT THEORIES OF KNOWLEDGE.
This wrong view, which is also held in Kant’s critique of knowledge, in spite of its anti-metaphysical tendencies, has really from the very start been influenced by scholasticism’s metaphysical view of the soul. The “anima rationalis” as a “purely-spiritual substance” is then set over against the “Ding an sich” as a “material substance.” In this way, the “problem” arose: How can “reality in itself,” as it exists apart from human consciousness, come into human subjective consciousness, which is only proper to the “anima rationalis” with its sensory and logical functions of knowledge?
According to Thomas, the “universal nature” of things, which is all that is really knowable for the human intellect, is the product of a de-materializing of the “idea,” that is, the product of a theoretical abstraction whereby the material substances, in which the “eidos” has realized itself in “matter,” are gradually trans-formed and finally elevated by the theoretical act of thought to the “pure spiritual” sphere of the intellect.
So in this metaphysical view of the theoretical process of knowledge the theoretical synthesis is fundamentally misinterpreted in a metaphysical process of transformation [omvormingsproces]. It is true that this process begins in sensory perception, but it ends in a purely theoretical activity of man solely in his logical conceptual function. Finally, the identification of this activity with the “Gegenstand” must also serve to guarantee the truth character of subjective knowledge.
So just as Kant, in his “critical” standpoint allowed the theoretical synthesis to proceed from the theoretical-logical function of the act of knowledge, so too did Thomas from a metaphysical standpoint. Both supposed that they had in this way avoided the danger of reducing the process of knowledge to formal logic: Kant by his teaching of the synthetical categories of thought, which are a priori related to sensory perception and which first formally determine the “Gegenstand.” And Thomas by his metaphysical-Aristotelian view that the theoretical-logical function of the act of thought merely de-materializes the “eidos” that was realized in the material substance, so that the abstracted universal forms of being possess a fundamentum in re.
[p. 46]. Both of them fail to appreciate the true nature of theoretical synthesis, because by their point of departure they are forced to let the synthesis proceed from the theoretical-logical function of thought, and they therefore cannot leave intact the non-logical character of the aspect that is set over against the logical aspect in the Gegenstand-relation. Aristotle and Thomas identify the logical aspect of thought with the non-logical Gegenstand in the sense of the universal “eidos” of things. That is a completely uncritical elimination of the real fundamental problem of the Gegenstand-relation. The religious form-matter Ground-motive substitutes a dogmatic end to the discussion in place of a critical solution of the problem of knowledge.
By means of the supposed conceptual activity that is separated from the “material-body,” the “Gegenstand” is assumed to be de-materialized and transformed into a purely logical “noèton”!
The first argument of Aristotle and Thomas for the “separateness” of the theoretical-logical function of thought is based on the universality of the activity of thought according to its logical aspect. But this is not an absolute [universality], but merely a universality in its own sphere, which is limited and relativized from all non-logical aspects of reality by its sovereignty in its own sphere.
So the Thomist proposition that theoretical thought can grasp everything in a logical concept must be immediately limited by adding the following: insofar as the logical aspect extends. And then this universality in its own sphere of the theoretical-logical function of thought only concerns the modal structure of the logical aspect of thought, i.e. the structural possibility of subjective logical distinction.
Indeed, this possibility extends just as far as the objective-logical aspectual structure of reality–and no further. It definitely does not hold for subjective individual conceptual activity. Nor does it hold for the “empirical” possibility for every individual thinking person. No one can say that he really has a concept of all that can be thought, and the empirical subjective possibilities of theoretical conceptual knowledge are very limited for many people because of a lack of theoretical aptitude, and also for some by a lack of development of the cerebrum, to which after all, the human act life is connected.
Whenever Thomas then says that the intellect can grasp all things in a concept, then he can only have had in mind the universal modal structure of the theoretical logical function of thought; but we have seen that the Aristotelian-Thomist metaphysics makes it impossible to have insight into the modal structures of reality.
The transcendental-logical subject of thought in
It is worth the trouble to again compare the Kantian epistemology with the Thomistic one on this point. For whereas the first is ruled by a radically different Ground-motive (namely the humanistic one of nature and freedom), there is, as we have seen, a clear influence on [p. 47] Kantian epistemology by the metaphysics of Aristotelian scholasticism.
Kant distinguishes most sharply between the ‘transcendental-logical’ subject of thought and the ‘empirical.’ According to him, the transcendental-logical subject of thought is a universally valid condition for every empirical activity of thought, and it is what first makes such thought possible. It does not carry any individual character, for everything that is individual belongs to the empirical subject of thought. Kant does not elevate this transcendental logical subject of thought  to a metaphysical substance. As is known, on the basis of his “critical” humanistic standpoint, he also rejects the metaphysical teaching of the soul.
What Kant really had in mind in his “transcendental subject of thought” cannot be anything other than what Aristotle absolutized as ousia in his “active nous,” and which Thomas expressly viewed as “separated from the material body.”
And as we have already noticed, this is the modal structure of the subjective logical function of thought, which indeed first makes possible the individual activity of man within the logical aspect of thought. For nothing else can be found within the structure of reality that would afford such a starting point for the said epistemological and metaphysical conceptions.
Whenever Aristotle acknowledges continual actuality to the active “universal principle of thought,” then this can only be accounted for by his absolutization of the logical structure of thought and making it to a “spiritual substance.” Of course, the structure of the logical function of thought cannot itself function as an individual subject. It does not think, but it is merely a structural law-conforming condition for the concrete activity of thought in its logical aspect. In the hypostatization of this universally valid structure to a spiritual substance, we see revealed the unmistakable rationalistic tendency of the Aristotelian epistemology. But this rationalistic trait is also revealed in Kant’s elevation of the modal structure of the logical function of thought to transcendental subject of thought, from which all “synthetic activities of thought” are supposed to proceed. For the structure of the logical function of thought is not itself the logical subject, but the law-conforming determination of logical subjectivity.
And it is characteristic for the rationalistic way of thought that it always tries to reduce the subject to the law.
As the nucleus of truth, we can also establish–both in the Aristotelian-Thomistic as well as in the Kantian argument concerning the independence of the theoretical-logical function of thought with respect to the organic body–that in fact the modal structure of the logical aspect of thought cannot depend on a typical bodily organization.
This is not just true of the modal structure of the logical aspect, but also holds for every modal structure without exception.
For the organization of the body is only given in an individuality structure, and we know that the modal structures of the aspects of reality are as such indifferent with respect to the individuality structures which function in these aspects, because they [the modal structures] alone determine the universal nature of the aspects. Just as for example, [p. 48] the modal structure of law cannot be determined by the typical structures of society, like state, church, business, etc, all of which merely bring about the typical structural differences between state law, church law, business law, etc. within the juridical aspect.
It is really because Aristotelian-Thomistic metaphysics only knows how to grasp reality in the concept of substance and its accidentia [accidents]–which as we have seen makes it impossible in principle to obtain insight into the modal structures and the individuality structures and the correct relation between law and subject–that it then must fall into the error of absolutizing the bare modal structure of the theoretical-logical function of thought to a “subjective spiritual substance,” or, as the case may be, to a faculty of a “pure spiritual substance” (the anima rationalis).
In this way, the argumentation used by Aristotle and Thomas in their second argument is misleading, when they argue for the special independence of the logical conceptual activity in contrast to all bodily organs, and as distinct from sensory perception that was seen as being dependent on specific sensory organs.
For if the modal structure of the logical function of thought is independent of all “empirical limitation of the human body,” then the same thing precisely also holds for the modal structure of subjective sensory awareness. For such awareness possesses universality in its own sphere within its modal (psychical) aspect. That is to say, so far as the objective-sensory perceptibility of things may extend, then in principle the structural possibility of subjective sensory perception extends just as far.
“No,” say Aristotle and Thomas, “for subjective sensory perception is limited, because there are perceivables that exist above the level in which the sensory organ is fitted.” The error in this argument is that here the modal-structural standpoint is suddenly abandoned, whereas in the logical function of thought this standpoint had been maintained with great clarity of distinction.
Of course, an individual concrete sensory organ does not belong to the modal structure of sensory perception, just as little as “empirical” peculiarities in the organic structure of the cerebrum belong to the modal structure of the logical function of thought.
An amoeba, which does not possess any differentiated sensory organs at all, nevertheless has sensory awareness. We therefore cannot say that sensory awareness in its modal nature is bound to specific organs like the eye, ear, etc.
But it is necessarily connected to the organic function of life according
to its modal structure, and to the earlier aspect-functions of reality.
The same holds for the concrete act of thought in relation to the modal structure of its logical aspect.
It has been experimentally proven that man’s concrete activity of thought is strongly influenced by emotional factors of feeling, and by the organic-biotic factors such as excitement, fatigue, [p. 49], intoxication of the brains, lack of organic development of the brains, etc. 
But the modal structure of the logical function of thought is certainly not dependent on such individual factors, since it concerns the logical nature of every possible temporal activity of thought according to its analytical side.
Is not what is happening an attempt to deny such a modal structure to sensory awareness, and to regard such awareness merely according to its empirical concrete possibility in contrast to the abstract modal structure of the logical function of thought? The objective-sensory qualities of things are necessarily related to the modal structure of subjective sensory awareness, and not to a concrete (empirical) subjective possibility of human awareness. This is already evident from the fact that, apart from a human sensory awareness, there is also an animal sensory awareness. So if one assumes a universal logical principle of thought (or a “transcendental-logical subject of thought”), then one must also assume a universal principle of sensory awareness (or a “transcendental subject of feeling”), a universal principle of life (or a “transcendental biotic subject”) etc, etc., which are all similarly independent of a specific “material body.”
The absolutization of the “modal structure’ of the logical conceptual function to a “substance,” which is supposed to exist as a real spiritual being, completely separated from the material body, remains of course bare metaphysics, which in Aristotle is rooted exclusively in the dualistic Ground-motive of his philosophy, and which is in no way based on what is given in experience, as he wants to argue. And the same remark must certainly be made against Thomas, where he uses the Aristotelian argument of the “separateness” of the intellect in order to “prove” the substantial character of the “anima rationalis.”
It is true that for human conceptual activity, there is no specific differentiated organ that can be pointed to. That is in contrast to differentiated sensory awareness. But it is equally certain that the empirical human act of thought is wholly bound to the cerebral cortex, as is sensory awareness. And furthermore, sensory awareness never takes place in man without the logical function . It is certain that [p. 50] injury to the cerebrum can seriously influence the logical as well as the linguistic, aesthetic, moral and pistical functions of consciousness, whereas a lack of development of the cerebrum invariably is paired with imbecility in the act life.
These experimental findings can never be explained as Thomas does as purely “accidental” phenomena that are assumed to circulate outside the “purely spiritual” sphere of intellect and rational will. For the said injuries appear at the same time to affect consciousness in its logical, moral and other functions as such; the injured person can no longer properly think logically, and he begins lying and stealing without scruples, whereas beforehand this thinking and the moral sense functioned according to normal societal standards.
Now if one directs his argument concerning the independence of the logical function of thought of each bodily organization to the modal structure of this function, and if one wants to conclude from this that there is a dichotomy present in temporal human existence, then one must not trouble this argument by a fundamentally erroneous comparison of this modal structure with the empirically differentiated sensory awareness. One must rather investigate whether the logical function of thought even in its abstract modal structure can exist apart from the modal structures of the pre-logical functions. And it is just on this crucial point that Aristotle’s and Thomas’s view is not the fruit of critical research, but rather of an a priori metaphysical dogma.
The Philosophy of the Law-Idea has demonstrated that the modal structure of the logical aspect is entirely enclosed in the cosmic order of time and as such is unbreakably interwoven with all other modal structures, including those of number, spatiality, movement, organic life and sensory feeling. No single human concept is absolute; no single concept transcends the cosmic horizon of time.
On the contrary, it is precisely the cosmic order of time, in which the logical aspect is interwoven with all the other aspects, which first makes possible the logical conceptual forming of a non-logical “Gegenstand.”
If the logical function of thought in the act of knowledge were not unbreakably connected by the cosmic order of time with all non-logical functions of this act, then any formation of a concept would be impossible. The logical aspect, viewed entirely in itself, would not be able to maintain even its logical nature, for it is logical only in its temporal relation to the non-logical. Reasoning ceases only for the supra-logical, since because of its transcendence it cannot be bound to time.
The human “spirit” or “soul” is indeed of such a supra-logical nature, in the powerfully concise Scriptural meaning of the religious root of human existence, which possesses its individuality in the I-ness (ik-heid). And the theoretical activity of knowledge, in its being bound to temporal bodily existence, proceeds only from that spirit and not from an abstract “transcendental-logical subject” or from an abstract theoretical-logical principle of thought.
[p. 51]. The “universal nature” of things, the modal structures and the individuality structures of reality, can be made known not by the logical function of thought, but only by the human I-ness in its concrete act of knowledge, even though such knowledge is not possible without the logical conceptual function.
The whole argument of Aristotle and Thomas concerning the independence of the theoretical conceptual activity from the organization of the body therefore appears in the final analysis to go outside what is given in experience, and indeed is founded only on the dualistic Ground-motive of Aristotelian philosophy.
It is “uncritical” in the concise way that this word is used in the transcendental critique of the Philosophy of the Law-Idea–not because it allows itself to be ruled by a religious (i.e. supra-theoretical) presupposition, but because here this presupposition sets itself in the place of theoretical investigation of what is given in experience and in fact cuts off the theoretical problem of human knowledge by a dogmatic end to the discussion. For the “making independent” of the theoretical-logical function of thought depends on an “absolutization” that can never find its scientific basis in the structure of the theoretical Gegenstand-relation. In Aristotelian-Thomistic metaphysics, it is wholly accounted for by the dualistic religious form-matter Ground-motive.
In Aristotle, it finds only its final explanation in his idea of God: the idea of God as pure actual form, in which the ideal of pure “theoria” finds its fulfillment.
The reception by reformed scholasticism
The reason that we have so extensively analyzed the philosophical background of the scholastic constructions concerning the relation of soul and body in human nature is that only after full knowledge about this can we be in a position to form a judgment about the question: To what extent was the Philosophy of the Law-Idea correct in its radical rejection of the scholastic concept of substance and in its demand that anthropology build upon a wholly different foundation, indeed one that is ruled by the Scriptural-reformational Ground-motive?
We should not be surprised by the sharp opposition that this philosophy met with from certain theological sides when we consider that ever since Beza reformational theology knew how to again introduce the study of Aristotelian logic and metaphysics as the necessary foundation for a university theological education. Gradually this education was led back to the scholastic thought, from which Calvin had to a large extent freed reformational theology. And although Kuyper again penetrated theological thought with the fresh reformational spirit, because of the lack of an intrinsic reformational philosophy, there remained residues of scholastic philosophy that burdened this thought with the stubbornness of a centuries old tradition The Aristotelian-Thomistic concept of substance, with its basis in the Greek metaphysical teaching of being, indeed found the center of this scholastic tradition, which was able to penetrate into the terminology of certain foreign [p. 52] confessions of faith (such as the Westminster Confession and the Confessio Helvetica posterior).
In his scientific-theological works, Kuyper himself followed completed the Thomistic teaching concerning the relation of soul and body, although in other writings he laid the ax to the root of this whole scholastic construction by his powerful Scriptural grasp concerning the religious root of human existence.
Similarly, Geesink  and H. Bavinck  took over the Thomistic conception in an integral way. In this we are especially struck by the rejection of the Augustinian-Franciscan conception concerning the “plurality of substantial forms” and the adoption of the Aristotelian-Thomist view concerning the unity of the independent forms of human nature in the “anima rationalis,” which was also completely taken over in the working out of the psycho-creationistic standpoint.
An old coat is not lightly cast away, unless one first has a better one available.
The Philosophy of the Law-Idea did not immediately come forth with a new anthropology that had been worked out. Much rather, it began by attacking the religious root of the scholastic manner of thought, and by setting the reformational standpoint in philosophy over against the standpoint of accommodation. This gained for it the reproaches that should never have been written if their authors had quietly reflected on the demands that should be placed before an anthropology that took account of the results of modern scientific investigations.
The teaching concerning man stands at the same time at the beginning and at the end of philosophical investigation : at the beginning because in the idea of an Archimedes point of theoretical philosophic thought, one already brings along an all-controlling presupposition concerning human existence. At the end because the true anthropology can only first be built on the foundations of a philosophical teaching of reality, in which all structures of temporal reality are subjected to a detailed investigation.
For that reason, the three volumes of my Wijsbegeerte der Wetsidee must necessarily precede the Introduction to Anthropology. 
We have now demonstrated in a detailed way why this philosophical teaching of man from a reformational standpoint cannot be based on the scholastic concept of substance, but that it must orient itself to the Idea of the individuality structures as they are developed in the Philosophy of the Law-Idea. And there must be a radical break from the scholastic conceptions of body and soul and the “relation” between both of them.
And from this time on, theology, too will need to seriously reflect on the question which of these two conceptions really accords in its point of departure with the Scriptural Ground-motive of Christian religion.
This reflection must signal the critical turning point in reformational philosophy for its own investigation of that which the Word revelation communicates concerning human nature.
 JGF: See Dooyeweerd’s 1964 lecture, “Center and Periphery: The Philosophy of the Law-Idea in a Changing World,” translation online at [http://www.members.shaw.ca/ hermandooyeweerd/1964Lecture.html].
 Herman Dooyeweerd: “De Kentheoretische Gegenstandsrelatie en de Logische Subject-Objectrelatie,” Philosophia Reformata 40 (1975) 83-101 [‘Gegenstandsrelatie’]. Translation and discussion online: [http://www.members.shaw.ca/jgfriesen/ Mainheadings/Kentheoretische.html].
 JGF: The reason that only the Ground-motive of creation, fall and redemption can afford this point of departure is because Dooyeweerd understands each of those terms in relation to the religious root-unity of the supratemporal selfhood. If one did not understand the Ground-motive in this way, then it could not afford this point of departure. Thus, those who deny Dooyeweerd’s idea of the supratemporal selfhood as religious root-unity cannot follow this argument in his transcendental critique.
 JGF: For Dooyeweerd, Word-revelation includes, but is more than Scriptural revelation.
 JGF: this is a surprising statement, but fits with the panentheist emphasis in Dooyeweerd. Panentheism is of course not the same as pantheism.
 JGF: Just as God expresses or reveals Himself in creation, so man’s supratemporal selfhood expresses or reveals itself in the temporal world, including man’s temporal body. Dooyeweerd uses the same word ‘openbaren’ [reveals] in both cases.
 JGF: Again, we see Dooyeweerd’s view that a denial of the supratemporal root-unity of man’s selfhood leads to an improper view of the fall and of redemption. In the 1964 lecture, he says that not even Christ’s incarnation, or the central working of God’s Word and Holy Spirit can be understood apart from this supratemporal root-unity.
 JGF: Dooyeweerd’s three transcendental Ideas are the Ideas of [eternal] Origin, supratemporal Totality and temporal coherence. They correspond to eternity, supratemporal aevum, and cosmic time. He says that Thomas has the Idea of Origin, but not that of Totality, the root-unity of the cosmos.
 JGF: I think this is Dooyeweerd’s most succinct explanation of why he rejects the concept of analogy of being. Again, the rejection of this concept is based on his fundamental Idea of root-unity.
 JGF: It can be seen here how current reformational thought, insofar as it incorrectly views the modal aspects as properties of things, is following Aristotelian thought. In his last article, Dooyeweerd says that this is a “serious misunderstanding” in reformational philosophy. The Aristotelian background to the idea of aspects as properties is also evident in the correspondence between Roy Clouser and Dooyeweerd. See my article, “The Religious Dialectic Revisited,” online at [http://www.members.shaw.ca/aevum/ Revisited.html].
 JGF: Dooyeweerd distinguishes between the modal aspects, the modal structures (nuclear aspect with anticipations and retrocipations) and individuality structures that function in the aspects and modal structures. See his last article.
 JGF: This is another example of http://www.members.shaw.ca/jgfriesen/Definitions/Nondualism.html in Dooyeweerd. See also his description of body and soul as an een-tweeheid in “Kuyper’s Wetenschapsleer,” Philosophia Reformata (1939), 204.
 JGF: Note again the distinction between the aspects, and the modal structural moments. Modal structures are not the same as the aspects themselves, but are the temporal expression of the aspects. As I have argued elsewhere, I believe that Dooyeweerd’s view is that the aspects in their nuclear sense are supratemporal, and that is why we cannot have a concept of them. We know the kernel or nuclear moment only in the retrocipations and anticipations. See his article "Introduction to a Transcendental Criticism of Philosophic Thought" Evangelical Quarterly XIX (1) Jan 1947).
 Dooyeweerd’s footnote 41: The [human act-structure] possesses no differentiated destination function in a modal aspect of temporal reality, because the human body in its act-structure must remain the free field of expression [uitdrukkingsveld] for the soul or spirit, which as the religious root of human existence, transcends all temporal structures of reality.
 Dooyeweerd’s note 60 on page 33 of the original text: "The Philosophy of the Law-Idea understands ‘enkaptic structural whole’ as a typical form-whole [vorm-geheel] (in the sense of unity of figure, gestalte-eenheid), in which several intrinsically different individuality structures—retaining their own internal nature and “sovereignty in their own sphere”—ar interwoven into an individual whole, and where this form-whole is qualified by the highest structure that its interwoven within it. For plants, animals and humans, the “body” is such a typically qualified form-whole. But only for humans is the body really transcendently rooted."
 Dooyeweerd’s note 61: So for the science of theology, nothing is then more dangerous than a speculative philosophical processing of the divine revelation concerning things that transcend human concepts. Philosophy must irrevocably stop before the boundaries of scientific knowledge. And it is just for that reason that scholasticism’s metaphysical concept of the soul is a corruption for Scriptural theology.
 The text reads “intentioneel (d.i. bedoelend of vermeenend).” This view of intentionality must not be understood in Husserl’s phenomenological sense. Dooyeweerd’s sense is an inner, imagined splitting apart of the modal aspects. Something ‘vermeend’ is something that is supposed.
 Dooyeweerd's note: Cf. E. Husserl: Ideeen zu einer reinen Phänomenologie und phän. Philos0phie, p. 64 ff. Cf also Aug. Messer, Psychologie (5th ed. 1934), p. 105. Throughout these works, the “Gegenstand-relation” is confused with the subject-object relation, so that the terms ‘Gegenstand’ and ‘object’ are used promiscuously.
 Dooyeweerd's note: Thomas, S. Th. I, LXXV, 3 supposes that bodily fatigue in thought arises only accidentally, insofar as the “intellect” requires the activity of the “sensory means of knowledge,” which obtain the sensory representations (Phantasmata) for thought. It is clear that this is no real explanation of the phenomenon, but rather a purely a priori construction, which stands and falls with the assumed “separateness” of the intellect with respect to the material body.
 Dooyeweerd's note: Cf. For example the important treatment of this subject by Prof. Dr. B. Pfeifer: Die Psychischen Störingen nach Hirnverletzungen in Handbuch der Geisteskrankheiten, Vol. VII, Special Part III (Berlin, 1928), p. 415 ff. The psychiatrist Dziembrowski reports about an incident of injury to the frontal lobe [voorhoofdschors] with particular lesions of the prefrontal areas, in which apart from disturbances to memory there also appeared loss of love towards family members and the life of faith. Furthermore, it is also known about the serious disturbances in the logical function of thought, the function of language, the musical function, and insofar as the last two mentioned disturbances are concerned, already in disturbance of the differentiated [schorsvelden] in which they are relatively “localized.”
 JGF: Such a volume on anthropology was never published. It was intended to be volume three of the trilogy Reformation and Scholasticism. In his 1964 lecture, Dooyeweerd indicated that he still intended to complete this Volume III.