© J. Glenn Friesen 2003-2006
Glossary of Terms
As humans, we have a supratemporal selfhood, which expresses itself in its temporal functions. Our intuition relates these temporal functions to our selfhood. The problem of how our supratemporal selfhood relates to its temporal functions has not been discussed in reformational philosophy. This is probably because most of these philosophers have rejected Dooyeweerd's key Idea of the supratemporality of the selfhood.
In my article “Imagination, Image of God and Wisdom of God: Theosophical Themes in Dooyeweerd’s Philosophy,” (2006), I discuss the role played by imagination and intuition in making temporal relaity our own..
The modal aspects are not foreign to our selfhood, in the sense of being transcendent to it. They are cosmically our own, and have no meaning or existence apart from the religious root in which our selfhood participates:
The WdW adds that the aspects have no existence apart from this root.
Dooyeweerd says that intuition relates our temporal functions to our selfhood in several ways:
(1) In naive experience, our intuition shows us that our temporal functions are "our own." We have an immediate enstatic experience of temporal reality as our own (II, 414; NC II, 479). The aspects are our own "cosmically" (II, 409; NC II, 474). Even the identification of a sensation such as a sweet taste would be impossible without intuition:
(2) Intuition is the basis for our experience of the subject-object relation in naive experience.
(3) The temporal bottom layer of our actual analysis is our intuition (NC II, 473). Although Dooyeweerd refers to our actual analysis (an act), he locates intuition in relation to the logical aspect.
Although in this passage intuition is related to our act of thinking, elsewhere he relates intuition to our analytic aspect itself:
(4) Our acts also occur in the central supratemporal selfhood, and are expressed in the temporal. In our acts, under the leadership of normative points of view, we direct our self intentionally to states of affairs either in reality or in the world of our imagination.
(5) In theoretical thought (one of our acts), our intuition allows us to enter cosmic time:
Our intuition of time allows us to "enter into the temporal cosmos" and to set apart and combine the modal aspects in theoretical thought (NC II, 480).
(6) In theoretical thought, our intuition also relates the Gegenstand, which has been split out from the temporal coherence, back to the coherence of our selfhood. Intuition recognizes the theoretical datum as "our own." If it did not, the Gegenstand would be foreign [vreemd] to our consciousness.
In other words, our intuition relates our theory to the experience of our supratemporal self. This is confirmed by Dooyeweerd:
Note: The NC translation speaks of an "inter-modal synthesis of meaning." This is confusing. The original Dutch only speaks of a meaning synthesis [zin-synthesis]. The theoretical synthesis is between our actual thought [an act from out of our selfhood] and the Gegenstand of abstracted aspects, which is not actual or ontical, but only intentional. See synthesis.
(7) Theoretical thought is based on our pre-theoretical cosmic consciousness. In cosmic consciousness, we expereience the temporal aspects as our own. We experience an identity between inner and outer. And this same experience occurs in theoeretical thought, only deepened:
The NC translation does not make this clear, so I will re-translate:
The identity is the correspondence between our intuitive in-sight and our theoretical thought about the meaning-sides of reality. In naïve expereince, we have a cosmic consciousness of the identity of our selfhood with its funcitons. In theoretical thought we have a cosmological consciousness of the identity of the Gegenstand with the meaning-sides of reality.
(8) Our naive experience is learned. I understand that this means we must learn how our supratemporal selfhood relates to the temporal world. We must understand that our functions are our own. We must learn how to live in the temporal world, to make it our own. We must also learn the subject-object relation, by which we understand that objects can be distinguished from ourselves. Dooyeweerd says that a child's life is not only pre-theoretical, but it is pre-experiential. Infants
The infant's experience is like animism:
Thus, the infant has not yet learned the subject and object functions of the things around him or her. We must learn that temporal reality does not have all the subject functions that we possess. But we must also learn that temporal reality exists in relation to our selfhood as its supratemporal root. If there were a thing existing in itself, it would not at all exist “for us” (NC II, 56).
(9) In Encyclopedia of Legal Science (1946) Dooyeweerd says that the Gegenstand is a reality that is foreign to our consciousness:
Because the Gegenstand is a foreign reality to our consciousness, we need to again make it our own.
(8) But although the theoretical Gegenstand is foreign to our consciousness, and needs to be integrated back to our selfhood, our pre-theoretical experience is not foreign because we are fitted within temporal reality, and all of the functions (not only the logical) are experienced as our own:
(10) To see the modal functions as "our own" is known by self-reflection.(NC II, 474).
Revised Oct. 8/07