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The Dooyeweerd Pages

The Dooyeweerd Pages is a growing website designed to aid scholars in understanding the philosophical framework of the late Herman Dooyeweerd -

"The most profound, innovative and penetrating philosopher since Kant." [1]

"Most impressive about Dooyeweerd are his universal interest,
his multidisciplinary competence and his respect for empirical data.
I know no philosopher who laboured so hard
to understand the essence of all diciplines
in the whole spectrum of scholarly endeavours
nor one who contributed so fundamentally to their foundations,
from theology, history, law and the social sciences
to biology, physics and mathematics." [2]

Come to this website if you want to:

This Page and Site
Help! Where do I Start?

What Do You Want To Do:

What Do You Want To Know?
A Themed Overview of Dooyeweerd's Thought:

Worth Looking At
New Material:

Interesting Material:


Dooyeweerd's philosophy is unusual and interesting in several ways:

1. It might be the best philosophy of everyday life yet available. With Pragmatism, Phenomenology and Existentialism, it takes everyday life seriously but, whereas they employ theoretical thinking to understand the pre-theoretical, Dooyeweerd employs the pre-theoretical attitude to understand the theoretical.

2. Dooyeweerd puts meaningfulness and normativity (law) at the centre, as the ground for existence, process, ethics and rationality. (Most philosophers either ignore meaningfulness or treat it as a mere byproduct of subjective or intersubjective attribution.)

3. Dooyeweerd went deeper than Kant, Husserl, Habermas, Bhaskar or Foucault in understanding the non-neutrality of theoretical thinking in sciences and philosophy, penetrating to the very attitude of thought. With a wide-ranging immanent critique of 3000 years of thinking with a deeper transcendental critique than these applied, he revealed inescapable religious presuppositions underlying all theoretical activity.

4. What Heidegger did for Being, Dooyeweerd did for Meaningfulness. Dooyeweerd can heal the Cartesian rift between subject and object and the Kantian gulf between ontology and epistemology, without denying any of them.

Dooyeweerd's philosophy is valuable because:

1. Valuable in practical analysis and action. Dooyeweerd's suite of modal aspects provides a useful, self-critical conceptual tool for analysing, understanding and responding to the complexity of diversity and coherence. It has proven useful in a number of fields. An inherent normativity makes it useful for action as well as analysis.

2. Valuable in research in the natural sciences and humanities. Dooyeweerd provides a new understanding of sciences and disciplines, and a foundation for interdisciplinarity. His transcendental critique offers fresh explanations of the dialectical tensions that prevail in many fields, and possibilities of overcoming them.

3. Valuable in philosophy. Dooyeweerd provides new foundations for understanding meaning and law, being and time, diversity and coherence, subject and object, intuition and knowledge.

Structure of Site:

Main Pages

The rest of this page is a themed index
to much in the site.

What Do You Want To Do?

An Overview of Dooyeweerdian Ideas

The following provide direct links to some areas of Dooyeweerd's philosophical framework that provide new and useful perspectives on issues that face us. If you cannot find what you want here, try another List of Topics, that has more detail over a narrower scope.

The Different 'Flavour' of Dooyeweerd's Thought

"All else is a footnote to Plato" wrote A.N. Whitehead. Most Western thought since then has made similar presuppositions to those the ancient Greeks made. Dooyeweerd questioned them ...

Dooyeweerd's Theory of Modal Aspects

Perhaps the best-known of Dooyeweerd's ideas. A philosophically sound basis for diversity and coherence, and for interdisciplinarity. But much more than that.

On Being Human

Dooyeweerd says two things about being human: multi-aspectual functioning, and the human ego, selfhood or heart. He accounts for human life, needs, potential, etc. by reference to multi-aspect functioning, and thereby avoids Platonism, Scholasticism and mysticism.

But he also posits a supra-aspectual human ego or selfhood, and thereby avoids functionalism.

Knowledge, Thinking, Theory and Practice

Dooyeweerd "made the structure of theoretical thought transparent" (Klapwijk, 1991) - as well as other types of thinking and knowledge ...

On Normativity and Ought

To Dooyeweerd, norms are basic and enable rather than constrain. Pages only started ...

Dooyeweerd's Theory of Existence

If meaning is primary, then entities (incl. systems, activities, events, etc.) gain their existence from aspectual functioning:

Dooyeweerd's Theory of Time

Like Heidegger, Dooyeweerd tried to work out what Time is. He concluded that time is the 'bottom layer' of created reality, and that the religious humen self transends time.

On Presuppositions, Ground Motives, Dualisms, etc.

Dooyeweerd made an in-depth critique of theoretical thinking over 2,500 years, and held that thinking is founded on presupposition (and in doing so pefigured much of the most recent post-positivist thought of people like Polanyi and Habermas). This major part of his thought is as yet poorly represented here, but will be added later.

Dooyeweerd's Attempt at a 'Christian' Philosophy

Dooyeweerd was convinced that philosophy, even that undertaken by Christian thinkers, had been antithetic to the Biblical worldview. He tried to find out the root of this antithesis, and to construct a new style of 'Christian' philosophy.

Bits and Pieces

Here are links to other portions of Dooyeweerd's thought.

Notes and References

Note 1. Giorgio Delvecchio, Neo-Kantian philosopher.

Note 2. Harry van der Laan, Astronomer, University of Leiden

Copyright (c) Andrew Basden 2000-today.

Comments, queries welcome.

Number of visitors to these pages: Counter. Written on the Amiga and Protext.

Last updated: 9 April 2000 this new version first compiled. 10 August 2000 links page. 4 October 2000 Some rearrangement of the second half, and link to history. 7 February 2001 copyright, email. 14 February 2001 counter. 14 February 2001 new link to subject-object duality. 20 May 2001 new drawer for external thinking. 19 September 2001 link to examples drawer. 18 October 2001 new links to social.theory and interviews. 9 November 2001 new link to dooy.ahead. 22 February 2002 new links to ext/choi and papers/. 27 February 2002 Corrected name. 28 February 2002 new link: virtue. 1 March 2002 rearranged a couple of links. 10 June 2002 Link to modifying.html. 3 July 2002 small intro sentence added. 2 August 2002 link to On Existence and Multi-aspectual fning. 17 September 2002 tidied up, new links, esp to ThinkNet; ext/ links better. 18 September 2002 link to new d4p. 20 November 2002 revamped links to major topics in Dooyeweerd, adding some more, removed link to orig.index.html. 6 January 2003 link to entities.html. 18 February 2003 link to truth.html. 27 February 2003 link to enkapsis.html, new title for overview. 1 March 2003 New pages on Ground Motives. 4 March 2003 religion link. 7 March 2003 Link to progress.html new file; dooy.xn.html revamped. Links re. postmodernism. 16 April 2003 links to human, self, slight restructuring of initial parts with What's New links. 16 May 2003 link to hd.html page. 19 May 2003 re-grouped the main part, for ease of reader orientation; in part II repl. Meaning by 'Diffnt flavour' and moved first. 23 September 2003 Dooyeweerd's theory of time. 23 October 2003 stories. 14 November 2003 link ffuis. 12 March 2004 new link to andrew.html, link to MAKE. 13 April 2004 some 'strongs' removed. 15 June 2004 New: Bhaskar and 2sides; made specific links to 'ext' thinkers. 14 August 2004 link to defence strategy and to ps; rid some old news. 23 August 2004 Apel, crit new. 14 September 2004 Links to law, creator; some rearrangement of main topics. 24 December 2004 WhoWas is heading. 30 December 2004 nc-wdw. 1 April 2005 link to suite.html. 14 April 2005 minor changes. 22 April 2005 new page 'Everyday'. 4 May 2005 ethics. 9 May 2005 Religious root discussion; links to Voll and 11 May 2005 New visual form: two boxes at start; relabelled thent,th.asp as theory.ent/asp. 25 May 2005 link to anticipation. 28 May 2005 New intro. 11 July 2005 slight rearrangement of starting links and overview, new spinoza. 3 October 2005 Bunge link. 19 June 2006 'new'. 24 June 2006 link Hirst. 23 August 2006 link to analogy. 31 March 2007 links to bhaskar and compare.asp. 14 August 2007 link to bk/. 24 November 2007 aspanal, and rem'd 'new' links. 5 January 2008 pomo. 9 February 2008 absolutization. 19 March 2008 asp.neighbours. 22 May 2008 roots, and slight alterations of wording. 21 July 2008 rationality, benefits. 14 September 2008 link to compare.asp. 23 October 2008 using/ben.det.anal. 28 November 2008 a few more links; value proposition in 'worth'. 16 December 2008 link larkrise. 29 January 2009 some rearrangement of contents, and also making clearer the route to using/ etc. 30 January 2009 more rearrangements to make page easier to use; added site structure. 7 March 2009 asp.neighbours as 'WLA'. 30 April 2009 xp. 16 June 2009 nonaspl. 4 August 2009 examples/maspl. 13 August 2009 time: easy table. 3 September 2009 name 'table'. 23 November 2009 wenger link. 28 January 2010 recommendations. 4 May 2010 slight tidying. 10 May 2010 aspects.aspects.html. 17 June 2010 using/, and small inner bullets. 23 June 2010 issues/indiv.soc. 10 July 2010 Bernstein. 1 November 2010 links to foucault, quaker.capitalism. 22 December 2010 finaldraft of book. 10 April 2011 cpc link. 12 May 2011 links to Pecha Kucha and EJIS paper. 30 June 2011 story. 20 August 2011 replaced CPC2011 notice with IJMAP; link to emergence. 1 September 2011 youtube. 11 April 2012 link to Nick Breems podcast. 29 May 2012 fairness. 4 July 2012 quote vdLaan. 5 July 2012 cleaned up Interest. 11 July 2012 using/influencing. 7 August, mait. 22 January 2013 ijmap link to here not essex. 24 March 2013 link to bk. 13 April 2013 corrected the YouTube link. 16 April 2013 using/smart.grids. 22 August 2013 ext/ 5 September 2013 slight rearrangement of vdLaan; link to sust.html. 17 October 2013 videos. 7 November 2013 ext/donald.davidson. 11 August 2014 anthony Smith's astronomy. 8 September 2014 added an Overview near start as a break; quote-sources to notes, moved ijmap to 'papers', removed some 'worth looking at'. 16 January 2015 imm.html.