© J. Glenn Friesen 2003-2006
Glossary of Terms
(references to De Wijsbegeerte der Wetsidee, unless
indicated. See concordance
for correlation with pages in the New Critique. The concordance
is in pdf format.)
I, 6, 7, 9 (bare concept), 22, 24, 33, 37-39, 42-43, 47-48, 62-63,
68, 71, 73-79, 88, 124-125,127, 132
II, 404-407, 420
NC I, 83, 106
NC II, 186, 470
The distinction between the concept and the Idea of a specific aspect
is based on the disitnction between the primary modal meaning (nucleus
wiht its retrocipations) and the deepend meaning:
The modal structure in its 'restrictive function' is grasped by a synthetical
concept, but its 'expansive function' is only to be approximated
in a synthetical Idea of its meaning, which, as a transcendental
hypothesis, seizes upon the anticipated modal structure in
advance (NC II, 186).
If the Idea of a modal concept is used as if it were a concept, antinomies
will result because there will be an absolutization of meaning(NC II,
Our concepts presuppose cosmic time. That is why we cannot form a concept
of cosmic time. (I, 71; NC I, 106).
Concepts may be pre-theoretical or theoretical.
Pre-theoretical concepts, or naive concepts, do not involve a dis-stasis
from the continuity of cosmic time. Not every use of the logical aspect
results in such dis-stasis. There is a naive use of logic, and a naive
use of concepts. In Verniewing en Bezinning Dooyeweerd says that
we must first learn to count with an abacus, and with balls. Later, we
learn to count by abstraction. Dooyeweerd also says that in naive experience
we make distinctions among the different realms–inorganic, organic
and animal. Naive concepts of a thing differs from the functional concepts
of the special sciences (I, 47; NC I, 83). Because there has been no dis-stasis,
naive concepts are also not based on a synthesis (II, 404; NC II, 470).
Naive thought is a resting, enstatic thought.
In the resting
pre-theoretical intuition I, while thinking, experience the
temporal reality as my own.
In pre-theoretical intuition the transcendent
root of our personality thinks
inwardly [in-denken] en-statically
in the cosmic temporal coherence
of reality, and it consciously
diversity of meaning,
but without the articulated
knowledge of the aspects.
In contrast to theoretical self-consciousness we can speak here of a
self-consciousness. (II, 414; Cf. NC II, 479)
Naive concepts are also related to the sensory aspects
of our experience:
The NC expands this to say,
Naïve analysis does not penetrate
behind the objective perceptual appearance
[oogenschijn] and can therefore not comprehend in a meaning-synthetic
sense the functional laws
of the law spheres. It makes
do with pre-theoretical, practically
which find their touchstone in the sensory
aspect of experience and are not ordered from out of a systematic-methodical
viewpoint. (II, 404)
The truth is that the naive concept of a thing remains
embedded in the full temporal systasis of naive experience forming an
indissoluble subjective component part of it. This is the reason why
pre-theoretical thought is unable to analyse the modal aspects of the
reality of a thing. Naive analysis does not penetrate behind the objective
outward appearance, and cannot embrace the functional laws of the modal
spheres in an inter-modal synthesis of meaning. It has to be satisfied
with pre-theoretical distinctions oriented to the praxis and more or
less verifiable in the sensory aspect of experience. These distinctions
are not arranged according to a systematical-methodical viewpoint (NC
This passage seems to view naive experience as related
to "empirical" reality in that it is verified by our senses.
It is related to the "objective outward appearance" of things
and does not penetrate behind this. In the WdW Dooyeweerd calls this outward
appearance the "objective" perceptual appearance.
Note: The NC translation speaks of an "inter-modal
synthesis of meaning." This is confusing, and may have led to Strauss's
error. 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.
Theoretical concepts are not resting
or enstatic. They involve a movement out of enstasis, and a dis-stasis
from the continuity of cosmic time. Theory involves the Gegenstand-relation.
Theoretical concepts are therefore qualitatively different from pre-theoretical
concepts. The Gegenstand-relation is totally foreign to naive experience.
Clouser and Strauss are wrong to regard theoretical thought as only a
more intense form of naive thought. See abstraction.
In 1931 Dooyeweerd wrote about this distinction between
concept and Idea. He related the distinction to
the anticipations and analogies [retrocipations]
in the law-spheres:
Van den generalen zin van iederen wetskring kunnen
wij zoo in het later te bespreken zin-synthetisch denken een begrip
en een idee winnen. Het begrip vat de zinstructuur
in "restrictieve functie," d.w.z. alleen den nog niet verdiepten,
nog niet ontsloten zin, den systatischen samenhang van zijn kern
en zijn analogieën. De idee daarentegen vat de
zin-structuur in "expansieve" of "verdiepte functie,"
in de ontsluiting zijner "anticipatiesferen." (De Crisis
in de Humanistische Staatsleer, 95-96, cited by Verburg 143).
[Through what we shall later call meaning-synthetic
thought, we can obtain a concept and an idea from
the general meaning of each law-sphere. The concept grasps
the meaning-structure in its "restrictive function," i.e.
only in its not yet deepened, not yet disclosed meaning. This is in
the systatic coherence of the kernel and its analogies.
In contrast, the Idea grasps the meaning structure in its "expansive"
or "deepened function," in the disclosing of its anticipatory
Theoretical concepts are restricted to the retrocipatory
moments of our experience. Concepts are therefore different from Ideas,
which also include anticipatory moments. Our intuition is required for
such synthesis (II, 414; NC II, 479).
Revised Aug 21/06