© J. Glenn Friesen 2003-2006, 2011
Glossary of Terms
(references to De Wijsbegeerte der Wetsidee, unless
for correlation with pages in the New Critique. The concordance
is in pdf format.)
WdW II, 395 (systatisch in-gesteld), 400-401, 404,
NC II, 429 (inter-modal systasis of meaning), 431 (full systasis
of meaning), 467 (cosmic temporal meaning-systasis), 468 (meaning-systasis),
473 (meaning-systasis of temporal reality), 498 (Kant does not recognize
cosmic systasis of meaning), 526 (fulness of the temporal meaning-systasis),
535 (Kant did not starte from the real meaning-systasis in cosmic
NC III, 36 fn1
"De Theorie van de Bronnen van het Stellig Recht in het licht
der Wetsidee” (1932)
“De Kentheoretische Gegenstandsrelatie en de Logische Subject-Objectrelatie,”
Philosophia Reformata 40 (1975), 92 (ontical systasis of
the modal functions), 93, 94, 98 (ontical systasis).
De Crisis der Humanistische Staatsleer, in het licht eener
Calvinistische kosmologie en kennistheorie (1931), 90 (systasis
of meaning-functions, which display an organic, unbreakable meaning-coherence)
87 (integral systatic coherence), 91 (continuous systatic coherence),
93 (ontical systatic relatedness)
NC II, 390 (systatic meaning-coherence), 433 (real datum is static
coherence of meaning)
De Crisis der Humanistische Staatsleer, in het licht eener
Calvinistische kosmologie en kennistheorie (1931), 102 (naive
syn-systatic thought [het naieve syn-systatisch denken]),
103 (systatic cosmic self-csonciouness [systatisch kosmisch
Temporal reality is a coherence
of cosmic time. This temporal coherence
is a systasis. Our selfhood cannot be found in this systasis, because
our selfhood is supratemporal, and the systasis is a temporal coherence
(II, 400; NC II, 467).
For a full discussion of 'systasis,' including the history
of the usage of this term, see my 2011 article, “Enstasy,
Ecstasy and Religious Self-reflection:A history of Dooyeweerd's Ideas
of pre-theoretical experience.”
But we experience systasis when we are in enstasis.
So enstasis is a relation of our selfhood to the temporal systasis. This
relation occurs in pre-theoretical experience (NC I, 468; NC II, 4). Our
pre-theoretical experience is directed towards full reality. This experience
is systatic, integral, and has factual immediacy. It grasps reality in
its plastic structure (NC III 36).
Systasis is used to refer to the temporal coherence of
all aspects within our experience of individuality structures. So in his
last article, Dooyeweerd says:
In the Prolegomena of the transcendental critique of
the theoretical attitude of thought and experience, I have remarked
that in the subject-object relations of naïve attitude of thought
and experience, empirical reality is understood as it gives itself,
that is to say in the continuous systatic coherence and relatedness
of its modal aspects within cosmic time. (p. 91)
The ontical systasis of the modal functions of an individual
entity does not at all guarantee a pre-theoretic conceptual insight
into the modal structures of the different aspects, as Strauss thinks.
To the contrary, it conceals them to the [pre-theoretical] analytical
view that is still enstatically bound to concrete entities. (p. 92)
The English summary of this article says,
As long as the latter are actually individualized,
they are only given in an unsoluble [sic] systatic meaning-coherence,
which according to Strauss would make their inter-modal theoretical
synthesis impossible. But evidently the author here too has been caught
in the pitfall of a false identification of the ontic and the epistemological
states of affairs.
Theory is the abstraction
from the full systasis of meaning (NC II, 431). IN this abstraction, there
is a dis-stasis, a setting apart of the modal aspects. But that splitting
apart is only epistemological and not ontical. The real datum is the systatic
coherence of meaning, not what has been theoretically isolated or abstracted
(NC II, 433).
Dooyeweerd himself translated Volume III of the WdW.
In a footnote (NC III, 36 fn1), he says that 'systasis' is an obsolete
word, but he does not indicate from where he obtained it. He defines it
as "the factual immediacy of our internal experience of reality."
The word 'systasis' means "to stand together."
It was used to refer to political unions. The use of the word in the sense
of an integral whole is sometimes attributed to Jean Gebser (1905-1973),
who used it to mean "the conjoining or fitting together of parts
into integrality" in his book The Ever Present Origin (1986,
first published in German as Ursprung und Gegenwart in 1949).
Pat Arneson describes Gebser's view of systasis: "Systasis circumscribes
all aspects of time which cannot be the object of categorical systematization."
[See "The Expression of Lived Experience," Integrative Explorations:
Journal of Culture and Consciousness. Feb. 1993/v1, no.1]. And yet
Dooyeweerd used the word 'systasis' more than thirty years before Gebser,
in a somewhat similar sense.
One of Dooyeweerd's first references to 'systasis' is
in his 1928 article "Het juridisch causaliteitsprobleem in 't licht
der wetsidee" (Excerpts in Verburg 115). He says that our knowledge
depends on analysis and synthesis and is no resting systasis. Systasis
is therefore related to rest and not movement.
In De Crisis der Humanistische Staatsleer (Oct
20/31), Dooyeweerd refers to the systasis of meaning functions. It is
"an organic, unbreakable coherence of meaning." He asks in this
book, how does synthesis relate to systasis? He also says that the synthesis
of meaning is founded in the systasis of meaning, and not the other way
around (pp. 102-103, cited Verburg 143). He says there that systasis is
related to our naive, pre-theoretical experience.
In "De Theorie van de Bronnen van het Stellig Recht in het licht
der Wetsidee” (1932) he says,
“Alle zin-zijden der tijdelijke werkelijkheid
(ook de logische) zijn nu een zin-breking in den tijd van de boventijdelijke
creatuurlijke religieuze zin-volheid naar wets-en subjectszijde. In
het licht dezer wetsidee, die den wortel aller zin-zijden der werkelijkheid
inderdaad boven den tijd zoekt moeten deze zin-zijden wezenlijk als
wetskringen worden erkend, die naar hun functioneelen grondzin soeverein
in eigen kring, door de kosmische tijdsorde in zin-systase zijn verbonden
en juist daardoor in hun functioneelen zinsverband met alle andere wetskringen
[All meaning-sides of temporal reality (including the
logical) are a refraction of meaning in time from the supratemporal
creaturely religious fullness of meaning into law-side and subject side.
In the light of this law-Idea, which seeks the root of all meaning-sides
of reality above time, these meaning-sides must really be acknowledged
as law-spheres, which, sovereign in their own sphere according to their
functional ground-meaning, are bound together in the cosmic order of
time in a systasis of meaning, and through this their functional relation
of meaning with all other law-spheres is guaranteed].
And Dooyeweerd frequently uses the word 'systasis' in the
WdW and NC.
Revised Aug 21/06
Ju14/11 Added reference to 2011 article