© J. Glenn Friesen 2003-2007
Glossary of Terms
(references to De Wijsbegeerte der Wetsidee, unless
for correlation with pages in the New Critique. The concordance
is in pdf format.)
I, 7 (the concept), 10 (all functions), 11 (all particularized
meaning), 14 (meaning),16 (thought), 17 (immanent boundaries), 19
(concentration point) , 21, 26, 30, 37 (cosmic time), 68 (diversity
II, 402, 407, 408, 409, 497
NC I, 11 (arché transcends all meaning), 17 (I
transcend the coherence of all modal aspects of meaning), 24 (Man
transcends time in his selfhood, but within the temporal coherence,
man is universally-bound-to-time), 31 (our religious centre is the
only sphere of our conscioiusness in which we transcend time)
“Het transcendentale critiek van het wijsgeerig denken,”
Philosophia Reformata 6 (1941), 1-20 at 13: The selfhood
transcends the theoretical Gegenstand-relation. That is
why Dooyeweerd rejects the idea of reflexive thought as a way to
understand the selfhood.
I, 9 (of our selfhood), 18 (above thought), 29, 32 (standpoint),
34 , 64 (standpoint), 74, 85
II, 315 (man's transcendence above things given in nature).
NC II, 535 (transcendence of the religious selfhood above cosmic
NC I, 37 (transcendental criticism; critical inquiry into the
conditions that make theoretical thought possible; distinction between
transcendent and transcendental criticism), 51 fn1 (transcendent
character of the ego)
NC II, 54 (transcendcental direction); 337 (normative transcendental
direction), 455 (anticipatory meaning of law-sphere is only grasped
in the Idea in the transcendental direction of time), 489, 553 (transcendental
reflection)573 (transcendental temporal horizon), 575, 579 (transcendental
theoretical truth), 580 (contradicts transcendental theoretical
truth), 596 (critical transcendcental self-reflection), 597 (transcendental
theoretical truth; transcendental a priori structure)
Encyclopedia of the Science of Law, 2002 Edition,
See also philosophical.
In “Het transcendentale critiek van het wijsgeerig
denken,” Philosophia Reformata 6 (1941), 1-20 4,
Dooyeweerd says that transcendental philosophy is an investigation
into the necessary presuppositions of philosophic thought.
I, 8, 11 (Origin), 12 (to meaning), 44 (fulfillment), 45, 52,
54, 63, 67 (root), 73 (totality), 76 (foundation)
II, 407, 413 (selfhood), 414 (identity), 422 (root), 422 (identity),
482 (dimension), 491 (unity) 493, 495, 496
NC I, 16 (self is transcendent)
NC II, 114, 478 (transcendent selfhood), 552 (transcendent dimension
of the horizon of experience); 560 (transcendent
horizon of the selfhood), 571,
Transcendence is that which is above cosmic
time. The transcendent is that which goes beyond temporal
The transcendent is contrasted with the immanent.
By 'transcendental,' Dooyeweerd means the ontical conditions
that govern the temporal horizon. We can obtain an Idea of these ontical
conditions because of our supratemporal selfhood, which transcends time.
The transcendental direction of thought begins with the
second terminal law-sphere in the succession
of cosmic time. That second law-sphere is
the sphere of faith, which has no modal superstratum (NC II, 52). The
transcendental direction of thought is distinguished from the foundational
direction, which begins with the other terminal function, the numerical,
and follows the modal spheres in the reverse order. The transcendental
direction points to the religious root of our
cosmos, in which the selfhood participates,
and to the religious fulness of meaning
that forms the foundation of all its modal refractions in cosmic time
(NC II, 53-54)
There is an interplay, a spiralling between these two
directions of thought. In the retrocipatory direction, we have a temporary
resting point of thought, but the transcendental direction resolves this
back into the unrest of meaning:
In other words, the retrocipatory direction of time
offers to theoretical thinking, at least provisionally, some resting-points
in the original meaning-nuclei. It is true that these resting-points
are again done away with by the transcendental direction of time without
which they would become rigid and meaningless. […] The only reserve
to be made is that the pont of comparative rest in this way offered
to philosophic reflection on the possibility of the modal meaning-opening
is only a provisional resting-point. In the transcendental direction
of thought it must necessarily be resolved into the essential unrest
of meaning. (NC II, 190).
The transcendental direction involves an unrest of meaning
that finally recognizes its own insufficiency:
In the Idea of a meaning-modus philosophical reflection
oriented to our cosmonomic Idea passes through a process of successive
meaning-coherences in the transcendental direction of time. The internal
unrest of meaning drives it on from anticipatory sphere to anticpatory
sphere, and so from one anticipatory connection to another. At last
we arrive at the transcendental terminal sphere of our cosmos and reflect
on the insufficiency of the modal Idea (NC II, 284).
A further complication is that in the transcendental
direction of time, there is also an expression of the foundational direction
After all, even the foundational relation in the normative
process of disclosure is a relation that functions within the transcendental
direction of time, because the deepening of the modal meaning is, as
such, of an anticipatory character, no matter in which law-sphere
it takes place. So it appears that the twofold direction of time finds
expression in the transcendental temporal direction itself.(NC II, 192)
allows us to form Ideas of the transcendental supratemporal conditions,
while nevertheless remaining bound to philosophy:
Therefore by maintaining the Gegenstand-relation, the theoretical
Idea relates the theoretical concept to the conditions of all theoretical
thought, but itself remains theoretical in nature, thus within the
bounds of philosophic thought. It is just in this that its transcendental
character resides. For in theoretical thought, the transcendental
is everything that, by means of the inner (immanent) structure of
theoretical way of thought, first makes possible theoretical thought
itself; the transcendental is everything that stands at the basis
of every theoretical conceptual distinction as its theoretical presupposition
(Encyclopedia, 2002 Edition, 80-81, re-translated by myself)
(See Encyclopedia, 2000 translation). But Dooyeweerd rejects the idea
that thought has a transcendental a priori function that can itself transcend
reality enclosed within the temporal horizon (NC II, 573).
And the transcendental structure of truth is not identical with that
of theoretical truth (NC II, 575).
In our selfhood we transcend
cosmic time. Our selfhood is supratemporal.
It is the transcendent root of temporal reality.
It is also where all diversity of meaning coincides.
The transcendent is the religious dimension. From the
religious supratemporal we descend to the temporal dimension, which encompasses
the dimensions of the modal and the plastic dimension of individuality
The transcendental is
the movement within philosophic thought that tries to approach the transcendent
from within time.
To the extent that we fail to have a conception of the
transcendent, our self-consciousness and our ability to experience the
perspectival nature of reality is also weakened. ("Het Tijdsprobleem
in de Wijsbegeerte der Wetsidee," Philosophia Reformata,
Part II 1940 193-234).
Transcendent criticism differs from immanent criticism
in that transcendent criticism explicitly approaches the other viewpoint
from its religious, transcendent standpoint.