Myodicy, Issue 24, September 2005

Reformational Movement:
Documentary Series

Number 2:
Runner's Introduction
to Philosophy

First Installment

What follows is # 2 in the documentary series on the Reformational Movement and Its History. Click here to view the table of contents and homepage of the series as a whole.

* * * * * * *

Preface by
Theodore Plantinga

When I took Evan Runner's two-term introductory philosophy at Calvin College during the academic year 1964-65, he was planning to write out the material he used in the form of a book that could be used in such a course. I know that others have heard him express a similar intention. But nothing ever came of it. And so we are left to wonder what such a book might have looked like. What topics would it have covered? Well, we need not remain altogether in the dark. Some of us who were his students can still consult the notes we took in his classes. Indeed, I took rather careful notes, which I transcribed and reorganized by retyping them, usually on the same day on which the class in question met.

As I look back over those notes today, they seem quite accurate to me. Of course there is no way for me, on the basis of memory, to draw any conclusion as to how much I might have missed while I was sitting there. But I believe I can say that I was a keenly interested and diligent student, even though I was only 17 years old (the last lecture of the year was delivered on my eighteenth birthday). And so I have chosen to reproduce the notes, with the first installment appearing in this issue of Myodicy.

Some people take notes in point form, others like to doodle and draw pictures and diagrams, and then there are certain of us who think in sentences and paragraphs. Because I fall into the third category, my typed notes for Runner's course are relatively coherent and readable, which means that it is possible for me to reproduce them here essentially as they stand. Of course I have corrected the occasional typo and punctuation error, and here and there I may add a small comment for fear of misleading readers as to what Runner actually said. Such comments will be introduced with my initials and the year, e.g. "TP in 2005." But for the rest, what appears on the screen is what I had on paper.

The structure I used in my notes for the class was invariable: a heading announcing the topic, and then a paragraph or more about the topic. I have chosen to retain the actual dates of the lectures since they form part of my notes and give us some indication of how many topics Runner might deal with in a single class session.

My notes as typed begin with an outline of the topics covered during the two terms. There were some omissions in my outline; I have filled them in. The outline can serve as a table of contents for the series. I have retained the page numbers of my typed version, and it is to those page numbers that the headings listed in the outline refer. There are links to the page numbers; they end with page 13 because the first installment of these notes ends there.

Topics: First Term

page 1
  • The nature of knowledge-- 1
  • Man's religious need -- 1
  • Objectivity -- 1
  • Aristotle -- 1
  • Positivism -- 1
  • page 2
  • The nature of philosophy -- 2
  • Positivism -- 2
  • Cartesianism -- 2
  • Philosophical foundations of medicine -- 2
  • page 3
  • The relationship between philosophy and the special sciences -- 3
  • Biology -- 3
  • A perspective in philosophy -- 3
  • page 4
  • Systematic and historical philosophy -- 4
  • God's law and man's situation -- 4
  • page 5
  • Man's need for order -- 5
  • Absolutes -- 5
  • Pragmatism -- 5
  • Revelation -- 5
  • Scientific and pre-scientific knowledge -- 5
  • page 6
  • Bultmann's view of revelation -- 6
  • The modal scale -- 6
  • page 7
  • The numerical modality -- 7
  • The spatial modality -- 7
  • The physical modality -- 7
  • The organic modality -- 7
  • page 8
  • Ontology and epistemology -- 8
  • The psychical modality -- 8
  • The analytical modality -- 8
  • The historial modality -- 8
  • The lingual modality -- 8
  • page 9
  • Legal positivism -- 9
  • The social modality -- 9
  • The economic modality -- 9
  • The aesthetic modality -- 9
  • The jural modality -- 9
  • The ethical modality -- 9
  • The modal scale -- 9
  • page 10
  • Subjectivism -- 10
  • The modal scale -- 10
  • Galileo and subjectivism -- 10
  • Thomas Aquinas -- 10
  • page 11
  • Subject and object functions -- 11
  • Kant's view of apriories -- 11
  • page 12
  • Law spheres -- 12
  • Sphere-sovereignty -- 12
  • Sphere-universality -- 12
  • Anticipatory and retrocipatory moments -- 12
  • The modal scale -- 12
  • Absolutizing modalities -- 13
  • page 13
  • Human identity -- 13
  • The religious root of man -- 13
  • page 14
  • The problem of the self -- 14
  • Cartesianism -- 14
  • Philosophy as a science -- 14
  • page 15
  • Hume's the idea of the self -- 15
  • Empiricistic epistemology -- 15
  • Criticisms of Hume -- 15
  • page 16
  • Aristotle's view of body and mind -- 16
  • Kant and Hume on mind and self -- 16
  • page 17
  • Kant and Fichte on the self -- 17
  • The office of man -- 17
  • Metaphysics and ontology -- 17
  • The history of the interpretation of the Word of God -- 17
  • page 18
  • The revelatory character of the Word of God -- 18
  • Reality -- 18
  • page 19
  • Metaphysics -- 19
  • Types of knowledge -- 19
  • page 20
  • Authority -- 20
  • Finding truth -- 20
  • Law -- 20
  • page 21
  • William of Occam -- 21
  • Martin Luther -- 21
  • page 22
  • The nineteenth century German idealists -- 22
  • Freedom and law -- 22
  • Law and religion -- 22
  • Questions basic to all Greek philosophy -- 22
  • page 23
  • The problem of law in Greek philosophy -- 23
  • The universal and the individual -- 23
  • Topics: Second Term

    page 24
  • Objectivity -- 24
  • Divisions in the history of philosophy -- 24
  • page 25
  • Divisions in the history of Western philosophy -- 25
  • page 26
  • The problem of law in Greek philosophy -- 26
  • Universals and individuals -- 26
  • page 27
  • Concepts -- 27
  • Analogies in macrocosm and microcosm -- 27
  • Hylomorphism -- 27
  • page 28
  • The life of Aristotle -- 28
  • Hylomorphism -- 28
  • page 29
  • The relation of analysis to myth -- 29
  • page 30
  • Classifications of Greek philosophy -- 30
  • Monism -- 30
  • page 31
  • Dualism -- 31
  • Origin of the Greek view of body and soul -- 31
  • Subjectivism and objectivism in Greek philosophy -- 31
  • page 32
  • Aristotle's double mechanics -- 32
  • Dualism and monism -- 32
  • page 33
  • Pythagoreanism -- 33
  • page 34
  • Plato's Realism -- 34
  • Plato -- 34
  • page 35
  • The Hellenistic age -- 35
  • page 36
  • Concepts -- 36
  • Outline of Platonism -- 36
  • page 37
  • History of the Academy -- 37
  • The apriori in Hellenistic thought -- 37
  • page 39
  • The history of political theory -- 39
  • page 41
  • The history of philosophy -- 41
  • page 42
  • Judaistic-Hellenistic synthesis of Philo -- 42
  • Jewish history -- 42
  • Jewish literature -- 42
  • page 43
  • Philo Judaeus -- 43
  • page 44
  • Patristic synthesis -- 44
  • Justin Martyr -- 44
  • page 45
  • Augustine -- 45
  • Manichaeism -- 45
  • Tertullian -- 45
  • page 46
  • Augustine and his philosophy -- 46
  • page 47
  • The philosophy of Augustine -- 47
  • page 48
  • The synod of Orange -- 48
  • The scholastic synthesis -- 48
  • page 49
  • Tertullian -- 49
  • Flowering of the scholastic synthesis -- 49
  • page 50
  • Dissolution of the scholastic synthesis -- 50
  • Third synthesis -- 50
  • page 51
  • Prelude to the post-synthetic period -- 51
  • * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

    [PAGE 1]

    Lecture # 1, September 16, 1964

    The Nature of Knowledge:

    Knowledge does not grow by ratiocination, that is, by the process of reason. Feeling, as a whole, precedes analytical understanding. Knowledge is a unified whole.

    Man's Religious Need:

    Man is not self-sufficient. He needs someone or something greater than himself in which to place his trust. The Christian may cast himself upon Jehovah, his Covenant God. The unbeliever, feeling the same need, creates absolutes for himself.


    The objectivist school of philosophy believes in a complete separation of mind and matter. The mind is one world and the physical (matter) another. The physical is the objective. The unbeliever fulfills his religious need by his absolute faith in objectivity. Logic is the special science that studies the world of the mental without any regard to the physical. Physics studies the physical.


    Aristotle taught hylomorphism. he believed that the entire world can be divided into matter and form. Matter, as applied to man, is the body, made up of psychical, organic and physical functions. Form is the mind, called the passive intellect. The passive intellect is activated by the universal active intellect, a force standing between God and man. The universal intellect activates the intellects of all men, causing them to think alike. Matter, independent of any such force, is varied. Individuality is based upon matter. Form is universal, due to the common origin of the thought of all men.


    Philosophy is a science distinct and different from all other sciences. Positivism is a trend in modern philosophy that denies this. This trend rose about the middle of the 19th century. It became the dominant philosophical spirit in Europe in the second half of the 19th century. Positivism, or its modification, neo-positivism, is still dominant in most American universities today. Positivism would have philosophy take on the form of the special sciences like mathematics and physics.

    [PAGE 2]

    Lecture # 2, September 22, 1964

    The Nature of Philosophy:

    Philosophy is a general or fundamental science. It is involved in and affects every special science, including theology. That is why there are so many different schools of thought in a supposedly objective science like mathematics. The nature of the thing is dependent upon the place assigned to it in the whole scheme.


    Positivism, the philosophical movement that arose in France about 1840, was founded by the French philosopher Auguste Comte (1798-1857). 19th century philosophers were jealous of the gains made by mathematics and physics and wished similar gains for philosophy. They felt they could best assure these gains by placing philosophy on the same foundations as the special sciences.

    Positivism claims that mind studies the world of matter and reads feeling into it while actual matter is totally impersonal. The special scientist tries to extract or abstract the world of matter and make it separate [from] mind and feeling. He tries to take one type of activity from the whole and consider it in isolation.


    The French philosopher, René Descartes (1596-1650), called also Cartesius, is the founder of modern philosophy. He also followed a mind-matter scheme. He called them "res cogitans" (thinking substance) and "res existans" (existent substance). After Cartesianism was established, the place of emotion in the scheme was questioned. There was no place for it. Cartesians chose to disregard the emotions rather than give up the scheme.

    Philosophical Foundations of Medicine:

    Cartesianism was the philosophical scheme that medicine first operated on. After the controversy concerning emotion, medicine dropped the scheme and formulated a new philosophy involving a closer relationship between mind and body. Analytic thinking cannot go on without the normal body processes. Medicine found that life is more intricate than Descartes realized. The change led to the rise of psychosomatic medicine. Medicine clearly indicates the wholeness of man, a fact that the special sciences cannot account for.

    [PAGE 3]

    Lecture # 3, September 29, 1964

    The Relationship Between Philosophy and the Special Sciences:

    Philosophy is a general or total science. The structures studied by philosophy are also studied by the special sciences. More general patterns are present in philosophy than in the special sciences. General considerations enter into all the sciences. Positivism says rather that philosophy must follow the special sciences and put their results together into a whole.

    A Christian psychiatry needs a Christian anthropology. A non-Christian psychiatrist or therapist, since he does not know man or understand him, may do a great deal of harm.


    Biology deals in abstractions, not concrete things. It is the special science that studies life or vital processes. Life functions have a physical basis. Cells are physical. Plants have vital functions and physical functions.

    The three main schools of thought in biology are: i) mechanism, ii) vitalism, iii) holism. Some biologists attempt to understand vital functions in terms of physical functions and speak of the former in terms of the latter. This is mechanism. Vitalism, on the other hand, attempts to explain physical functions in terms of vital functions. Holism is a school of thought founded by Premier Smuts of South Africa.

    Because philosophy is fundamental to all sciences, there are different schools of thought in biology. Vitalism and mechanism are simplistic deductions. All such "ism" words point to theoretic exaggerations and distortions of the creation order. Both mechanism and vitalism are theories about the inter-relatedness of the thing. The question is whether the raising of one aspect [reveals] the true nature of the thing. Vitalists see mechanists absolutize the physical and so stress the vital to counteract this. Mechanists do the opposite in return. In order to escape this dialectical swing, we must take our own perspective.

    A Perspective in Philosophy:

    The course should actually be called Perspective in Philosophy. [TP in 2005: The title of the course was Perspectives in Philosophy: Runner was objecting to the plural. Presumably the course title was not of his own choosing.] The course is more than a series of studies on philosophy. There must be room left for the development of a Christian philosophy. It is not possible to be a mere unattached observer in the history of philosophy.

    [PAGE 4]

    Existentialists believe that existence precedes essence. Meaning in history comes afterward only. Man is a historic being in the historic dimension. We are all called to be prophets in that we must pronounce judgments on our time from our own perspective. In the religious sense, we transcend our time by passing judgment on our time.

    Systematic and Historical Philosophy:

    Philosophy has two aspects: systematic philosophy ("systematics") and historical philosophy ("historical"). Neither can be treated in isolation. No one can philosophize without building on previous philosophies. No one can study the history of philosophy without a knowledge of "systematica." Philosophy is an attempt to think systematically about the creation of God as a whole.

    Lecture # 4, September 31, 1964

    God's Law and Man's Situation:

    Man is a religious being. He is created in a religious situation. He is a creature structurally made to commune with God. This communion has been broken by the fall into sin. Man, the covenant-breaker, no longer acknowledges what he is. Man's inescapable condition is that he is a creature and thus is not self-sufficient. He needs the assurance of God's favor, though he may not know it. He needed the assurance even before the fall. Man oriented himself to the creation through his relationship to and communion with God. Geerhardus Vos has shown us that there was a pre-redemptive special revelation.

    God did not leave man alone in the creation after the fall. With His Law and Providence, He upheld it. Unbelieving man, like Plato, may have a "sensus dietatis," a feeling of God, or a "sensus legis," a feeling of the Law. God's will is His Law. In this Law, He sets limits for the creation. Everyone and everything is under this Law. That man is limited and controlled in what he does is well illustrated by political revolutions. Due to the confining influence of the Law, they lose their initial push and radicality.

    Man's Need for Order:

    History gives us a deeper understanding of our human situation. Man needs visible signs of order. When he came to feel that there was no order in God's Providence -- if indeed there was a god -- and that there was no real order in nature, he decided to manufacture his own order. Fascism, communism and the other 20th century ideologies are examples of man's manufactured order. This type of attempt is the inevitable result of nihilism.

    [PAGE 5]


    As well as needing visible signs of order, man needs absolutes. This really is his religious need rising out of the creation and fall situation. Nothing in the creation is absolute but the covenant and Word of God. Obedience to the covenant is the only firm ground for surety in human life. Apostate cults have devised practices to fulfil man's inmost religious need for absolutes. The planned state that controlled man's entire life was another attempt to fulfill man's need for absolutes. Other absolutes that have been advanced are: i) absolute monarchs, ii) sexual pleasure, iii) the accumulation of money, iv) fame, v) physical strength, vi) philosophy.

    Lecture # 5, October 5, 1964


    William James was one of the founders of the pragmatic school of philosophy. Pragmatism sees thinking as an instrument of doing. Thought cannot be separated from action. Thought should not be abstracted from and precede action but rather be a directing part of action.


    Matthew 11:25 tells us about revelation. The Father knows the Son and the Son knows the Father by inter-trinitarian knowledge. The Son reveals His knowledge of the Father. Revelation always means to bring down to the creaturely level. Christ in His Incarnation is Revelation. Revelation means that God has taken on human form. Thus, we know God only as He has revealed Himself to us. God has used human language to reveal Himself to us in the Scriptures. Thus, he guarantees the adequacy of the language. The Word is Jesus Christ. The Covenant, the Kingdom and the Scriptures are Jesus Christ.

    There are many different types or levels of thought. Examples are the thought of God, man, animals, and plants. Revelation of any kind of must be lowered to the level of the creature being revealed to. Philosophy is not an absolute; it is a human activity. Philosophy must be the service of God.

    Lecture # 6, October 8, 1964

    Scientific and Pre-scientific Knowledge:

    Knowledge can be distinguished as scientific or pre-scientific. This difference is commonly denied. Pre-scientific knowledge precedes scientific knowledge. It is by nature and structure different than scientific thought. It has been said that knowledge is methodical. Science is confused with method. The validity of the existence of pre-scientific thought is commonly denied.

    [PAGE 6]

    Pre-scientific thought views the whole of a thing. Scientific knowledge distinguishes between its different aspects. Every situation has many functions: economic, physical, sociological, logical, linguistic. The functions are abstracted from the whole. All other aspects are neglected.

    In pre-scientific life, we experience people, events, things, institutions, etc. in the totality or wholeness of their meaning or being. In scientific life, we experience the several aspects in the wholeness of meaning. There is a different relationship of each man to the two kinds of knowledge.

    Lecture # 7, October 13, 1964

    Scientific and Pre-scientific Knowledge:

    Pre-scientific and scientific knowledge differ in structure. It is not the case that one is an extension of the other. Pre-scientific knowledge precedes scientific knowledge. Pre-scientific knowledge looks at the whole of the thing. Scientific knowledge abstracts the various aspects. In humanistic schools of philosophy, pre-scientific knowledge is considered as being of no real value. The only legitimate knowledge is scientific knowledge.

    Bultmann's View of Revelation:

    The German theologian Rudolf Bultmann demythologizes Scripture. There is something in the Bible that he regards as revelation. It is wrapped up in pre-scientific ways of speaking. This wrapping must be stripped away in order to get at the truth. It is true that the manner of writing in the Bible is primarily pre-scientific. Bultmann does not believe in pre-scientific knowledge. He believes that even revelation must be analyzed scientifically. Thus, he is faced with the problem of distinguishing between scientific and pre-scientific knowledge in the Bible. His solution is to demythologize.

    Almost the whole of man's life goes on in the realm of the pre-scientific. This is how God created man. This is how God sent His Son, Jesus Christ, into the world. Scientific knowledge must be secondary. It is used to help man control and subdue the earth and so fulfil the cultural mandate.

    The Modal Scale:

    There are many different aspects that can be abstracted from the life of man. An open list of fifteen has been devised by Herman Dooyeweerd:

    [PAGE 7]

    ____ pistical
    ____ ethical
    ____ jural
    ____ aesthetic
    ____ economic
    ____ social
    ____ lingual, symbolic
    ____ historial, technical
    ____ analytical, logical
    ____ psychical
    ____ organic, biotic, vital
    ____ energetic
    ____ phsyical
    ____ spatial
    ____ numerical, arithmetic

    Lecture # 8, October 15, 1964

    The Modal Scale:

    Every creature functions in many different ways. The modal scale distinguishes fifteen. Function is to be distinguished from act. The modalities may be spoken of as fifteen "apriories." Certain basic terms like "aesthetic" cannot be defined. "Ontic apriories" mean the "apriories" of all related to being. The order of the modalities may not be changed.

    The Numerical Modality:

    The numerical modality means number. The symbolism is of no real importance. Twoness is quite apart; it is an idea.

    The Spatial Modality:

    The spatial modality presupposes the numerical. Numerical is ascribed to quantity. Discrete means discontinuous. Spatial is continuous extension.

    The Physical Modality:

    The physical modality involves motion. Modern physicists believe that motion, rather than rest, is characteristic of the physical. Rest is a form of motion. The physical aspect of something is motion. Motion presupposes spatiality a numerality.

    The Organic Modality:

    The organic modality involves vital functions. The organs have a physical basis. The organic again depends on the numerical, spatial and physical functions.

    [PAGE 8]

    Lecture # 9, October 20, 1964

    Ontology and Epistemology:

    Ontology and epistemology are the two main branches of philosophical investigation. Ontology means theoretical thinking about being. Epistemology is theoretical thought about knowledge. Ontology discusses questions about reality as well as such theories as materialism, idealism, dualism, monism, and pluralism. Epistemology attempts to answer the question of how we come by our knowledge. Ontology is not reality; it is theory about reality. Adjectives containing "logi" are not reality in themselves but represent theory about reality.

    The Psychical Modality:

    After organic life on the modal scale comes psychical life, response to sense impressions and perceptions. The psychical presupposes the organic since perception is dependent upon organs.

    The Analytical Modality:

    The analytical or logical modality is the conceptual distinguishing of difference. Distinguishing is taking note of difference.

    The Historial Modality:

    The historial [TP in 2005: This is not a typo -- Runner used "historial" rather than "historical."] or technical modality involves cultural formation. The three main factors connected with cultural formation are: i) material given, ii) form given to the material, iii) to meet the need of man. Thus, cultural formation is historial and technical.

    The Lingual Modality:

    The lingual or symbolical modality means communication by means of symbols. Spoken language is primary; written language is secondary. Men communicate by conventional symbols. Conventional symbols involves cultural formation. The lingual modality in this way presupposes the historial modality. Language is a giving of form to represent things. Even the making of hand and face signals involves cultural formation.

    [PAGE 9]

    Lecture # 10, October 22, 1964

    Legal Positivism:

    Legal positivism is that theory of law that states that the only real law or sense of right is a law enacted by man and put into force. Law-making is codifying the wishes of the community. Roscoe Pound was a leading American exponent of this theory. The Principle of Equity and law is that "lex," the enacted law, must serve "jus," the sense of right and wrong. The originally intended right must overrule the enacted law. "Lex" must constantly be revised to maintain the spirit of "jus."

    The Social Modality:

    There is a social order or structure among men. Social structure presupposes the symbolic aspect as it is symbolic in itself. Social means the arrangement of people in society. It involves linguality but it is more than linguality.

    The Economic Modality:

    Economic functioning depends on social structure. Economic means the conservation of scarce goods.

    The Aesthetic Modality:

    The aesthetic means beautiful harmony. Nothing aesthetic is possible without the economic function of conservation.

    The Jural Modality:

    The jural aspect presupposes the aesthetic because jural life is a harmonizing of interests.

    The Ethical Modality:

    The ethical aspect means the loving faithfulness of man to man.

    The Modal Scale:

    The modal scale is an ascending order of complexities. Each one has a nuclear moment of meaning which is also contained in others up the scale. The irreversible order is also an indissoluble coherence of meaning which points to a deeper underlying wholeness of meaning. None of the modalities exist independently. In all, there is one cosmic meaning. The creation is integral.

    [PAGE 10


    Each modality has law in its own sphere. There is a norm for each. The mind-matter scheme of Galileo overrates the subjective in the subject-object relationship. Subjectively, a substance like water may and does rise to the physical aspect but when treated as object it may go higher. Everything has both subject and object functions. A thing like water can function objectively on any level but the numerical.

    Lecture # 11, October 27, 1964

    The Modal Scale:

    Three things that should be noted concerning the modal scale are: i) It is an irreversible order of time. ii) It forms an indissoluble coherence of meaning in a) subject-object functions, b) anticipatory and retrocipatory moments of meaning. iii) It points to some deeper underlying wholeness of meaning.

    Galileo and Subjectivism:

    Galileo divided the world into mind and matter. Mind is subjective and internal. Matter is objective and external. Thought and feeling belong to mind. How we know the physical world was not explained by Galileo. He said that mind and matter function independently. Mind reads meaning and feeling into matter.

    Subjectivism has been dominant in philosophy since the 16th century. Subjectivism is an attempt to explain the world purely in terms of subject functions. Galileo reduces everything to material subjectivity.

    The functional world has a subjective and an objective side. On each modal level, there are subject, as well as object, functions with the exception of the numerical modality. And objectivist turns the objective into the law for any particular sphere.

    Lecture # 12, October 29, 1964

    Thomas Aquinas:

    Many Christians today think and talk in Thomist thought patterns. Thomas Aquinas divided everything into the realms of nature and supernature (grace). Nature he divided into form and matter, following the lead of Aristotle. He saw man as made up of material body and rational soul. Aquinas did add the realm of supernature which he claimed Aristotle did know about because he was an unbeliever. This 13th century philosophical movement was revived as neo-Thomism in the 19th century by Etienne Gilson and Jacques Maritain. In 1879, Pope Leo XIII officially advocated the study of philosophy in the spirit of Thomas Aquinas. Aquinas said that reason

    [PAGE 11]

    gives us our knowledge of the natural world; faith and the Word of God give us our knowledge of the supernatural world. The real essence of man lies outside the supernatural world; it is his material body and rational soul. In Roman Catholic thought, unbelief is the absence of belief. In actuality there is always belief of some kind. Scripture speaks of misdirected belief. There is no human creature without belief.

    Subject and Object Functions:

    The term "mathematical" stands for the numerical and spatial modalities combined. An object like a nest must be described psychically because its object function is related to the psychical life of a bird. A material like metal can function in a great many ways as an object. Words ending in able and ible refer to object functions. On every modal level but the numerical there are subject functions and object functions. A concrete thing exists on every modal level. A physical thing like a rock has three subject functions and fourteen object functions. An organic thing like a plant has five subject functions and fourteen object functions. An animal has six subject functions and fourteen object functions. Man has fifteen subject functions and fourteen object functions. Object functions are dependent on subject functions.

    Lecture # 13, November 3, 1964.

    Subject and Object Functions:

    The creatures of God are related through subject and object functions. The creatures are made for each other. For a great part, the development of human culture has been the development of object functions of things. Subject-object functions form a great part of the indissoluble order of time of the modal scale. An object function requires another individuality structure besides that which functions as subject. In medieval philosophy, object functions were called "qualitates." Subject functions were called "proprietas." The words "quality" and "property" are derived from these Latin terms. "Qualitates" depends on another individuality structure for existence. Property exists of itself. Galileo (1564-1642) and the school of philosophers following him saw only qualities. They called them subject functions. They saw no subject-object relations; in fact, they could not see that object functions exist. They saw mind as reading property into matter.

    Kant's View of Apriories:

    When Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) spoke of "apriories," he meant that man started his system of thought with epistemological "apriories" and went on from there. The adherents of Dooyeweerd begin instead with ontic "apriories."

    [PAGE 12]

    Law Spheres:

    There are at least fifteen law spheres in which laws, irreducible to any others, are operative. Each law sphere but the first, the numerical, is made up of subject and object functions and a law for the function in the sphere. Sphere sovereignty means irreducibility.

    Lecture # 14, November 10, 1964.

    Sphere Sovereignty:

    Sphere sovereignty means that no modality can be reduced to any other. Each modality is a law sphere in itself. Each law sphere has its own law for subject and object functions.

    Sphere Universality:

    All creatures are related to all other creatures on all levels. The modalities are universal as well as sovereign since every creature functions at every level either as subject or as object or both.

    Anticipatory and Retrocipatory Moments:

    Every modality occurs in every other modality in anticipatory and retrocipatory moments. Everything has aspects. Within these aspects are anticipations and retrocipations. At the center of the aspect is the core moment. The core moment guarantees irreducibility of the sphere. Retrocipatory moments are reflections of the lower modalities. Anticipatory moments look ahead to the higher modalities. The core moment guarantees that anticipations and retrocipations are of a particular modality like the aesthetic. Retrocipations are lower on the modal scale than anticipations. Although anticipations are incomplete they can be realized to a greater extent.

    Lecture # 15, November 12, 1964

    The Modal Scale:

    Retrocipatory moments are reflections in the sense of the core moments of the earlier aspects. Anticipatory moments are reflections in the sense of the core moments of the later aspects. Each modality is present in the analogical sense in some other modality. Each modality is present in every other modality in anticipations or retrocipations. No one modality is the source of any other, much less, the source of all.

    The whole cosmic meaning or purpose is present in every modality. Each modality presents the meaning from a different point of view. The mobile scale points to a deeper underlying wholeness of meaning. Philosophy is limited in that it cannot discover that meaning. It cannot explain this underlying meaning. Analysis can suggest the unity of meaning but it cannot tell us what that unity is

    [PAGE 13]

    Absolutizing Modalities:

    Rationalists claim the analytical or logical function as the source of all functioning. The communist ideologists postulate that the social and economic functions are man's basic functions. The psychoanalytical school of psychology claims that reason is a surface function in man. The deepest function is man's animal drive or lust inherited from his simian background. They make man's psychical life all-important. This school masks its theory in rationality.

    Return to the list of topics

    Click here to go to the Myodicy home page.