UNFINISHED BUSINESS: TOWARD A REFORMATIONAL CONCEPTION OF TRUTH

Philosophia Reformata
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This essay presents an emerging conception of truth and shows how it appropriates Herman Dooyeweerd’s conception. First I compare my “critical hermeneutics” with other reformational models of critique. Then I propose to think of truth as a dynamic correlation between (1) human fidelity to societal principles and (2) a life-giving disclosure of society. This conception recontextualizes the notion of propositional truth, and it links questions of intersubjective validity with Dooyeweerd’s emphasis on “standing in the truth.” While abandoning his idea of transcendent truth, I seek to preserve the holism and normativity of Dooyeweerd’s radical conception. Theoretical thought never finishes its task. Anyone who believes to have created a philosophical system that can be adopted unchanged by every ensuing generation shows no insight into the historical contingency [gebondenheit] of all theoretical thought. — Herman Dooyeweerd1

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