Dooyeweerd’s Problematic Idea of Cosmic Time

Toward a Resolution

In: Philosophia Reformata
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Herman Dooyeweerd (, 28) writes that “the idea of cosmic time constitutes the basis of the philosophical theory of reality in [A New Critique of Theoretical Thought].” My aim is to present and defend the hypothesis that Dooyeweerd’s idea of time is, in part, mistaken at its foundation. His idea of a cosmic temporal coherence of diverse modal aspects arose from the absolutization of a concept of temporal universality that he adopted uncritically as the transcendental basic Idea of cosmic time. My immanent-critical assessment leads to the hypothesis that temporality should be recognized as the first modal aspect, which, for Dooyeweerd, has been lost to view. Recovering both the sphere sovereignty of the temporal aspect and the equal universality of all aspects opens the way to a resolution of Dooyeweerd’s temporal/supratemporal dialectic and to a new perspective on naive experience and the meaning of humans as God’s image.

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