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image of Philosophia Reformata

'Modal aspect’ is a central notion in so-called ‘Calvinistic Philosophy’ (henceforth referred to as CP1). To be sure, this is true of only one of its versions, namely Dooyeweerd’s. For Vollenhoven’s systematic philosophy, which of course may also lay claim on the title CP, has no use for it. In his version pride of place is given to the notion of ‘function’. This paper is a meditation on the question what ‘aspects’ and ‘functions’, within the bounds of CP, are supposed to be. Doing so will shed, I hope, at least some light on the question which, if any, of the two is the more intelligible and useful notion. Right at the beginning I should like to make it clear that this paper is narrowly focussed on the indicated questions. My aim is not to discuss any theory about modal aspects, such as Dooyeweerd’s theory that modal aspects are refractions in time of something supra temporal, or his theory that there is an Archimedian Point from which human beings can overlook the various modal aspects. Nor will I discuss any theory about functions. The indicated questions seek to establish what the phenomena are that such theories are about. This paper is also narrowly focussed in that whatever differences may turn out to exist in the course of this meditation between Vollenhoven and Dooyeweerd, it will not discuss them in any depth. A serious discussion of these differences will have to take into account the theories that I propose presently not to deal with. Let me now turn to the first question.


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