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image of Philosophia Reformata

On the basis of an initial reference to a number of critical appraisals of H. Dooyeweerd’s philosophy, this article proceeds by provisionally focusing on the image of Franz Xavier Von Baader1 — who was intellectually active during the first part of the nineteenth century (he lived from 1765-1841) — in secondary literature (late nineteenth century and early twentieth century). The main concern, however, is to enter into a more detailed evaluation of the claim made by J.G. Friesen,2 namely that all the basic systematic insights and distinctions found in the philosophy of Herman Dooyeweerd are already present in the thought of Von Baader. That Dooyeweerd was indeed influenced by numerous philosophers and philosophical insights spanning the entire history of philosophy is beyond doubt. However, that there is any direct influence on his thought from Von Baader cannot be substantiated on the basis of the available sources even though it is not unlikely that he might have been aware of the existence of Von Baader. Both the quotations used by Friesen in support of his thesis and an extensive reading of the original Collected Works of Von Baader serve as a basis for the assessment of the claims made by Friesen. In fact, there are a number of philosophical distinctions found in the original works of Von Baader (not mentioned by Friesen) that, considered in isolation, are much closer to views of Dooyeweerd. However, once these are placed within the context of Von Baader’s thought, the striking and significant distance between the thought of Von Baader and Dooyeweerd once again become apparent.


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