Christian, Reformatial Philosophy

Reformational Philosophy is the name for the school of Christian philosophy that, between World War I and II, was developed by Herman Dooyeweerd in collaboration with Dirk H.TH. Vollenhoven at the Free University (now VU University) in Amsterdam. Some central thoughts in this philosophy are:

  • Human reason is not autonomous but, like all other human faculties, is rooted in and informed by a fundamental view of reality, i.e. a world view. This does not deny the importance of observations and inter-subjectivity in life, in particular, in science.
  • Reality harbors structures that have a normative character in the sense that they should be taken into consideration for the flourishing of human beings in their natural and social environments (e.g. human flourishing requires not only certain food but also certain psychological and social conditions, etc.).
  • In reality, a number of irreducible modal aspects can be distinguished which demonstrate a normative pluralism in reality, implying the rejection of any form of reductionism in which all of reality is ultimately reduced to one aspect such as the physical, psychical or social.
  • The modal aspects are numerical, spatial, kinematic, physical, biotic, sensitive, analytical, formative, linguistic, social, economic, aesthetic, juridical, ethical and fiduciary (faith as a function).
  • These modal aspects are also normative perspectives; all things including social entities function in all  of these aspects, and they will flourish if all of the normative aspects are simultaneously observed.

The chair for Christian philosophy teaches the following courses in the course of two academic years (Click on the code for more information from the Study Handbook) :

  • CPT-93803 Reformational philosophy in debate with other world philosophies (in Dutch)
  • CPT-93303 Ethics of science and technology
  • CPT-92803 Philosophy of culture
  • CPT-94303 Philosophy of science

In all courses the subject is treated from a Christian Reformational perspective in debate with other views.