jeudi, octobre 14, 2010

Dooyeweerd: Plato, Arastotal, Kant, Stammler, Husserl

"Rian/ Mi-rian" le Ian Hamilton Finlay
     Already in the Prolegomena it appeared that the modal sovereignty of each law-sphere within its own orbit, conceived as a fundamental cosmological principle in our transcendental basic Idea, cannot possibly be recognized on the immanence-standpoint.        
     Immanence-philosophy can only hold its own by a subjective elimination of the cosmic order of time and a primary absolutizing of theoretical thought. It should therefore be clear that the modal criterion by which we gain theoretical knowledge about the modal boundaries of the law-spheres can in no way be reduced to any criterion by means of which immanence-philosophy tries to attain a theoretical determination of the diversity of meaning.
     In the first place the form-matter-scheme of immanence-philosophy appears to be unserviceable in the theory of the modal spheres.

The form-matter scheme in ancient and medieval metaphysics.
     In its philosophical use this scheme functioned in two ways, viz. a metaphysical and an epistemological one. In ancient and medieval metaphysics, Form, as οὔσια or ground of being, had to impart a certain delimitation of meaning to chaotic matter (ὕληin PLATO the μὴ ὀν, in ARISTOTLE the δυνάμει ὄν, i.e. potentiality, possibility), which is in itself amorphic, non-ordered.
     PLATO held to the transcendent being of the ideal form-world in the Eleatic sense and included in it the numbers themselves (eidetic numbers) as well as the exact geometrical figures. A very rigorous χωρισμός (i.e. isolation) separates the ideal world of true being from that of the phenomena subject to the material principle of becoming and decay. And yet in the ideal world PLATO sought the ground of being (αἰτία) of all perishable things. The metaphysical χωρισμός between the principle of matter and that of form entangled his thought in sharp antinomies. According to the first conception of his theory of Ideas, developed in the dialogue Phaedo, the eidè are of a static and simple nature. The things that have come into being in the phenomenal world are complex, which makes them liable to the material principle of perpetually coming into being and decaying. But how can the ideal form be the essential basis of perishable, complex things, if in the transcendent form-world there is no connection possible between the eidè, and if there is not any paradeigma here for the principle of matter (the principle of becoming and decay)?
     In the so-called Eleatic dialogues (Parmenides, Sophistes and Politikos) PLATO tried to unite the principles of form and matter by means of a dialectical logic. He devised eidè of a complex character comprising dialectical relations between simple eidè (e.g. being as a dialectical unity of movement and rest). Since then he also tried to find an ideal paradeigma for the principle of matter in the transcendent world of the forms of being. This is the so-called ιδέα τοῦ ἀπειρου (the foundation for the unlimited, the formless) which was called 'ideal matter' in Augustinian Platonic Scholasticism. Under the influence of Pythagoreanism PLATO assumes that the arithmetical series of numbers (not the eidetic 'number in itself') has to make a dialectical connection possible between the transcendent form-world and the world of perishable things. It has to explain how the one-ness of the eidos can turn into multiplicity in the world of becoming and decay. In the Eleatic dialogues the attempt to establish a dialectical unity between the principles of matter and form led to a crisis in the doctrine of the Ideas. The eidè seem to lose their transcendence above the phenomenal world. But in the Philèbos this crisis has passed, and the newly introduced dialectical eidè prove to be complex entities, genera, comprising only that part of the ideal form-world which relates to things that have become. The simple eidè 'in themselves' are explicitly re-established. Only PLATO acknowledged that they are beyond human logic and can only be discerned intuitively. In accordance with the view explained in the Politeia they are the ὑπόθεσις of all dialectical conceptualization. After the manner of the Socratic Idea of the καλοκάγαθον (the beautiful and the good) the process of becoming in the sensible world is understood as a γένεσις εἰς οὐσίαν, i.e. a teleological development of matter to a being under the influence of divine formation by the Idea of the good and the beautiful. In contrast with the earlier conception of the pre-existence of the human rational soul, PLATO now considers the latter to be composed of form and matter and includes it in the world of becoming. This raises the problem of the Timaeus concerning the 'erratic cause' (πλανομένε αἰτία), originating from the ἀναγκή of the matter-principle which has to account for the chaotic, the evil in the perishable sensory world (1).
(1) For the entire development of the Platonic doctrine of the eidè I may refer to volume I of my new trilogy Reformation and Scholasticism in Philosophy (1949) and the sources analysed in it.
The Platonic conception of the process of becoming as a γένεσις εἰς οὐσίαν under the influence of the form-principle was the starting-point for ARISTOTLE in his last period. He broke with the Platonic separation between a transcendent ideal form-world and the empirical world of what has become. The transcendent eidè are rejected. The Platonic 'dialectical' eidos, composed of form and ideal matter is now conceived of as the immanent essence of the material substances in the empirical world. The essential form (morphè) of these substances is now considered as the teleological- or formal cause of the development of matter. As 'potential being', matter can only come into actual existence through this form. The essential form of natural substances thus turns into the immanent teleological principle of their genesis, into an entelechy (immanent telos). In itself it has a universal character, but the specific matter of the substance makes it individual, as this matter is divisible and countable.
     In ARISTOTLE this metaphysical notion of form, as the immanent teleological principle (entelechy) of an individual substance, is made relative by the world-order, conceived teleologically as an intelligible order, in which a lower kind of form in its turn becomes matter for a higher kind. Only the actual νοῦς, the actual reason, cannot become matter, because it is the archè (ἀρχή) of all delimitation of meaning.

The concept of substance.
     This metaphysical principle of form and matter is unfit for our apprehension of the modal aspects of human experience. It is intended as an account of the permanent structural totality of individual things given in nature (physis), which are looked upon as substances. It has to explain how in the changes of their accidental qualities these things maintain their identity.
In my treatise on The Concept of Substance in the Thomistic Doctrine of Being (2), I have shown that this metaphysical concept, in its dialectical uniting of the Greek motives of form and matter, cannot at all do justice to the structural individuality of things in naive experience.
(2) Phil. Reform. 8 Year (1943) p. 65-99; 9 Year (1944) p. 1-41; 10 Year (1945) p. 25-48; 11 Year (1946) p. 22-52.
It is founded in an absolutized theoretical 'Gegenstand-relation'. 'Substances' are opposed as 'things in themselves' to human consciousness. They are represented as being quite independent of the latter, independent of possible sensible perception, independent of the theoretical logical function of thought. They are thus excluded from the subject-object relation which is essential to naive experience (cf. Prolegomena). While it is acknowledged that human consciousness stands in an intentional relation to the substances, this is considered to be immaterial for the reality of the substances in themselves. This view consequently breaks the integral coherence of all the modal aspects of our experience asunder. The 'substantial forms' qualifying or determining the meaning of the eidos, the essence of things, according to ARISTOTLE, are not conceived in the cadre of a modal aspect. The soul, for instance, is regarded as the organizing form of the material body. To the soul are attributed all the qualities of the living substance which are not exclusively 'proper to its 'matter', (such as countability, divisibility and extension).
     Doubtless, ARISTOTLE never thinks of the substantial form as a substance, as a 'Ding an sich'. The soul as substantial form can only realize itself in a specific kind of matter. But this form, too, as 'entelechy of the body', is a metaphysical subject of qualities belonging to different modal aspects (e.g., the biotic and psychical aspects in plants and animals; and the logical and post-logical in human beings).
     Although the 'substantial form', as a theoretical abstraction, is considered to be a 'universal' which is individualized by matter, it lacks every modal determination. But this form-concept fails to account for the general functional coherence of all the phenomena presenting themselves within a definite aspect of our experience. It is exclusively and entirely directed to the supposed internal structure of individual things and to the teleological order between their forms.
     Exactly for this reason modern physical science, desiring to investigate the functional coherence of all phenomena within the physical aspeet, had to turn away from this metaphysical notion of form.
     The critical elaboration of this subject is out of place in the present context and can only be discussed in the third volume.

The form-matter-scheme in Kantian philosophy.
     A quite different philosophical function is given to the form-matter-scheme in KANT's Critique of Pure Reason. Here it primarily assumes an epistemological character. The term 'form' is no longer brought to bear on 'substance' (taken in a metaphysical sense), on 'the thing in itself'. Rather it turns into a transcendental condition of universally valid sensory experience, a constitutive apriori originating in 'the transcendental consciousness'.
     Space and time are conceived of as apriori forms of sensory intuition. Since this intuition or perception functions within the modal psychical aspect of experience (i.e. that of feeling), space and time, insofar as they belong to the structure of this aspect, cannot have the original modal meaning of the mathematical aspects of spatiality and movement. HUME's psychological criticism of pure mathematics was irrefutable from the psychological point of view. KANT nevertheless ascribes pure mathematical sense to space and time as apriori forms of sensory perception. So he eliminates the modal structure of sensory perception by effacing the modal boundaries of meaning between the mathematical and the psychical law-spheres, although he does not reduce pure space and time to sensory impressions. The modal structure of sensory space cannot have an original mathematical character.
     In the same manner KANT's transcendental-logical thought-forms or categories are destructive to the insight into the modal structure of the different aspects of human experience. They imply, in fact, an inter-modal theoretical synthesis between the transcendental elements of the logical and of the mathematical and physical aspects of empirical reality. Nevertheless, KANT ascribes to them a purely logical meaning, although he acknowledges that they are concepts of a 'pure synthesis a priori', and constitutive for human experience only in a synthesis with sensory impressions. On the other hand, the Kantian conception of the 'matter' of human experience is intrinsically antinomous and incompatible with the modal structure of the aspects. It is conceived by him as a sensory-psychical material which, as such, lacks determination and order.
     But, if the 'matter' of knowledge has sensory meaning, how can it, as such, be chaotic and unarranged? How can there be any question of sensuous 'matter', if this matter itself does not possess any inner modal determination and delimitation of meaning due to its own modal structure? The antinomy of the Greek conception of 'matter' as an absolute apeiron, analysed in PLATO's Parmenides, reappears here. The two forms of intuition, viz. space and time, by means of which KANT wants to establish the first apriori order in the chaotic mass of sensory impressions, certainly constitute no criterion of the sensory aspect of experience. They appeared to be conceived of in a mathematical sense which is not pertinent to the sensory impressions.
     But KANT is not aware of this. His form-concept is no modal criterion of meaning at all, but it is explicitly meant to level out the boundaries of the modal aspects of experience, for the sake of the maintenance of logical thought as the transcendental law-giver of nature.

The relapse of neo-Kantian legal philosophers into the Aristotelian method of coneept-formation.
     The neo-Kantian students of a critical-idealistic theory of law immediately involved themselves in serious difficulties when, quite contrary to KANT's intentions, they tried to apply the epistemological form-matter scheme to the normative aspects of experience. They made this attempt to delineate the different 'provinces of knowledge' from one another, in a transcendental logical way, in accordance with specific forms of thinking.
     They saw the necessity of distinguishing the positive legal rules as a separate 'field of knowledge' from morality and the norms of social intercourse. In other words, they were confronted with the fundamental modal diversity in the aspects of human experience and tried to find a criterion. But KANT's critique of knowledge which knew of no other sciences than mathematics and mathematical physics, did not offer them a criterion for any modal aspect of meaning. Therefore they took refuge in Aristotelian logic and made the attempt to delimit the 'provinces of knowledge' from one another according to the genus proximum and the differentia specifica.

The modal aspects have no genus proximum.
     But this method of concept-formation is not serviceable here in a really critical manner. The attempt must be made to arrive a theoretical concept of the general modal meaning of the juridical aspect as such. This aspect must be delimited theoretically from the moral sphere, from that of social intercourse, and finally from all other modal aspects of experience.
     But, since the different modal aspects are irreduceable to one another, there cannot be found a genus proximum in a modal sense. The modalities of meaning themselves are rather the ultimate genera of modal meaning under which are to be subsumed only typical and individual manifestations of the modalities within the different aspects. Consequently, the denominator of comparison for the different aspects can never be a genus proximum. This is also true on the immanence-standpoint. When here the basic denominator of the different aspects of human experience is sought in an absolutized non-logical aspect, the latter can no longer be considered as a modality; rather it is identified with reality itself as the bearer of all its aspects.
     And, just as in metaphysics the 'substance' cannot be the 'genus proximum' of its accidents, reality cannot be conceived as the genus proximum of its modalities. The metaphysical concept of being can no more be handled in this sense. It has appeared in the Prolegomena of Vol. I that this concept was considered as an analogical one which is never to be used as a genus including species.

Why the Kantian categories cannot be subsumed under a genus proximum.
     The transcendental-logical categories of KANT's epistemology could not be subsumed under a genus proximum because they were not conceived of as form-concepts in the sense of Aristotelian logic and metaphysics. They were not serviceable for the generic and specific distinction of different provinces of human knowledge. Rather they were supposed to have a creative function and to constitute the whole field of human science.
     This is the meaning of KANT's sharp distinction between transcendental and formal logic.
     It makes no sense to say that in Kantian epistemology the category of causality is the genus proximum of all natural-scientific thought-forms and that, in contradistinction to the causal manner of scientific thought, there is to be found in the transcendental consciousness a normative or a teleological generic category which, through the addition of differentia specifica, can constitute other fields of scientific experience.
     The whole Aristotelian method of concept-formation according to a genus proximum and differentia specifica pre-supposes the existence of genera and species which are independent of logical thought and are only to be abstracted and classified by the latter. But this supposition contradicts the creative function which in Kantian epistemology is ascribed to the categories in respect to the 'Gegenstand' of the transcendental logical function of thought.
     It may be that this 'Gegenstand' is constituted only by a theoretical synthesis of these categories with a given 'matter' of sensory impressions. But the latter is, as such, deprived of any generic and specific determination.
     In KANT's Critiques there is no room for generic and specific concepts except in the teleological judgment which lacks any constitutive function in human knowledge. These concepts are viewed in a nominalistic manner, they are not founded in 'substantial forms'.
So we must conclude that the neo-Kantian legal philosophers who tried to connect Kantian transcendental logic with the Aristotelian method of concept-formation according to genera and species, deviated from the fundamentals of Kantian epistemology. They took refuge in a method of classification which contradicts the very nature of KANT's transcendental logic.
     The genus proximum and the differentia specifica construed by them to delineate the epistemological field of jurisprudence, were presented as transcendental-logical categories. They are, however, nothing but pseudo-generic and -specific concepts, for they lack any synthetical modal determination.

STAMMLER's concept of law.
     This whole method of 'transcendental logical delimitation of the juridical sphere' may be exemplified by STAMMLER's fundamental concept of law (Rechtsbegriff).
     STAMMLER conceives of the jural modality of experience as a form of thinking, as a logical ordering of the experiential 'matter' by means of specific categories. By this ordering the 'matter of experience' assumes an historical-economical nature! For this purpose, however, the legal aspect must first be reduced to a genus proximum, viz. to the universal category of volition, as the teleological fundamental form of thought (teleological, because the content of consciousness is arranged here in accordance with the relation of a means to an end). This form of thought as such is supposed to be diametrically opposite to the causal mode of thought in physical science. Next the attempt is made to trace the juridical 'differentia specifica' as a specific 'form of thinking', in contrast with the category of social intercourse, on the one hand, and the moral, and the 'religious' categories on the other. Law is then characterized together with the norms of social intercourse as a socially binding kind of volition, (i.e. 'socially' in the usual, undefined sense of the word), and as such it is contrasted with religion and morality, which are assumed to concern individual persons only. Then, by means of the characteristic of 'sovereignty' (Selbstherrlichkeit), law is delimited from the supposed purely inviting nature of the rules of intercourse (which STAMMLER styles 'convention'), and by means of the quality of inviolability it is marked off from arbitrariness. It is easily seen that both these 'differentia specifica' and the 'genus proximum' volition lack every kind of modal definiteness of meaning and are pseudo-logical concepts.
     Thus the juridical aspect of human experience, as being a 'specific province of thought', is actually wrenched from the cosmic inter-modal coherence of meaning. Instead, it is made into a species of a transcendental-logical genus, which in its turn is conceived only in an antithetic-logical relation with the natural-scientific category of causality.
     The neo-Kantian student of 'pure theory of law', H. KELSEN, applies essentially the same kind of method to delimit the juridical aspect from other 'provinces of thought', although he deduces the separate juridical categories in a different way from STAMMLER's. He uses the method of genetical-logical thought characteristic of the Marburg School.

The delimitation of the phenomenological 'regions' in EDMUND HUSSERL.
     Modern phenomenology, too, insofar as it is founded by EDMUND HUSSERL, does not rise above the essentially scholastic method of delineating the different spheres of its research according to genera and species. It delimits the 'regions' of the theory of science by carrying through this method in a very confusing way. HUSSERL gives the following definition:
'Region is nothing but the supreme total generic unity belonging to a concretum; hence it is the essential unity which connects the highest genera relating to the lowest differences within this concretum. The eidetic extent of the 'region' comprises the ideal totality of the concrete unified complexes of differences of these genera; the individual extent comprises the ideal totality of the possible individuals of such a concrete essence' (3).
(3) Ideen zu einer reinen Phänomenologie and phänomenol. Phil. I. 30, 31: "Region" ist nichts anderes als die gesamte zu einem Konkretum gehörige oberste Gattungseinheit, also die wesenseinheitliche Verknüpfung der obersten Gattungen, die den niedersten Differenzen innerhalb des Konkretums zugehören.
'Der eidetische Umfang der Region befasst die ideale Gesamtheit konkret vereinheitlichter Komplexe von Differenzen dieser Gattungen, der individuelle Umfang die ideale Gesamtheit möglicher Individuen solcher konkreten Wesen.'
     Seen in this light, KANT's 'synthetic basic concepts' or 'categories' are conceived of as 'regional basic concepts' ('essentially related to the definite region and its synthetic basic propositions'), and as many groups of categories are distinguished as there are 'regions' to be found.
     Here, too, the scholastic method of delimiting the 'regions' according to the 'genus proximum' and the 'differentia specifica' reigns supreme, obscuring the boundaries of the different modal meaning-aspects. In order to get a very clear idea of this method in HUSSERL we would suggest reading only the 12th and the 13th sections of the Ideen. We refer especially to the following passage:
'In this sense 'meaning as such', is the highest genus in the purely logical area of meanings (!); each definite form of a sentence or of a sentence-part, is an eidetic singularity; the sentence as such is a mediating genus. In the same way number as such is a supreme genus. Two, three, etc., are its lowest differences or particular eidetic units. In the material sphere (!) we find supreme genera like 'thing as such' (!), sensory quality, spatial form, 'experience as such'; the essential elements belonging to definite things, definite sensory qualities, spatial forms, experiences as such, are eidetic and material singularities of this sphere' (4).
(4) "In diesem Sinn ist im reinlogischen Gebiete der Bedeutungen (!) "Bedeutung überhaupt" oberste Gattung, jede bestimmte Satzform, jede bestimmte Satzgliedform eine eidetische Singularität; Satz überhaupt eine vermittelnde Gattung. Ebenso ist Anzahl überhaupt eine oberste Gattung. Zwei, drei usw. sind deren niedersten Differenzen oder eidetische Singularitäten. In der sachhaltigen Sphäre (!) sind z.B. Ding überhaupt (!), sinnliche Qualität, Raumgestalt, Erlebnis überhaupt oberste Gattungen; die zu den bestimmten Dingen, bestimmten sinnlichen Qualitäten, Raumgestalten, Erlebnissen als solchen gehörigen Wesensbestände eidetische und dabei sachhaltige Singularitäten." (Ideen I, S. 25).
Herman Dooyeweerd, New Critique of Theoretical Thought, Vol II/ Part I/ Chapt 1/§ 2 pp 8-18)