Dooyeweerd uses the image of a lookout-tower to explain why “if I am not to lose myself in the modal speciality of meaning during the course of philosophical thought, I must be able to find a standpoint which transcends the special modal aspects. Only by transcending the speciality of meaning, can I attain to the actual view of totality by which the former is to be distinguished as such” (NC I 8)
This necessity of transcendence is a crucial element of his critique of “immanence philosophy”, yet it still feels to me too closely tied with an epistemological standpoint. That’s a problem because it is the immanence standpoint that is supposed to be caught up in the problematic of knowing subject over-against known object. The point of the Zuidema quote turns on this issue, we are not a philosophical or theoretical subject, but ultimately a religious subject. Apparently Dooyeweerd’s student Johan Mekkes questioned the character of this transcendence in his later thought suggesting that the Archimedean point sought by Dooyeweerd was an illegitimate, neo-Kantian turn which effaced the temporal actuality of thought.
Perhaps we have to accept that the negative character of Dooyeweerd’s critique remains persuasive while his positive account concerning the transcendence of the religious concentration point requires, at the least, further reflection. On this negative result of his critique Dooyeweerd wrote: “the demonstrative force of our critique has been negative in character, so far as it, taken strictly, can only demonstrate, that the starting-point of theoretical thought cannot be found in that thought itself, but must be supra-theoretical in character” (NC I 56-57)