Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Selfhood and the act of thought

“Our selfhood … is never to be eliminated from the act of thought” (NC I 23)

This statement shows how theoretical thought is not self-sufficient for it relies on the non-theoretical and more-than-logical human selfhood. Human thought is an actual activity and so theory is a human artefact. Recognising this puts limits on theoretical thought and in particular its ability to comprehend the human subject, even the thinking human subject cannot be grasped in a theoretical concept. Dooyeweerd explains this saying “the “gegenstand-relation” can only be an intentional relation within the real act of theoretical thought between its logical and its non-logical aspects. The real act itself can never be made the “Gegenstand” of its logical function, since the latter can be actual only within a real act of our consciousness, and does not have any actuality in a theoretical abstraction” (NC I 50)

This takes us back to the negative result of Dooyeweerd’s transcendental critique. To arrive at an understanding of the religious root of thought requires an act of self-reflection that is not theoretical.

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