Monday, January 12, 2009

Dooyeweerd's Text

We can now celebrate having both De Wijsbegeerte de Wetisdee and A New Critique of Theoretical Thought I-II and III-IV available on-line, though as Baus remarks we still await affordable copies of his works. Personally I accept that a decent set of the New Critique is going to cost more than your average paperback, but that is no excuse for not making reasonably cheap editions of books like Roots and Twilight available. Unfortunately price is not the only problem, in his article on Dooyeweerd and a reformational theory of truth Zuidervaart makes these rather sobering comments:

Because New Critique is both a translation and a revision of Wijsbegeerte der Wetsidee, commentators face tricky questions when they interpret Dooyeweerd’s magnum opus. This is especially so of English passages that seem prima facie to translate the Dutch version. Sometimes there are significant differences in meaning between equivalent passages in the two works. One does not always know whether this is due to the quality of the translation or due to a change in Dooyeweerd’s conception. Although I shall note a number of these differences, to give them a complete interpretation would take me too far afield. Where the English version translates an equivalent passage in the Dutch version, I occasionally use square brackets to indicate nuances in Dutch not caught in the English version. I also silently modify translated passages in other ways, usually to render them in more idiomatic English. What Dooyeweerd scholars really need is a thorough, critical edition of NC, one that sorts out the differences between WW and NC and makes informed judgments about the nature and source of those differences. In the meantime, a careful reader of Dooyeweerd should use both WW and NC, and not assume that everything in NC is a faithful rendering of his own conception.

Perhaps I should add a critical edition of the New Critique onto my list of future reformational book, however it could be that we are still decades away from such a publication I hope not.

1 comment:

Ian R said...

Thanks for your blog Rudi. With regard to the comments about the online NC, is it generally known that Vols I & II are unfortunately reversed? Second, although acknowledging some validity in Zuidervaart's views, non-Dutch readers are unable to do as he suggests with the WW. I just use the NC and depend on the excerpts provided by J. Glenn Friesen. Of course, this is not completely satisfactory but it's the best I can do.