Die plek en betekenis van die Universiteit van die Vrystaat (UV) in die tradisie van die "Kosmonomiese Filosofie"
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The phrase Cosmonomic Philosophy designates a particular philosophical tradition which emerged in The Netherlands during the first part of the 20th century, founded by H. Dooyeweerd and D.Th. Vollenhoven from the Free University of Amsterdam. H.G. Stoker made this new philosophical trend known in South Africa. A student from The University College of the Orange Free State (UKOVS), Herman Strauss, followed this up by studying with Herman Dooyeweerd during the late thirties. After his return to South Africa he was appointed at UKOVS as the first adherent of the "Wysbegeerte der Wetsidee". During the fifties Dooyeweerd published his four volume Philosophy of the Cosmonomic Idea. This philosophy explored positive elements of the Christian worldview in the line of Augustine, Calvin, Bilderdijk, Groen van Prinsterer and Abraham Kuyper, while taking critical distance from the Roman Catholic medieval synthesis as well as from modern Humanistic philosophy. During early modern philosophy Bodin introduced the term "sovereignty" to characterize the sovereignty of the government as the highest authority within society. Groen van Prinsterer and Kuyper "downsized" this legacy to account for the limited competence of each societal entity, designating what they termed the principle of sphere sovereignty. Dooyeweerd expanded the scope of this principle also to bear upon all dimensions of temporal reality in his search after a non-reductionist ontology. In his later development Dooyeweerd increasingly directed his attention to a refinement of what he called a transcendental critique of theoretical thought, aimed at uncovering the ontic conditions making possible scholarly thinking - both on the theoretical and supra-theoretical level. During the fifties proff. Rassie Venter and Pieter de Bruyn Kock were appointed in the Department of philosophy at the University of the Free State (as it is currently named) and both explored the implications of the transcendental critique in their publications and scholarly interactions with philosophers from other orientations. It is noteworthy that by the end of the twentieth century C.A. Van Peursen said that Dooyeweerd's philosophy is today more relevant than ever and that many books written within the domain of philosophy of science should not have been written (cf. Van Peursen, 1995:79-94), had the authors first read Dooyeweerd. During the seventies three new philosophers were appointed, Danie Strauss, Kobus Smit and Johan Visagie. Danie Strauss, who received his PhD from the Free University of Amsterdam, further explored the challenge in articulating a non-reductionist ontology. Johan Visagie developed a unique systematic account of the conditions holding for scholarly thinking (in his "Archaeological Discourse Theory"), while Kobus specialized in philosophical anthropology, ethics and medical ethics. The contribution of the UFS to the further development of the Philosophy of the Cosmonomic Idea is particularly reflected in the fact that in 2011 the Board of the Association for Reformational Philosophy in the Netherlands awarded the Herman Dooyeweerd Prize to Danie Strauss for work in the field of systematic philosophy embodied in his book "Philosophy: Discipline of the Disciplines" (2009). Recently three new philosophers (with a background in continental philosophy), were appointed, namely Helen Cawood, Pieter Duvenhage (Head of the Department) and Johann Rossouw
- Faculty of Humanities