Dooyeweerd's legal and political philosophy: a response to the challenge of historicism.
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A look at the penetrating and encompassing nature of Dooyeweerd's political and legal philosophy makes it understandable why Georgio Del Vecchio, a reputable Italian philosopher of law, appreciated Dooyeweerd as "the most profound, innovative, and penetrating philosopher since Kant". Dooyeweerd's Inaugural address laid the foundation for uncovering the deepest dialectical motivation of modern philosophy, namely the (dialectical) basic motive of nature and freedom (science ideal and personality ideal). Dooyeweerd rejected the idea of a "pure theory of law" because in spite of its uniqueness, the meaning of the jural aspect of reality comes to expression only in its coherence with other irreducible aspects. In opposition to the relativistic claims of historicism, Dooyeweerd emphasises the irreducibility of each aspect of reality. Dooyeweerd exercised immanent criticism on the impasse of a theory of the state without the state and a theory of law without law. Despite his continuing an element of natural law, Dooyeweerd's approach avoids the antinomous stance of historicism by realising that change can only be established on the basis of constancy. The article concludes with a brief sketch of his systematic programme, as it unfolds in his multi-volume Encyclopaedia of the science of law.
- Faculty of Humanities