Unpublished 163. Toward a Reformed Philosophy (typed)

[Review of Toward a Reformed Philosophy: the Development of a Protestant Philosophy in Dutch Thought Since the Time of Abraham Kuyper, by William Young. The Journal of Philosophy Vol. 50, No. 5, 26 Feb. 1952.]

Toward a Reformed Philosophy; the Development of a Protestant Philosophy in Dutch Thought since the Time of Abraham Kuyper. WILLIAM YOUNG. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Piet Hein Publishers, 1952. 155 p.

Gilson, in Philosophy and Christianity, opposes Calvinism on the ground that it can have no philosophy. One may grant that Calvinism can have no Thomistic philosophy, but Dr. Young traces, through a poorly known period of history, Calvinistic discussions of philosophical problems.

After an introductory survey of Protestantism to the end of the nineteenth century, the main investigation begins with Abraham Kuyper, the great Dutch prime minister. Then come Bavinck, Woltjer, Hepp, and finally and chiefly Dr. H. Dooyeweerd, at present Professor of Jurisprudence at the Free University of Amsterdam. Dr. Dooyeweerd calls his philosophy the philosophy of law. His idea of law, however, is not restricted to jurisprudence, but comprehends all structures of order in the universe. Laws of number, space, motion, and organic life as well as laws in the normative sense, such as logical, historical, social, aesthetic, and moral laws, are integrated in a cosmic coherence.

Incidentally, Dr. Young is engaged in translating into English some of Dr. Dooyeweerd’s massive volumes, which should begin to appear shortly.

Although Dr. Young writes a final chapter, Construction through Criticism, the treatise is almost entirely historical, and the few words of criticism that Dr. Young allows himself are provocatively brief. While the study of Calvinism is not now at the height of popularity, perhaps this very fact shows the need of a small book of this type.