An accidental blog

"If God is sovereign, then his lordship must extend over all of life, and it cannot be restricted to the walls of the church or within the Christian orbit." Abraham Kuyper Common Grace 1.1.

Wednesday, 3 September 2008

Worldview - a modal analysis

This is taken from B J van der Walt's excellent new book The Eye is the Lamp of the Body (ICCA, 2008):

According to a Reformational philosophy everything in reality exhibits at least the following fourteen facets: (1) a numerical, (2) spatial, (3) physical, (4) biotic, (5) sensitive or emotional, (6) logical, (7) historical, (8) lingual, (9) social, (10) economic, (11) aesthetic, (12) juridical, (13) ethical and (14) faith aspect. This distinction is known as the doctrine of modalities. (Modalities = aspects, facets or sides of reality).

According to this perspective on reality material things exhibit only the first three modalities, plants the first four and animals the first five facets. Human beings exhibit all fourteen aspects. This also applies to things created by humans, including worldviews.

When the doctrine of modalities is used in the structural analysis of a worldview the result is as follows:

14. The faith aspect: a worldview consists of deep religious convictions directed at the true God or other gods (idols) – it is a window on the transcendent.
13. The ethical facet: a worldview is accepted and trusted as the best (descriptively correct) image of reality.
12. The juridical facet: a worldview is prescriptive – it points out what is wrong and what is right.
11. The aesthetical facet: a worldview uses various symbols for inspiration.
10. The economic facet: a worldview offers only a basic framework, the most essential points of departure – not like a painting, but more like a sketch.
9. The social facet: a worldview normally is not something individual, but originates among people and is adhered to by a certain group.
8. The lingual facet: it is put into words by means of a particular vocabulary and a typical style of language.
7. The historical: it originates in a particular time and is relevant to specific historical circumstances.
6. The logical: it attempts to understand the variety and coherence of everything in reality as well as the human being's place and task within reality.
5. The sensitive or psychic: A worldview not only concerns understanding, but is also embraced emotionally, creating feelings of certainty, security and identity.
4. The biotic side: Although it grows in a different way from a plant or animal, a worldview is also something that lives and develops and changes.
3. The physical-energetical aspect. A worldview is a driving force, it supplies spiritual energy.
2. The spatial facet: It originates and exists in a particular place among a group of people.
1. The numerical denotes the uniqueness of every worldview.

1 comment:

ordinand said...

Thanks, Steve. Very helpfull.