The Indispensable Role of Systematic Philosophical Reflection in Scholarship

Daniel Francois Strauss


Sometimes systematic theoretical thinking is identified with abstract (formal) schemes. This opposition is also found in Malan and Goosen’s dismissal of Dooyeweerdian reformational thinking. This article aims at making a contribution to this issue by analysing the indispensable role of systematic philosophical reflection within the world of scholarship. One way in which systematic thinking could be justified is to highlight the need for consistency and the role of logical principles in achieving it. It is argued that, since we are living in the same world, all philosophical orientations have to account for shared states of affairs. At this point attention is given to the question whether or not these “states of affairs” are “static or dynamic.” An alternative for the distinction between static and dynamic is proposed by alternatively considering the relationship between constancy and change. Von Weizsäcker articulates the problem aptly by pointing out that although our experience exhibits constant change, something exists that remains unchanged through all these changes. In conclusion it is pointed out that scholars have only two options: either they give an account of the philosophical presuppositions and systematic distinctions with which they work—in which case they have a philosophical view of reality, or implicitly (and uncritically) they proceed from one or another philosophical view of reality—in which case they are the victims of a philosophical view. The primary aim of this article is, therefore, to highlight the indispensability of systematic thought by referring to some of the main distinctions included in such a system of thought.


Systematic philosophical reflection; scholarship; arithmeticism; mathematical continuum; theory of modal aspects

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