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Koers

On-line version ISSN 2304-8557
Print version ISSN 0023-270X

Abstract

VAN DER WALT, Barend. A peephole on big guns; philosophy at Potchefstroom during the past century (1917-2017). Part 2: the systematic philosophers. Koers (Online) [online]. 2018, vol.83, n.1, pp.1-13. ISSN 2304-8557.  http://dx.doi.org/10.19108/koers.83.1.2309.

While during the last century philosophy played a key-role in shaping the Christian character of the erstwhile Potchefstroom University for Christian Higher Education (now a campus of the North-West University), its history has not yet been documented and published. In a series of four articles the author provides a preliminary reconnaissance and outline to fill this lacuna and to encourage possible further research. A previous article in this journal investigated the philosophers, F. Postma and S.O. Los, and the nature of the philosophies they taught about a hundred years ago (1916) at the Potchefstroom University College (cf. Van der Walt 2017). This first period may be characterised as a time of philosophical reconnoitring. The following hundred years (of about 1916 to 2017) of philosophy can be divided into three main phases: first a time of system-building, followed by a period of philosophical elaboration and finally of reconsideration. This review deals with the second period of system-building (Stoker & Taljaard) while the next will discuss the third period of elaboration (the following philosophers) while the thir d will review the present critical situation. As the title of the first two contributions suggests, the writer acts as a fly on the wall looking back at the "big guns", those philosophers who headed the Department (later School) of Philosophy at Potchefstroom, to indicate inter alia what their academic backgrounds, fields of specialisation and publications were. Since all of them shared a commitment to a Christian approach in their philosophising the essay in conclusion focuses on the deepest religious foundations of their thinking. The third article will provide a more detailed critical evaluation of the possible impact of the Christian Reformational philosophical tradition in philosophy at Potchefstroom.

Keywords : Christian-reformational Philosophy; North-West University; Potchefstroom University for CHE; Free University [Amsterdam].

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