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versión On-line ISSN 2304-8557
versión impresa ISSN 0023-270X

Koers (Online) vol.76 no.1 Pretoria  2011




Towards a theory of presuppositions: Kuyperian contributions


'n Teorie van vooronderstellings: Kuyperiaanse bydraes



R. Coletto

School of Philosophy, Potchefstroom Campus, North-West University, Potchefstroom. E-mail:




One of the most important themes of contemporary philosophy of science was the discovery of presuppositional beliefs and frameworks as factors influencing scientific research. This article explores the development of a theory of presuppositions within Kuyperian philosophy. The authors discussed in this study represent a few Kuyperian families: Dooyeweerd, Vollenhoven (briefly), Wolterstorff, Klapwijk, Duvenage and Botha. The perspective is both historical and systematic. Historically, it refers to the main authors who contributed to establishing the basic features of such a theory. Systematically, the article tries to evaluate the proposals of each contributor by assessing their value and limits. In doing so, the author often defends his own preferences and indicates the directions to be followed.

Key-concepts: Christian scholarship, Kuyperian tradition, presupopsitional frameworks, presuppositions, prescientific, theorising, scientific


Een van die belangrikste temas van die huidige wetenskapsfilosofie is die ontdekking van vooronderstellings, aannames en raamwerke as faktore wat wetenskaplike navorsing kan beïnvloed. Hierdie artikel verken die ontwikkeling van 'n teorie van vooronderstellings binne die Kuyperiaanse filosofie. Die outeurs wat in hierdie studie bespreek word, verteenwoordig enkele Kuyperiaanse families: Dooyeweerd, Vollenhoven (kortliks), Wolterstorff, Klapwijk, Duvenage en Botha. Die perspektief is sowel histories as sistematies. Histories word na die belang-rikste outeurs verwys wat 'n bydrae gelewer het om die basiese kenmerke van so 'n teorie te vestig. Sistematies probeer die artikel om die voorstelle van elke bydraer te evalueer deur hulle waarde en grense te meet. In die proses verdedig die outeur in baie gevalle sy eie voorkeure en dui die rigting aan wat gevolg behoort te word.

Kernbegrippe: Christelike wetenskap, Kuyperiaanse tradisie, vooronderstellings, voorwetenskaplike, vooronderstellingsraamwerke, teoretisering, wetenskaplike



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