Original Research

Law and individuality

D.F.M. Strauss
Koers - Bulletin for Christian Scholarship/Bulletin vir Christelike Wetenskap | Vol 72, No 1 | a189 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/koers.v72i1.189 | © 2007 D.F.M. Strauss | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 27 July 2007 | Published: 27 July 2007

About the author(s)

D.F.M. Strauss, Dean’s Office, Faculty of the Humanities, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa

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The main contours of the history of philosophical and scientific conceptions of law and individuality are portrayed. This includes an account of perspectives and views found in ancient Greece, the Graeco-Roman world, the medieval speculation and, via the Renaissance, in early modern developments that were continued in the Enlightenment era, in Romanticism and historicism, and were eventually manifested in the linguistic turn. What is important for a proper understanding of modern law conceptions is an acknowledgement of the all-pervading influence of modern nominalism. This orientation was characterised by employing two related distinctions, namely the distinction between conceptual knowledge and concept-transcending knowledge, and that between rationalism and irrationalism. From a systematic point of view, various aspectual terms provide a frame of reference for the idea of a law of nature as a compound basic concept of science. Special attention is given to the nature of normative principles and physical laws. In the last part of the article, these perspectives are applied to a brief assessment of differences and similarities in the thought of Dooyeweerd and Vollenhoven.


Concept-Transcending Knowledge; Conceptual Knowledge; Individuality; Law; Law-Conformity; Universality


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