This is from the first 28 pages of New Critique of Theoretical Thought vol 3. I never finished the book because he spent the latter part of it talking about the law-structures of different plants. I couldn’t see how this was meaningful.
Critique of Thomist metaphysics
Substance: possessing a permanence unaffected by change (Dooyeweerd 4).
- Our experience of the identity of a thing is always temporal.
Dooyeweerd claims that the traditional view of a thing standing behind a thing contradicts the Christian conception “of human selfhood as a spiritual center,” whose nature is a self-surrender to God (6).
Traditional views of substance see it as a “kernel” under the accidents
To what, primary substance? It cannot be a pre-theoretically conceived thing, for that is always bound “to the subject object relation” (10).
So what is ousia? Dooyeweerd: “It cannot be a mere relation between form and matter since in Aristotelian metaphysics and logic the concept of substance functions as the independent point of reference” (11). The category of relation is thinner and accidental.
Nor can it be composite or synthetic, since there must be a unity prior to this.
The Greeks could never latch onto the Creational idea of substance as a structure of individuality (16). [JBA–what is an individuality structure and how is that different from a substance?]
If matter is the principium individuationis, then there can’t be a real idea “of the structure of individuality” (17; since this idea isn’t encased in matter).