Mr. Spier’s criticism of Existentialism is based upon a philosophy with which the reader may desire to be familiar. Although impossible to discuss Spier’s philosophy in detail within the scope of a few pages, we shall briefly indicate some of its main characteristics.
Spier is a member of a new school of Christian philosophy which has become associated primarily with the name of its founder, Hermann Dooyeweerd. The later was originally under the influence of Neo-Kantian philosophy and Husserl’s phenomenology. The discovery of what he considered to be an intrinsic connection between philosophy and religion signaled a radical change in his thinking. As a result, he sought to develop a philosophy that is essentially Christian in nature and not dependent upon a synthesis of Christian dogma and non-Christian philosophy. The central thesis of his new philosophy is that theoretical thought is based upon super-theoretical ideas. The strictest scientific thinking rests upon non-scientific foundations so that pure unprejudiced reason does not exist. No philosophy can claim theoretical autonomy, because religion and science are intrinsically and necessarily connected. To assume the autonomy of theoretical thought without being aware of the religious character of this assumption is to be uncritical and dogmatic. —David H. Freeman, Translator’s Introduction