As Anthony Tol explains in his general introduction to (his translation of) Vollenhoven's 1926 inaugural address, the Reformed epistemology that Vollenhoven espouses here is essentially three-layered. Most basic is the intuition - the starting point of all knowing. It starts with discerning. Then there is knowledge. At this point language, communication, and judgments are relevant. The third layer is thought. Thought may disclose and renew or criticize and correct against the background of what we know. Thought is also central to concept formation. The factor that runs through these three layers is truth, taken realistically. It has its seat in the intuition of discerning. It is central to knowledge, for the essence of knowledge is said to be "possessing truth." And in connection with thought, or more particularly in concept formation, the latter is described as "truth grasped in a form." Apart from advocating his own understanding of epistemology in this inaugural address, Vollenhoven takes issue with how epistemology is generally understood. The critique is cast in a historical overview.
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