chapter  5
25 Pages

Johan Degenaar and the Politics of Oop Gesprek

Modernity of thought has been the guiding light of the Stellenbosch philosophical tradition from the time of Tobie Muller’s study of pragmatism. It motivated Kirsten’s appropriation of Bergson; it recurred again, in a different register, in the way in which the generation of Oosthuizen, Oglethorpe and Degenaar responded to Kierkegaard in the 1940s. In each case, the most innovative thinkers of this tradition have sought out that which is modern in philosophy, and interpreted the larger Western tradition in its light. But the philosophical modernity of Stellenbosch was characterised by the absence of the central problem of modern philosophy: until the work of Johan Degenaar in the 1960s, it includes almost no serious refl ection on the problem of freedom.1