Understanding and Being lecture 1:1
Archival Number: CD/mp3 131
Author: Lonergan, B.
CD/mp3 131, first part of first Halifax lecture on Insight. Corresponds to CWL 5: 3-17. Sponsored by Mary Kierans, in the name of Hugh Kierans. Self-appropriation provides the framework of the lectures. It represents the contemporary expression of the ideal of knowledge in philosophy. For Hegel no expression of an ideal can be adequate to what is implicit in the subject, but Insight's solution lies in self-appropriation: the ideal of knowledge is myself as intelligent, as asking questions, as requiring intelligible answers. Any conceived ideal is an expression of these fundamental tendencies, and so the attempt here is to move into the process where the ideal is functionally operative prior to its being made explicit in judgments, concepts, and words. What happens can be illustrated by speaking of the ambiguity of the word 'presence.' It has three meanings: merely material presence, being present to someone, and presence to oneself. In self-appropriation the third presence is of interest. It is not introspection in any spatial sense. Simply as presence it is empirical consciousness. But there is also intelligent consciousness, presence to oneself as trying to understand; and rational consciousness, presence to oneself as reflecting and judging; and rational self-consciousness, presence to oneself as conscience. The concern in Insight is a series of exercises in which we move towards the functionally operative tendencies that ground the ideal of knowledge.