Understanding and Being Lecture 3:2
Archival Number: CD/mp3 140
Author: Lonergan, B.
CD/mp3 140, second part of third Halifax lecture on Insight. Corresponds to CWL 5: 72-83. Sponsored by Mary Kierans, in the name of Hugh Kierans. Lonergan does not offer a theory of probability but a heuristic structure that heads toward the determination of a theory of probability. The approach to probability begins with the inverse insight that there is a limitation to what can be known through classical laws. Full knowledge of classical laws enables prediction only insofar as there are schemes of recurrence. What the scientist wants is a general solution, and in that case we move on to probability. A probability is an ideal proper fraction from which actual relative frequencies diverge but do not do so systematically. With that determination, we try first to understand the case of a priori probability (e.g., the probability of heads is one-half), and then to set up the general structure within which an empirical notion of probability can be developed. Chapter 3 of Insight is treated briefly. Science in dynamic terms is best formulated in a set of canons that guide what the scientist is doing. Lonergan considers the first two canons, the canons of selection and operations. But the tape runs out before he finishes.