Understanding and Being lecture 4:2
Archival Number: CD/mp3 142
Author: Lonergan, B.
CD/mp3 142, second part of fourth Halifax lecture on Insight. Corresponds to CWL 5: 97-108. Sponsored by Jeanne Belair in the name of Fr. Jack Belair. There has been a marked tendency for scientific thinking to be positivist, pragmatist, antimetaphysical. The real problem of human development is the problem of occupying with intelligence and reasonableness the blank left by modern science. There can be a similar evasion if the philosopher concentrates on commonsense knowledge and asks abstract questions such as, Does knowledge exist? rather than, What is knowledge and under what conditions does it develop? There is a possibility of communicating a philosophy of self-appropriation insofar as we can interest people in intellectual self-development. Lonergan goes on next to the notion of the thing. There is a thing when there is a unity-identity-whole that insight grasps. The unity-identity-whole can be differentiated by its relations to us and by relations among things themselves. But we have a functionally operative notion of the thing that is highly ambiguous. At the lowest possible base there is simply the response of extroverted consciousness to an external central force that Lonergan calls the already out there now real. It is something that can be conceived in terms of the biological pattern of experience. This notion can be confused with philosophic problems of the notions of thing, reality, being.