The Analogy of Meaning, Part 2
Archival Number: CD/mp3 376
Author: Lonergan, B.
CD/mp3 376. Second part of a lecture delivered at Thomas More Institute, Montreal, 25 September 1963 Corresponds to CWL 6, pp. 198-213. Includes a few questions at the end. Sponsored by Fr. Francis Giordano Carpinelli. Meaning is constituve also of human knowing, of human living, and of community, which is a function of common meaning. This part of the lecture discusses also meaning in human science and in theology. First, then, meaning is constitutive of human knowing in the specifically human sense of the compound of experiencing, understanding, and judging. Such knowing is a compound of the meaning on the level of sense – intersubjective, symbolic, incarnate – and the meaning on the levels of understanding and judgment, where knowledge is constituted by raising and answering questions and where the world in which we live is not the world of immediacy but the world mediated by meaning. Meaning is also partly constitutive of human living. The most significant component of human living in its concreteness consists in meaning. As for common meaning and community, communication is the transference of meaning from one person to another. Common meaning is constitutive of the potential community. Diverse meanings constitute the potentiality for different communities and for conflict between them. Communities of commitment, whether absolute or relative, give meaning an objectivity that realizes the meaning in family, state, church, the constitutive meaning of institutions. These meanings change and develop, and so we have the history of ideas, of doctrines, of concepts, of meanings. To change those meanings is to change the reality they constitute. Meaning in human science has to do with the fact that the very data that human science studies already carry a meaning. This makes human science historical. We arrive at human science insofar as we arrive at an understanding of common meanings in their interrelations, conflicts, amalgamations, origins, unfolding, development, shifts, breakdowns. Hermeneutics, too, is a fundamental branch of any human science. And education is the communication of meaning and the techniques of meaning. Theology goes a step further. The word of God is a datum, and it has a meaning, but it also has a fundamental, basic, unquestioned validity, a truth, as something not to be refused or rejected. Revelation is God’s entering into the world of human meaning. The questions (many of which are difficult to decipher) have to do with the relation of theology to explanation, with the meaning of art, with the meaning of ‘analogy’ in the expression ‘analogy of meaning,’ and with the proposition that the field of meaning is more inclusive than that of being. The analogy of meaning is between the different types of meaning: on the levels of the psyche, of intelligence, and of judgment, and on the level where meaning is constitutive of community.
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Audio restoration by Greg Lauzon
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