Insight Chapter 12
Sku: 41200DTE050
Archival Number: A412
Author: Lonergan, B.
Language(s): English,
Decade: 1950
Open 41200DTE050.pdf

Typescript of chapter 12 of Insight, manuscript A. As with chapter 11, there are no subheadings.

Database and descriptions © Copyright 2017 by Robert M. Doran


pt 348, l. 2 of text (ts 1): ts: `... notions be clarified.'


pt 349, l. - 13 (ts 2): ts: `it is the immanent dynamism of cognitional process that both underlies actual attainment and heads ...'


pt 349, l. - 9 (ts 2): ts: `Is it a realm of experience, or of thought, of essences, or of existents?'


pt 351, l. - 20 (ts 3): after `postpone.' ts has the following crossed out: `It will be said that there are questions that are meaningless, incoherent, illusory, or because of their false presuppositions immegitimate.  No doubt, such questions may occur.  But being is defined by the intelligent and rational desire to know that intelligently and rationally can discern the difference between the mistaken questions, that are mere aberrations of its own unfolding, and the valid questions, that head for knowledge of being.

            such questions may occur.  But the pure desire, as it is anterior to all answers, so also it is anterior to all formulated questions.  As it is the intelligent and rational basis from which we distinguish between correct and mistaken answers, so also is it the basis from which we distinguish between questions that are valid and questions that are null.  Now being is defined not as the objective of formulated questions but as the objective of the pure desire; and to say that a question is mistaken, is to say that it does not head for that objective, that it does not regard being, that it is a mere miscarriage in cognitional process.

            questions that are null.

                        `On the other hand, it may be objected that our definition of being is too broad.  There are meaningless questions, incoherent questions, illegitimate questions, illusory questions.  They do not lead to knowledge of anything.  Yet they are the products of the pure desire.  Now one may doubt that they are the pure products of the pure desire for, if they were, how could they be known to be meaningles or incoherent or illegitimate or illusory; for it is only properly conducted inquiry and reflection that can yield such a conclusion, and that implies that the opposite conclusion arose from improperly conducted inquiry or reflection.  In any case,'


pt 351, l. - 5 (ts 4): ts has `is not an answer'


pt 352, l. 6 (ts 4): ts has the start of another paragraph here (at `More fundamental'), crossed out: `Again, it may be objected that the really real is being, and that is to be known not by inquiry and reflection but by some ordinary or mystical experience or intuition.  The objection formulates, I think, a difficulty that will be treated when we come to discuss objectivity.  But as it stands'


pt 352, l. 12 (ts 4): ts: `... talking about.  For we ask whether it might be; and the being we are talking about, is the being we ask about.'


pt 352, par Again (ts 4):  ts had another version of this paragraph, crossed out: `Again, might there not be an unknowable?  If there is, then it is; and so in so far as it is, it is not unknowable.  If there is not, then this question raises no problem.  Finally, whether one decides that this question is valid or mistaken, in either case one can see that the pure desire that grounds questions has a rather astounding range.  There is no getting behind it.  Thus, Plotinus conceived his ultimate, the One, as beyond being and beyond knowing.  Might he not be right?  There is no use having to determine now whether or not that question has a meaning.  The significant point is that it occurs; and if it occurs, the pure desire pulls within its range even what by definition is supposed  alleged to lie beyond it.  If the question is valid, then the One lies within the range of the pure desire.  If the question is invalid, then Plotinus is wrong.  In brief, the range of the pure desire is unrestricted; to attempt to place anything outside it, is to make out that that is nothing.'


pt 353, l. 12 (ts 5): ts: `many things that we know'


pt 353, l. - 8 (ts 6): ts: `and if it prescinds from being, is not all thinking about nothing?  Alternatively, if thinking does not prescind from being, then does not being prescind from existing?  The trouble with this argument is that thinking prescinds no less from not existing than from existing  is not all thinking ...'


pt 353, l. - 5 (ts 6): ts has `existence' for `existing'


pt 353, l. - 1: par Now run into preceding


pt 354, l. 13 (ts 6): ts: `... what is thought does exist.  Just as the notion of being is both prior to judgment (for we ask, Is it?) and goes beyond judgment (for being includes the unknown), so also it goes beyond conception (for we ask whether what is thought also exists) and it is prior to conception (for the purpose of conception is to ask that ulterior question; we think in order to judge).  does exist.  It follows (n.b.: par It follows is run into preceding)


pt 354, l. - 17 (ts 6): ts: `and not yet the knowing.'


pt 355, l. - 1 (ts 7): ts: irrelevancies. from which I hold myself obliged to prescind


pt 356, l. 5 (ts 8): ts: `... moments in a larger process; not only were such successive moments acts of a single identity, but that identity was and is intelligent and rational and unrestrictedl intending a larger process.  Nor ...'


pt 356, l. - 4 (ts 8): ts: `... anticipated.  Hence, when all questions are answered, being will not denote some further content but the totality of the answers  Hence, prior ...'


pt 357, l. 19 (ts 9): ts: `Distinguish 1) sources ...'


pt 357, l. 23 (ts 9): ts: 4) the meaning core of meaning.'  The word `core' is handwritten in margin.  This is pertinent, since in preface, BL spoke of aberrant views on the meaning of meaning.  See next entry.


pt 358, l. 4 (ts 9): Crossed out in ts:

                        `The meaning of meaning is the intention of being.  That intention not only pervades formal and full acts of meaning, but it so pervades them that it can be contrasted with them.

                        `The formal term of meaning is, of itself, merely an object of thought.  As I can think of unicorns as well as of horses, both are equally valid as objects of thought.  Still thinking is but one moment in the unfolding of the pure desire to know; the thought is but a tentative determination of the intention of being.  That intention is immanent in formal acts of meaning; it heads beyond the formal term that is formally meant.  In so far as I merely am thinking, unicorns are as good as horses.  But, in fact, I do not merely think; I intend being; and so the unicorns are idly thought.

                        `Again, the full term of meaning claims to be being or a part or aspect of being.  Thus, the false judgment affirms what is not or denies what is.  It is a judgment that would be true, were it its contradictory, or were the facts the opposite of what they are.  But if the false judgment means the opposite of what is, that is not its intention.  It intends and it claims to have succeeded in affirming what is or in denying what is not.


            Again the following is crossed out, right after the preceding:

                        `The core of meaning is the intention of being.  It may be detected by contrasting true and false judgments and, to a less extent, by contrasting existential and non-existential formal terms.

                        `In a true judgment intention and meaning coincide.  One intends to affirm what is or to deny what is not; and in the true judgment this intention is carried out; what it means by affirmin is, and what it means by denying is not.

                        `But in the false judgment intention and meaning conflict.  When one judges falsely, one does not intend to do so; one intends to affirm what is or to deny what is not.  But, in fact, what one means by affirming really is not, and what one means by denying really is.  One means that X is; one holds that it is true that X is' [end]


pt 358, par. Again (ts 10):  ts has the following paragraph, crossed out:

                        `Again, judgments may be true or false.  To say that a judgment is true is to affirm the harmony that exists between what the judgment means and what by judging is intended.  The judgment means that some X is or that some Y is not; it intends to judge in accord with fact; and, in fact, X is or Y is not.  But to say that a judgment is false is not to say that it is meaningless.  Were it meaningless one could not say that it was false.  For judgments are false inasmuch as there is conflict between what the judgment means and what byjudging is intended.  Thus, in the false judgment one doesnot intend to judge falsely; one intends to affirm what is, or to deny what is not; one intends being.  Still that is not what one does, for the false judgment means what would be or not be, were it not false but true.   means, not what is nor what is not, but what would be or would not be, were it not false but true.'


pt 359, par Finally (ts 11): ts had another paragraph here, crossed out:

                        `Finally, a few words may be added on instrumental acts of meaning.  Ordinary spoken or written words or symbols offer no difficulty.  They implement formal or full acts of meaning.  They refer to formal or full terms of meaning.  Nor is there required any special theory to cover the use of gestures or of demonstrative pronouns and adjectives.  All that calls for remark is that the gesture endeavors to unite  is an instrumental act of meaning that directs an interlocutor;s

            demonstrative pronouns and adjectives.  All that is needed is to draw the relevant distinctions.  In every case the gesture is an instrumental act of meaning drawing upon cognitional sources on the level of sense, on the level of intelligence, and commonly on the level of reflection.  In every case the gesture is operative as an instrmental act of meaning inasmuch as it directs another's attention to a sensible source of meaning.  Finally, among empiricists the gesture has a third aspect; for empiricists consider that full terms of meaning and the sensible manifold are identical; hence for them the gesture indicates not only a source of meaning but also a term of meaning.  But, as is clear, a theory of meaning   Hence it is that an empiricist theory of meaning makes a great deal of ostensive acts, for such acts reveal with maximum clarity not merely a sensible source of meaning but also the only valid full terms of meaning.  However, until empiricist doctrine has been proposed and examined, it can hardly be made the basis of a theory of meaning; and so for the present we must be content with our more general theory that can include empiricist theory as a conditioned possibility.'


pt 359, l. - 10 (ts 11): ts does not have `general'


pt 360, l. 13 (ts 12): ts has `... of every concept.  But the notion of being has quite a different origin.  It cannot ...'  The `But' sentence is crossed out in B.


pt 361, l. 10 (ts 13): ts: `judgments are'


pt 362, l. 7 (ts 13): ts has `It is all-inclusive.

                        `However, the notion of being has an appearance of abstraction.  One can speak of being as being.  Ordinarily this means, not everything about everything, but anything in so far as it is reasonably affirmable.  In other words, being as being is the concrete universe inasmuch as knowledge of it is constituted by judgment.  Again, being as being can be taken as the minimum notion that under-pins all other contents; it is blank anticipation of totality with none of the blanks filled in.  In either manner [ here see the back of p. 14] some kind of abstraction is effected, but this is achieved by attending to the notion of being, not in its full articulation but in its initial moment or as the final complement of other cognitional contents.  On the whole, it would seem wise to follow Aquinas in his In Boetium de Trinitate, where he seems to restrict abstraction to formulations (q 5 a 3 c).

                        Eighthly, is the notion of being universal:

                        Concepts are commonly universal, single meanings with many applications, because they abstract from the aspects in which the objects of their application differ.  But being is completely universal, not by abstracting from specific aspects or material individuations, but by abstracting from nothing.  What abstracts from nothing, regards absolutely everything.

                        Nonthly, is the notion of being a genus or species or difference?'


            Then [on the front of p. 14] the following is also crossed out: `Its content is determined by the totality of correct judgments.

                        `However, within that totality there are strategic acts'


                        Finally, everything from `Its content' to the end of the paragraph `In this fashion' is marked `omit' (margin), and at the top of the same page (14) there is handwritten: `However, while the notion of being is always concrete, every human consideration of being is abstract.  For we consider when we ask questions; we ask only one question at a time; and in asking that one, we prescind from all others to center attention upon some part or aspect of being and to abstract from the rest.'  Is this what BL intended to write, skipping all the rest?  Good question.


pt 362, l. - 10 (ts 14): ts has `differences'


pt 363, l. 4 (ts 14): ts has `cognitional' for `unconditioned' (ms B typed `conditional' and BL changed by hand to `unconditioned')


pt 363, par. Tenthly (ts 15): Earlier start on this paragraph: `Tenthly, to affirm an analytic proposition is a judgment.  But such judgment does not regard the concrete, for it is abstract and universal, and it need not regard the existential, for not every analytic proposition is an analytic principle' -- all crossed out


pt 363, par. The problem (ts 15):  Earlier start on this and succeeding par:

                        `The problem of the universal proposition may be met by considering three cases of the analytic proposition.  An analytic proposition is 1) a conditioned, 2) linked to its conditions by the laws governing the coalescence of the partial instrumental meanings of words into the complete instrumental meaning of the sentence, and 3) having its conditions fulfilled by the meanings or definitions of the terms it employs.  The three cases that arise depend upon the terms and relations involved for 1) they may be known to occur in concrete judgments of fact, or 2)  involved, for 1) it may be known that they occur in concrete judgments of fact, or 2) it may be unknown whether or not they occur in concrete judgments of fact, or 3) it may be known that they do not occur in any concrete judgment of fact.

                        `The first case is the analytic principle.  It regards the concrete in some known instances.  On the fulfilment of ascertainable conditions it regards the concrete in an indefinite series of hypothetical instances.  other possible instances.

                        `The second case may be regarded as a tentative advance to the first.  Analytic propositions are constructed in the hope of reaching analytic principles'

                        (all crossed out)


pt 364, par. What is (ts 16): The following is crossed out:

                        As has been seen, that single whole is the concrete universe; but to determine what the concrete universe is, one needs data and inquiry, insight and formulation, reflection and judgment.  Parmenides took a shorter route.  He made the mistake of supposing that the single whole, that is the concrete universe, was to be known, not by setting cognitional process to work, but by examining the meaning, suppositions, and implications of the terms, single whole.  His procedure would have been correct enough if the notion of being were parallel to such concepts as "man" or "circle."  But the notion of being admits no more than a definition of the second order; one does not settle what being is by defining being but by experience, inquiry, and reflection.


pt 366, l. 1 (ts 17): ts has `element'


pt 367, l. - 13 (ts 18): ts has `Aristotle assigned as the ground of being, as the intelligible principle from which the content, being, results,

            the general object, form, as the ground of being, as the intelligible principle from which there results the conceptual content, being.

            the ontological ...'


pt 368, l. 5 (ts 19): ts: `a something that is no less verified in accidents than in substances.  that is even less ...'


pt 369, l. 5 (ts 19): ts: `but assigning ...'


pt 369, l. - 20 (ts 20): ts: `constituted of ...'


pt 369, l. - 11 (ts 20): from `human intellect' to 370, l. 16, `the eternal': ts had this a bit differently, but crossed out, with a note that it is replaced by what appears on another page.  The original read:

            `For Aquinas, as for Aristotle, human intellect is a potential omnipotence, a potens omnia facere et fieri.  But Aquinas could exploit that affirmation in a manner that would have startled Aristotle.

                        First, he recognized an unrestricted desire to know.  As soon as we learn of God's existence, we wish to understand his nature.  To achieve such understanding is beyond the power of our natural capacity, yet in such achievement lies our spontaneously desired beatitude.  I 12 1 ff; I-II 3 8; 5 5.

                        Secondly, the unrestrictedness native to intellect grounds the affirmation that the object of intellect has to be being.  Because intellect is potens omnia fieri, its object is ens.  I 79 7 c.  Being and everything are equivalent notions.

                        Thirdtly, for the same reaso, an intellect fully in act must be infinite and uncreated act.  Any created intellect must in some manner be potential, and our intellects start from a zero of potentiality.  I 79 2 c.  CG II 98.

                        Fourthly, none the less, being is per se and naturally known to us (CG II 83 § 31), and it cannot be unknown to us (De Ver 11 1 3m).  Avicenna had interpreted Aristotle's agent intellect as some separate immaterial substance.  Aquinas found it immanent within us: the light of intelligence, which is in us, performs the functions Aristotle attributed to agent intellect and, moreover, Aristotle compared agent intellect to a light.  CG II 77 § 5.  Augustine had advanced that our knowledge of truth originated, not without but within us, yet not simply within us but in some illumination in which we consulted the eternal'


pt 370, l. - 7 (ts 21): ts: thereby generate


pt 371, par. Still (ts 21): ts had another start on a paragraph here, crossed out:

                        Is then the Scotist common factor to be identified with the first half of Cajetan's functional unity?  To answer that question, it is necessary to anticipate what will be said shortly on the notion of objectivity draw upon our discussion of objectivity in the next section, for it is with regard to objectivity that Scotus and Cajetan radically differ.  Cajetan is involved in the Thomist dynamic view of knowing.  He would have to agree with the Thomist statement, "Essentia dicitur secundum quod per eam et in ea ens habet esse."  For him to distinguish ens from the essence through which it has existence would be to conceive an ens that, as such, could not exist.  Now what cannot exist is


pt 371, l. - 7 (ts 22): ts: it also is


pt 372, l. - 15 (ts 22): ts has `Five' crossed out, and `Four' written in margin.  Ms B changes in back by hand to `Five.'


pt 372, l. - 14 (ts 22): ts: `As will appear from our discussion of the notion of objectivity, ...'  changed in B


pt 373, l. 2 (ts 22): ts: no rhyme or reason why


pt 373, l. 3 (ts 22) ts: Being.


pt 374 (ts 23): ts does not have footnote