Historicism, notes on history
Sku: 49100D0E050
Archival Number: A491 V828
Author: Lonergan, B.
Language(s): Latin
Decade: 1950
Open 49100D0E050.pdf


9 handwritten schematic pp. on historicism, history, perspectives
Database and descriptions © Copyright 2017 by Robert M. Doran



Transcription by Robert M. Doran, 12 February 2011





A. the discovery that man is a genus

          that he/his sociocultural condition    are what they have become

     ‘historically determined natures’

     that human affairs are to be understood


B. the priority of poetry


C. the repudiation of Xtianity


[page 2]


[RD: the page is out of order and does not even seem to belong in this item, since the numbering does not connect with any other page in the item]


(6) The explicitation of perspectives may be incidental or systematic.

          Incidental, in clarifying statements that are disputed

          Systematic, in a science, in philosophy, in history, in hermeneutics


(7) The explicitation of perspectives implies a higher-level perspective


(8) Higher-level perspectives may be more or less adequate


[page 3]


Historia tamquam categoria exsistentialis


(1) si quis amnesia laborat,

          nescit quis sit, ubinam ortus,

          cuius civitatis cives, utrum uxorem

          liberosque habeat, quomodo panem

          cotidianum soleat

     cognitio propriae biographiae est essentialis ad vitam ordinariam


(2) sed praeterea aliquid de biographiis aliorum cognoscendum est


(3) praeterea, aliquid de communi historia cognoscendum est

          ubi nova situatio, creari debet haec communis mens

                   propaganda tempore belli

    Historia docet quid faciendum


                          quid laudandum, reprehendendum


[page 4]


Schemes of Recurrence

          If A occurs, A will recur

                   nexus mechanicus          - systema planetarium



                   circulatio aquarum – probabilitates

                                                          sunt deserta

                                                          sunt loca ubi fit sicceitas

                   appetitus & occasiones – animalia






                   habitus        cognoscendi – non addiscendum

                                      volendi – non persuadendum

                                      faciendi – non exercendum


[page 5]


History       Time is of the substance



    What is historical is what it is because of its history

                                                 because of what it has been

    What is historical, has become

                                 is just what it has become

                                 could have become differently

                                      and then would be different


    Man makes himself what he is

          by nature, he is a genus: rational animal

                   admitting as many differences as the non-rational animals


    Man makes himself what he is

                   under socio-cultural conditions

                   his becoming is a “becoming social”

                   he learns not to speak a language he invents

                                  but to speak the language of his group

                   he learns not to operate

                                  but to operate with others, in a determinate material world

    And the socio-cultural conditions also become


The dimensions of choice: what I make of myself

è object

what I make of my world, group


[page 6]




Negative     The problem of every generation is to discover

                   what can be done about the mess

                   bequeathed it by the preceding generation


                   What can be done

                             A as has been done, i.e., perpetuate the mess: ideology

                             B as if nothing had been done, i.e., utopian leaps


Positive       The problem of every generation is to live.

                   The problem of living in any given generation

                             has a range of solutions limited by

                             α the proximately potential development of the

                                      existing constellation of circles of operations

                             β the proximately potential development of

                                      existing Weltanschauungen, philosophies

                             γ the proximately potential development of

                                      schemes of recurrence that satisfy the

                                      equilibrium in a common run of events


[page 7]




A The multitudinous series of multitudinous events


B Later ones give a new significance

          to earlier ones – reveal potentialities by facts


C The new significance is a new principle

          of selection – it raises some earlier events

          out of a ‘prime matter’


D There is a series of later events,

          new significances, new solutions


E The chronicle is constructed out of

          the series of selections: the rest are not



F Later events give a new significance,

          a new selection, to elements in the chronicle


[page 8]




          What is to be done?


          i.e. how avoid the aimless repetition of

                   routines that once were significant and now are not

          i.e. how avoid the further expenditures

                   of energy on projects that are

                   just bright ideas

          i.e. how discover the Aufgabe of present

                   theology, phil, physics, Conc. Rom II [is he referring to Vatican II?, which was announced in January 1959]


          The Aufgabe is the historian’s focus on his present

                   at least the sociology/psychology of his knowledge, if not intended


          The Aufgabe is the focus on the past that the

                   historian would understand

                   Romanticism: the task of constructing a new world

                             neither Xtian nor Deist


[page 9]




          Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose


          But just what changes?

                just what remains the same?


          Ideology: preventing the changes

          Utopia: changing the immutable