Pp. of essay mentioning Perego (Christ as Subject?)
Sku: 516B0DTEF60
Archival Number: A516b
Author: Lonergan, B.
Language(s): English, French
Decade: 1960
Open 516B0DTEF60.pdf

Reverse of 3-5 of 516. Probably rejects from 'Christ as Subject.' Contain interesting points on Aquinas on consciousness.

Database and descriptions © Copyright 2017 by Robert M. Doran


516B0DTE060 (transcription by R. Doran; fragment, reverse of pp. 3-5 in 51600D0L060)


          First, then, I have no doubt that there exist reflexive cognitional activities and that they are exclusively intellectual. These activities consist (1) in a transfer of the intentio intendens, of intellectual curiosity, of admiration or wonder, from external to internal data and (2) in the familiar two operations of intellect answering the questions, quid sit, an sit, either particularly or generally. Such activities yield knowledge sub ratione quidditatis, veri, entia. I named them in my little book ‘introspectio sive vulgaris sive technica et scientifica,’ and again ‘tum technica et scientifica introspectio tum communis et vulgaris reflexio.’ On the other hand, consciousness is the internal pure experience of oneself and one’s acts that is presupposed by such reflexive activities, understood and conceptualized by them, and provides the evidence by which we judge whether our concepts are correct.

          Secondly, lest anyone fancy that this distinction between consciousness and reflexive activities is some private whim or vagary of my own, it may be useful to quote a contemporary, who was writing for the Revue philosophique de Louvain about the same time as Fr. Perego was writing for Divinitas. He urged:

A notre avis, toute activité consciente est nécessairement présente è soi de façon irréfléchie ou, selon la graphie de Sartre, consciente (de) soi. Ce qui caractérise cette conscience (de) soi, c’est d’être encore inexprimée; elle est présence à soi, non connaissance de soi; elle ne se sert pas de concepts, de jugements, de mots; elle est silencieuse, elle ne parle pas. Dès qu’elle réfléchit, elle parle; réfléchir, c’est en effet élucider en exprimant; le fruit de la réflexion est le jugement. Le paradoxe de la conscience humaine, qui est incarnée et non pas angélique, c’est que même l'acte élucidant est pour lui-même irréfléchi, conscient (de) soi. Il exprime un irréfléchi, un vécu ou un perçu, il ne s’exprime pas lui-même. Seul un nouvel acte de réflexion l’élucidera en l’exprimant, mais ce nouvel acte demeurera à son tour irréfléchi. 56 58 490 f

Here, though in quite different terms, there is set forth the same distinction as I drew above. There is a non-reflexive activity and a reflexive activity; the former is presence, the latter knowledge; the former is silent, without concepts, judgments, words, but the latter is clarification and judgment; the former is unexpressed, the latter is expressing; finally, the expressing is, not of itself, but of a previously unexpressed, so that a further act is always needed to express the act of


          Thirdly, what St Thomas treats explicitly is the reflexive activity. His articles are concerned with the question of the soul’s or the mind’s knowledge of itself. Such knowledge falls under the same categories as knowledge of sensible

things, for it is particular or universal, of  quod est and quid sit.

          On the other hand, there can be no such thing as a theory or a doctrine of consciousness until the techniques of introspection and introspective description are developed. In that development the essential step is to distinguish between the conceptual and the preconceptual and to explain to readers how the concepts of the description are related to the preconceptual processes described. That step has been

taken in modern philosophy, but it was not taken by Aquinas nor before Aquinas.

          Fourthly, while there is no theory of consciousness in Augustine or Aquinas, it is easy enough for the discerning student to know that they knew about consciousness. A man that could gay of the mind, as did Augustine, ‘quia ipsa cognoscit, ipsa cognoscitur,’ would have no difficulty in understanding what a modern thinker meant by the subject as subject. Still, to make this remark about Augustine one has to know that there is a case in which cognoscere entails cognosci and one also has to know what is meant by the subject as subject; and the same presuppositions have to be fulfilled, if one is to judge intelligently whether the above remark is correct. Again, it is evident that Augustine knew about consciousness from his account of the mind’s presence to itself and, on the other hand, his account of the experiential statements one can make about one’s own mind and of the normative statements one can make of any mind. Still this knowledge of Augustine’s knowledge of consciousness is possible only if one knows what consciousness is; it is based, not on Augustine’s statement that he is talking about what was later to be named,