Transcendental Method. Function of
Sku: 53700D0E060
Archival Number: A537
Author: Lonergan, B.
Language(s): English
Decade: 1960
Open 53700D0E060.pdf

4 handwritten schematic pp, headed 'Transcendental Method, Function of.' 10 points.

Database and descriptions © Copyright 2017 by Robert M. Doran




Transcription by R. Doran


Transcendental Method           Functions of                   Method – an option, will of good of

                                                                   intellect, ??, not ?, an operabile


1 Notion prepared by a long history – not easy to grasp – outline significant steps in its development – merely outline that may be helpful – approach to ?


2 Malinowski: intelligent and reasonable in practical tasks

                       everything penetrated by myth and magic

          up to A.C.H. where concentrated at top     Jaspers  Voegelin


3 Bruno Snell, The Discovery of Mind


          Socrates      Met M 4 107 8b 27 ff cf 12: universal definitions

                                                                             logoi epaktikoi


          Athenians knew what they meant by courage and cowardice, restraint and indulgence, justice and injustice, knowledge and ignorance

          but they could not give universal definitions


          primary/thematic meaning       thematic via universal definition

                                                “term” that could bear strain of coherent discourse


4 Aristotle – extension of control of meaning by thematizing linguistic meaning to universe


language: literal & figurative: simile metaphor synecdoche metonymy personification allegory


really a rationalization of language: primarily communicative – ? UL/LL



          what literal language refers to: categories, quid quantum quale ...

          what literal language means: interpretation

          how literal language expresses valid inference: Prior Anal.

          how valid inference leads to construction of a scientific ideal: Post Anal.

          approximations to sc knowledge: Topics

          how invalid inferences arise: sophistical refutations


Use of Organon

          world of nature: physics, De Coelo, de generatione et corruptione, de anima, de ?

          world of man: ? politics economics

          totality: metaphysics


[page 2 ]


5 The Installation of Ar in medieval culture

          via theology: sous le regime de la dialectique       Congar

                                                             metaphysique    Albert Lang


          via ? & theologians: elimination of Arabic ?

                                      assimilation for Xtian culture / ?? / Aq vs Bon   Congar


          aptitude: theology concerned w revealed religion – order of ? / word

                   Ar., nuanced: analogously a science / different measure

                             clear opposition between ??? [and] contingence of creation [liberty/ ?] redemption [individual / ?]


6 The Significance of Sc Method

          It is a control of meaning: not by appeal to linguistic operations

                                                but by appeal to cognitional operations

          logic: defining, affirming, denying, inferring

                   qua they are cognitional operations, but selected by immediacy to linguistic expression

          method: includes logical operations

                   adds others: observation, description, hypothesis (deduction) experiment, verification

          transition from “what is said” to “what is known” in terms of “knowing” how you know it


7 The Breakdown of Aristotelianism via Empirical Method

          α Post Anal necessary, eternal, universal, changeless, certain, true via sense – rally in rout → principles

          β Emp Method sense – rally in rout – hypothesis

                   de facto intelligibility, subject to revision, comprehensive of past, developing, probable, approx toward ?


8 The Breakdown of Aristotelianism via Higher Criticism

          literal meaning a rationalization – GB Vico priority of poetry

          complete explanation of all human phenomena   cf New Anthropology



          existentialism & relativism


[page 3]


9 Neither empirical method nor the higher criticism nor both together are adequate.


α Empirical method – defines its object by exclusion – qq are sc if they can be resolved by appeal to sensible data

          philosophy, the waste basket for other qq.

          hence, EM cannot interpret its own results

                   fact obscured by naive mechanist determinism for centuries

                   ?? by relativity & QT

          Are the sciences of western civilization just a characteristic of a particular anthropological ?

          or are they the same sort of thing as western dress, food, convention of language, ?

          There is a need for a reasoned answer that points not to results – atom bomb – but to grounds


β Higher criticism – naive historicism – history the science of what happened

                                      just what history is not – hindsight

                             naive hermeneutics – thinking as Paul, Plato thought

                                                in terms of reproduction

                                      just as obscure to us as Paul, Plato

                                      how can interpreter know better than Paul, Plato

                   hence questions on knowing objectivity reality

                             are philosophic but recur in more complicated form

                                      in hermeneutics and history

                   no answers – non-objective thinking of authentic subject

                                      relativism of objects [ demythologize & nothing left]

                                                                   everything goes into orat obliqua


[page 4]


10 The limitations of emp method, higher criticism, cannot be overcome by repeating Aristotle – i.e., Post Anal Deductivism = a valid philosophy


Whether valid or not, it is not relevant.

          A method can be corrected and completed only by speaking of cognitional operations.

          Its validity is challenged, and to meet the challenge one has to move from conceptual to preconceptual operations, from logic to method.

          If there is a philosophic instance of Post Anal., where does it get its principles?

          If from sense, then why are its principles certain, etc., while those of empirical sc are not? Necessary to consider operations.

          If from some other source, then what is it? Necessary to consider operations.


The challenge is not merely extrinsic.


Rationalists, empiricists, Kantians, idealists, positivists, Lebensphil, existentialism


It is internal to Catholic theology.

(1) Arist Aug controversy xiv xv decadence

(2) De auxiliis

(3) “Dogmatic” theology – omit intelligence

                                      empty formulae

                                      formula challenged

                                      no answer without intelligence

(4) ? theology: cuts between “dogmatic” & sources

          barrier of probabilities

(5) New Anthropology replaces Ar apprehension of man

          H Fries                           insights concepts questions & answers

          K Rahner              answers coincident with findings of positive theology

          Nouvelle théologie