Horizon 555
Sku: 55500D0L060
Archival Number: A555
Author: Lonergan, B.
Language(s): Latin,
Decade: 1960
Open 55500D0L060.pdf

6 handwritten schematic pp. on horizon and related notions. Context remains to be determined. Dated March 26 and 29, spring 1963 course De Methodo Theologiae.

Database and descriptions © Copyright 2017 by Robert M. Doran


55500D0L060      March 26


Still treating the notion of horizon, we turn to cultural development. Development is from undifferentiation (1) through differentiation (2) to integration (3). (1) It is not from the unknown, but from global operations with regard to objects so as to reach to distinct complexions of combined operations with regard to clear and distinct objects. (2) Differentiation in fieri involves a breakdown of a previous integration. A stable new integration is not possible until complementary differentiations have been completed. (3) Where these differentiations involve different states of the subject, integration on the part of the subject is through a sort of oscillation: practical life, intellectual life, introspection, mysticism. [RD: see the 1962 course ‘DMT’ where this is a major theme.]


The fundamental differences in cultural development may be spoken of in terms of spheres or worlds: the profane world (1) and the sacred world (2), the perceivable world of community (3) and the intelligible world of science (4), the exterior world (5) and the interior world (6). With respect to (1) Lonergan has ‘proper object’; with respect to (2) he has ‘formal object insofar as it exceeds the proper object’; with respect to (3) he has ‘the dramatic-practical subject, quoad nos, common sense’; with respect to (4) he has ‘the theoretic subject, quoad se, scientific understanding'; with respect to (5) he has ‘objects’; and with respect to (6) he has ‘the subject: immediate (present to self) and mediated where the mediation can be through human works, through other persons, in relation to God, moral, or intellectual.'


Development in fieri is considered spiritually, intentionally, temporally, in terms of freedom, and historically. ‘Spiritual’ means the negation of matter; the soul is neither material in itself nor intrinsically dependent on matter; the spiritual also means the subject positively becoming known immediately and mediately. ‘Intentional’ means not the thing ‘in itself,’ not the known in itself but in the knower; not the beloved in itself but in the lover; it is the spiritual positively intending, intending both in relation to what is intended and intending and in relation to what is intended and not intending. ‘Temporal’ refers to time as the number and measure of movement secundum prius et posterius (Aquinas, Newton, Kant, Einstein) but also to temporality (as in a symphony); the identity of the conscious subject through time, the memory, knowledge, anticipation, and deliberation of the subject above time, connecting the past and the future; the decision and act of the subject that is in time but in such a way that it remains always true what I myself have done and that I am responsible for myself.


[The date shifts to March 29]        


‘In terms of freedom,’ where ‘liberum’ means (a) immunity from force and necessity and (b) where it reams something positively spiritual, where the total situation, all the determinations of the subject, and the subject himself give rise to the act happening because I myself will it. ‘Historical’ refers to deeds of the past, outstanding examples, the education of political man; but also it means that just as I am responsible for myself, I make myself, I determine what kind of person I am, so collectively human beings make, destroy and remake the human world constituted by meaning. All of this involves persons and things; what is appropriate and what is out of date (cf. modernism, aggiornamento); Existenz knowing one’s autonomy and assuming responsibility for oneself; and historicity, being a historical being inserted within a network of psychological, social and cultural realities, acknowledging history and the human world as a human work, and assuming responsibility regarding this human work.


This development in fieri is in the world of interiority. The subject is known through the subject. Other things are known through the subject and in relation to the subject. It is antithetically opposed to the perceivable world, which is apprehended by the superficial and the inauthentic: historicism, without much exaggeration, and positivism, with [cum? or without -- sine?] exaggeration. It is also antithetically opposed to the intelligible world as the latter is apprehended in extrinsicism, whether the extrinsicism of truth or that of concepts. Again, it is antithetically opposed to the intelligible world as the latter is apprehended by scientists who are stuck in positivism (no metaphysics), pragmatism (it works), and secularism (the profane). It is easily put together with the world of the sacred, provided one attends to the interior life and not to dogma and propositional truth (cf. Marcel). The descriptions by which God is apprehended are not metaphysical but a matter of religions and social experience. God is a person, a subject. Before God we come to ourselves as subjects. Our life is not absorbed in time, but through temporality we turn to and attain to the eternal. By the grace of God I am what I am, and without grace the sinner does not long avoid mortal sin. God is the Lord of history.


This development in fieri is particularly unfolded in an immanentist ambience: Kant, Hegel, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Dilthey, Heidegger, Jaspers.


In this development it is not a matter of a choice between fragments or of a mere combination of fragments. Under the latter Lonergan mentions Bultmann’s distinction of the Jesus of history (science) and the Christ of faith (myth and extrinsicism, or demythologized for Existenz). It is rather a matter of the openness of the spirit, so that the inauthentic open themselves to the world of interiority, the intelligible world, the world of the sacred; the scientific open themselves to the world of interiority, to metaphysics, and to the world of the sacred; extrinsicists open themselves to the world of interiority, the perceivable world, the scientific world; and immanentists open themselves to the intelligible world, the perceivable world, the objective sacred.


This openness of the spirit can be grasped in two ways, one literary and the other analytic, systematic, and synthetic.


The literary way is in the perceivable world but proceeds from interiority and aspires to the intelligible and the sacred. Augustine and Newman are examples. The Confessions express religious conversion, the Contra Academicos intellectual conversion, De necessitate gratiae moral conversion, De Trinitate God, and De civitate Dei history. The analytic, systematic, synthetic way is grounded in the world of interiority and by way of method has an influence on the intelligible world, the perceivable world, and the world of the sacred.


This openness we now see in fieri in differentiations and the problem of integration. Already it has been at play in a literary movement in humanism, the Renaissance, in modern languages and literatures; in a philosophic movement in the epistemological problem; in the movement of natural and human science; in the opposition of church and state, church and sects; in industrialization, print media, radio television, universal education. And where one locates a beginning, one can also find precursors.


A prior differentiation is found in the move from primitive society to the ancient high civilizations (Jaspers’ Vom Ursrprung und Ziel der Geschichte). The field of the proper object in the perceivable world continued to grow and the affective sphere of myth and magic receded. An intelligible world is acknowledged within the perceivable world. Voegelin has studied this. In the end, there is a myth that is at once political, cosmogonic, and religious. Then mythos gives way to logos, both in the perceivable world and in the intelligible world.


There is a genetic part in the problem of transposition, from integration to differentiations not yet integrated, to undifferentiated. The Greek and Hebrew mentalities are not ultimate irreducible atoms. (RD: Here there is a reference, I think, to Rossi de Gasperis and interest in Insight in Japan.)