Horizon transcendentalis 557
Sku: 55700D0L060
Archival Number: A557
Author: Lonergan, B.
Language(s): Latin
Decade: 1960
Open 55700D0L060.pdf

14 handwritten schematic pp. Transcendental horizon, conversion, poles of horizon, unity of consciousness, Numbered to 16. Dated March 29, April 2. Two pp. are missing (9 and 10).From spring 1963 course De Methodo Theologiae.

Database and descriptions © Copyright 2017 by Robert M. Doran


55700D0L060             March 29 and April 2


A roughly identical version of the first part of these notes is typed out in 55800D0L060, headed April 3.


The first page is headed ‘Transcendental horizon.’


1 Man not only develops psychologically, socially, culturally, but also is converted religiously, morally, intellectually.[RD: the first of these will become relative horizon, the second absolute horizon.] Development has conditions in man himself but is more determined from without: psychologically by education, socially by the society in which one is born or to which one has migrated, culturally by the epoch to which one belongs. Conversion has external conditions in education, society, and culture, but happens from the individual and in the individual, pertains to one’s self-constitution; one makes oneself such and such a human being not per accidens and apart from one’s intention; one is present and knowing. Conversion is existential.


The next page is headed ‘HT2.’


[2] The horizon that results from psychological, social, cultural development is relative. It does not deny the existence, value, and knowability of what lies outside the field, whether that knowability be scientific or otherwise. The horizon that results from conversion or non-conversion is absolute. What lies beyond it, as far as existence is concerned does not exist; there is nothing to be attended to; and as far as value is concerned, is of no value and so is not to be attended to; we should ignore it; to ignore it does not conflict with perfect openness; and as far as knowability is concerned, it cannot be known; talk about it is necessarily illusion, deception, fiction, myth, legend, pseudo-science, pseudo-philosophy, pseudo-theology, ideology.


The next page is headed ‘HT3.’


[3] Consideration of transcendental horizon is complex because of the two times, namely, before and after the question of conversion has arisen. Thus we distinguish the originary and the existential pole and the field as it is exercite, implicite, and the field as it is signate, explicite.


The originary pole is common to everyone. It is the possibility that one can be converted, can constitute oneself. It is the very structure of human consciousness.


The existential pole is proper to each individual. It is the subject insofar as it has been constituted as such by itself, whether by knowing and willing oneself to be such or by avoiding and fleeing oneself and the self-constitution of oneself.


The field, signate et explicite, is philosophy, theology, method.


The field, exercite et implicite, is present in the assumptions, presuppositions, orientation of the subject. It is manifested in one’s judgments and decisions about the real, about values and ends, about possibilities, about legitimate methods.


The next page is headed ‘HT4.’


By definition, pole and field are correlative. The field is what is attained by such and such a pole, and a pole is that by which such and such a field is attained.


By intention the explicit field and the originary pole are correlative. Method, philosophy, and (supposing faith) theology are not the expression of a personal choice but intend to determine that to which existential choice should be conformed.


From the nature of things the implicit field and the existential pole correspond to each other. Who I am and what the world is to me are correlative. ‘Qualis quisque est, talis finis videtur ei.’


In the authentic the existential pole is true knowledge, sincere recognition, faithful appropriation, assumption, acceptance of the originary pole in accord with the demands of the originary pole itself. At the same time the implicit field and the explicit field either coincide or tend to coincide.


The next page is headed ‘HT 5.’


Inauthenticity is either radical or derived, and derived inauthenticity is either by way of rationalization or by way of obnubilation.


Radical inauthenticity is a divergence between the originary pole and the existential pole. Derived inauthenticity presupposes radical inauthenticity and includes it. Rationalization refers to false philosophy, theology, method – the explicit field conforms to the implicit, which corresponds to an inauthentic existential pole. Obnubilation refers to a philosophy, theology, method that might be true but is understood in such a way that a meaning is attributed to them such that they express an implicit field that corresponds to an inauthentic existential pole.


The next page is headed ‘HT 6.’


3 The originary pole: (a) levels of consciousness: there is the consciousness of dreams – I am present to myself in dreams; there is empirical consciousness – I am present to myself in sensitive actions and passions; there is intellectual consciousness – I am present to myself as inquiring, understanding, conceiving; there is rational consciousness – I am present to myself as doubting, weighing evidence, judging; there is self-consciousness – I am present to myself as taking counsel, deliberating, choosing, acting, disposing of objects, and disposing of myself.


(b) ‘present to myself’: not local presence, like that of a statue in a room; not the presence of an object that is apprehended or desired; but the presence of the subject as the constitutive condition of oneself as apprehending or desiring. Not only is there the spectacle but also the spectator. The spectator is not conscious because he is part of the spectacle, for the spectacle is not conscious.


In radical rationalized inauthenticity, knowledge is like ocular vision, the known is like the seen, what is conscious is known, and so it is like seeing. If it were like the seen, it would be per se unconscious.


It is not [constituted] through introspection or reflection. If it were, it would be something unconscious on which to reflect or into which to introspect.


The next page is headed ‘HT 7.’


(c) Consciousness is advanced from level to level: normatively from 1-2 by alertness, from 2-3 by inquiry, from 3-4 by doubting, and from 4-5 by asking what is to be done, what will I myself do about the object and about myself.


(d) There is a qualitative difference of levels. Each of us can experience them in himself or herself, and unless we experienced in ourselves these could not be known: (i) sensitive spontaneity: it cannot be avoided; I see a large dog on the loose, perhaps ferocious, and this leads to fear; I fear not because it is rational, but even if I know that fear is stupid and foolish; (ii) intelligible clarity: when there is understanding it leads by the power of intelligent consciousness to a consciousness of forming definitions, hypotheses, explanations, theories; this is normative; (iii) also normative is the next ste; – rational necessity: when it is grasped that the evidence is sufficient, consciousness itself by the power of the consciousness grasping evidence posits a judgment absolutely; (iv) also normative is moral necessity: when it is judged that something can and should be done by me, consciousness itself by the power of consciousness affirming an obligation, correctness, fittingness, excellence, makes a choice. The latter involves experience in the agent, not in what is done, of responsibility, liberty, and morality.


The next page is headed ‘HT 8.’


(e) The unity of consciousness. On the side of the object: we inquire about what we experience; we understand that about which we inquire; we conceive that which we understand; we doubt about that which we conceive; we weigh the evidence concerning what we have doubted; we affirm or deny that about which we weigh the evidence. The composition/unity of the object: experience – potency (matter); understanding – form; conception – form and matter = essence; judgment – essence + existence. Knowledge, abstractly, is any cognitive act, but properly it is the acts of experience, understanding, conception, judgment composed into one. Thus consciousness is knowledge from the abstract point of view but not properly; it is the experiential part in self-knowledge.


The unity of the subject is a fact, not just a logical condition of possibility. I cannot inquire about that which I have no experience but you have experience. I cannot understand that about which not I but you inquire.


The next page is headed ‘HT 11,’ but seems to follow on the preceding.


4 The existential pole. (a) The development of the human individual entails the emergence of an autonomous subject. The infant does very little for itself, determines very little for itself, knows very little for itself. It operates by a natural spontaneity that determines what it finds pleasant and not pleasant, consciously pleasant and consciously not pleasant. Gradually the small child, the boy or girl, the adolescent is doing more for himself or herself; determining more for himself or herself, either in terms of enjoyment, as in play, or because one should; knowing more for himself or herself. The crisis of adolescence, in some sense the philosophical age: more or less ultimate questions are put, and mastery of self emerges, where one will do what one has determined to do, and one will determine to do what one has come to know for oneself. This self-mastery is in many ways complete or incomplete. It is asked what this mastery, this emergence, this self-constitution as master of oneself means.


The next page is headed ‘HT 12.’


(b) The subject insofar as one operates as poured out upon objects becomes what it becomes but praeter intentionem, per accidens. It becomes what it becomes since it acquires habits. But per accidens because it is poured out on objects, it does not attend to itself, it makes itself what it is through habits that it has acquired.


(c) The subject operating with regard to objects is mediated through the operations and objects. One reveals oneself as in a mirror operating with regard to natural things, on artifacts, with other persons, and before God. There arise practical, artistic, moral, religious, intellectual reflections.


(d) The subject thus mediated passes from consciousness of self to knowledge of self. Consciousness of self is knowledge in an abstract sort of way but not properly. Knowledge in the proper sense adds understanding of man and of oneself, and judgments about man and about oneself. This knowledge of self increases one’s consciousness of self. We are more conscious of those things that we clearly conceive and distinctly affirm about ourselves.


The next page is headed ‘HT 13.’


(e) Self-knowledge moves on to a certain choice of oneself through which one freely constitutes oneself as master of oneself. (i) The choice proceeds from me. I make use of a practical judgment as the principle by which there is spirated the volition or choice. ‘Thus it shall be.’ Consciousness is free, deliberate, responsible, unconditional. (ii) ‘man’ is esse-posse, Sein-Können. Insofar as, poured out on external things, one does not think with the heart, one makes oneself against one’s intention just the kind of person that, on reflection and self-knowledge, one does not want to be. One can seriously and sincerely choose to be other than one is, and discern the means toward this goal. But this present choice must always be preserved and renewed. Otherwise the chosen means are neglected. Neither here and now nor in some future here and now in this life can we enact those future renewals. Insofar as we seriously and sincerely now determine, we remain Sein-Können. (iii) Thus I can apprehend, project, determine my life as a whole, myself as a whole, but in such a way that this determination is made only per partes. I am master of myself not as totally simultaneous toward something totally simultaneous but successively with regard to individual parts. I have a problem of fidelity and perseverance, not only of moral conversion, [but] that I be a man, that I ex-sist.


The next page is headed ‘HT 14.’ Continues previous item: Here and now I cannot prevent that in the future I will will and not perform, judge that something is to be willed and not will it, or judge otherwise than I now judge.


(f) Existential decision (1) brings it about that per se, from my mastery of myself, I am such and such a person; (2) but does this in the way of intention, tendency, orientation, direction; (3) and brings it about that what kind of person I am is something intended and freely chosen.


(g) the existential and originary pole as orientation or consequence is intended, freely chosen; and insofar as it understands and knows itself it freely constitutes itself as what it is. There is no absolute security or certitude about the goodness of the choice. I am not unconscious. I will to be a human being. I will the limitations that come with being a human being. It is my decision. Otherwise I would not be a human being. I would be carried about by the winds. Perhaps if I had deliberated more fully or longer, I would have decided otherwise.


The next page is headed ‘HT15.’


(h) The existential pole in the concrete not only has structure (orientation freely and responsibly chosen) but also content. It makes itself such in relation to things and to persons and to God: To things: barely content, poured out on external things, maximization, domination; to persons (1) charity, friendship, love, intimacy, good works; (2) indifference; (3) anger and desire, hate, suspicion, rash judgments, false testimony, injustice, injury, murder; to God: (1) in God’s presence, through the grace of god, trusting in God, praying, mortification, Christ; (2) ignoring God in secularism, laicism, worldliness; (3) holding God in hate, ideology, militant atheism, absolute human autonomy.


Existential decision as a question of what is true.


The next page is headed ‘HT16.’


(i) The question of the true (1) is not a decision. P à Q not because I decide but because the evidence suffices unconditionally. (2) It is not a mere composition, hypothesis. (3) It is an unconditioned positing on account of grasping the unconditioned.


The question about the true is a problem: a small problem from the nature of the problem itself, but a large problem under the existential aspect. It is intrinsically a small problem: to know is to experience, understand, judge, and the known is a proper composite. It is existentially a great problem: whether ‘the real’ is ‘being’ = that which is; whether experience, contact, vision corresponds to the ‘really real.’


Tertullian: everything real is a body. Augustine held the same thing for a long time. Plato, Scotus, Kant Gilson: to know is to perceive. Realism: that which is; idealism: not that which is experienced, perceived; empiricism: that which is perceived in experience.


There exists the problem of intellectual conversion. It pervades everything: not only epistemology but also history and hermeneutics.