Horizontis aspectus dynamicus
Archival Number: A568
Author: Lonergan, B.
4 handwritten pp. on dynamic aspect of method. Dated May 7. From spring 1963 course De Methodo Theologiae.
56800D0L060 May 7
The dynamic aspect of horizon
The problematic: the questions connected to method.
Questions are divided in several ways. First, according to material: physics, chemistry, biology, psychology, human reality, divine reality. Next, according to the way of considering the material. Classically, there is the division of speculative and practical, and these can be descriptive, explanatory, existential, transcendental, practical, hermeneutical, historical. Third, according to the way in which the question is put. It can simply be put; it can be put and explained; it can be put, explained, and justified. Congar DTC 15, 370 s. Abelard ML 178 1339-1610. The way it is put will vary according to cultural and … situation. Mention of Cano, theses to be proved from theological loci.
Fourth, according to operations: the problem of understanding, What? Why? and the problem of fact, Whether? Fifth, according to the connection of questions with one another. Some questions are quite independent of each other, e.g., those of physics and those of literature. Some are remotely connected in terms of the hierarchy of the sciences. And some are proximately connected. Concerning the latter: (A) Some problems are not solved unless others are solved first. Sometimes, as soon as some are solved, this leads to the solution of others. (B) The task of wisdom is to order, to find that which is ‘technically first,’ that which when solved leads to the solution of a second question, and when these two are solved, a third can be solved, and when these three are solved, a fourth can be solved, etc., etc. The task of understanding is to treat of principles by grasping the solution to the first question. The task of science is to solve what is explicitly consequent and connected.
(C) Systems: connected problems and connected solutions lead to connected conceptions. As solutions are derived from the first solution, so conceptions are from the first conception.
(D) Technical terminology corresponds to systematic conceptions as opposed to what is thought in a commonsense mode.
(E) The way of analysis, before the system has been reached, and the way of synthesis, after the system has been reached. In the way of analysis, the order of wisdom is not known. Beyond any intention, per accidens, one moves to the goal: it is a movement from whatever most excites one’s wonder (that which is more apparent, is commonly spoken of, solemnly believed) to that which is systematically first.
(6) The temporality of questions:
(A) before – truly excites wonder
(B) after – does not excite, is an argument that derives from a solution.
The solution is not known or is habitual, and if habitual is an instrument of education (via synthetic) or an object of history (via analytica, where movement is understood from the term). The understanding of doctrine and the understanding of the history of doctrine are reciprocally related.
(B) A system that has been discovered (1) can be rejected, (2) can pass into oblivion, (3) and can be renewed and perfected.