Sku: 57200D0L060
Archival Number: A572
Author: Lonergan, B.
Language(s): Latin
Decade: 1960
Open 57200D0L060.pdf

7 handwritten pp. Dated May 24. Headings: nulla praesupposita philosophica, relativismus historicus, historia existentialistica. From spring 1963 course De Methodo Theologiae.

Database and descriptions © Copyright 2017 by Robert M. Doran


57200D0L060                         May 24


‘Critical’ history has no philosophical presuppositions; but historically it is a reaction against Hegel, and literally (1) de facto, nothing can be said without philosophical presuppositions; K. Heussi 64: there is no clear line dividing historiography and philosophy; (2) it proceeds in accord with common sense, which has presuppositions but does not know them.


(A) Consequently the method itself is radically uncritical, a perceptionism of facts and relations.

(B) Attention is directed by the documents to facts that are conclusive, speculative, hypothetical, and unverifiable. Descartes, Newton. Hypotheses declared in an imaginative mode.

(C) If this is rigidly applied, the historian simply edits sources and indices. Marrou, 54f, De la connaissance historique.

(D) If not rigidly, history becomes poetry. Gadamer: von Ranke, p. 199, cf. 206.


(New page)


Historical relativism:


(A) E. Rothacker, Logik u[nd]Sys[tematik der Geisteswissenschaften], Bonn, 1947, 144, 149, 157.


Veritas: i.e., idealism (libertatis?) – Fichte  these depend on the will

                   objective idealism – Hegel       systems ? … teralia



Rectitudo: data (i.e., a sea of prime matter) critically established

                   theoretical connections


Philosophy: to place limits between what is scientific and visions of the world


(B) Attention is paid to differences and connections according to psychological, social, and cultural development and to differences and connections in accord with conversion. If the second of these is not omitted or distorted by the counterpositions of the investigator, OK; but if it is omitted or distorted, that is the place for the critical function.


(C) Data are not enough: a sea of prime matter.

(In physics) From above differential equations, from below empirical laws. Either conventionalism (Husserl Die Krisis der Europaeischen Wissensch[aften]) or transcendental a priori.


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Existential history: Bultmann F. Eller


(1) Historie: There are technical history and historical critical method, which attain what is known by everybody. Just as mathematics, physics, and chemistry, so any universally accepted history. But these are extrinsically ‘facts’ and mundane.

(2) Geschichte: There are extra-scientific affirmations in the sources: Weltanschauung, ontology, objective theology: these are mythos, contra (?) philosophical immanence, But they have a true sense from the subject: die existentiale Interpretation

(3) Kerygmatic: the question is put to me about myself: Existenziell.


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The crisis of Bultmann’s position:


Concerning 2 and 3, reducible to the crisis of immanentism.

Concering 1: there exists a historical field of questions and answers on which consent can be presumed, consisting of matters that do not transfer directly or indirectly into questions of truth and values: whether Brutus killed Caesar, whether Jesus of Nazareth suffered under Pontius Pilate. This field is extrinsic and mundane. Its extent is judged differently by different people. Besides the mediation of the past through historical worlds, there exists a mediation of the past through tradition. The church is a historical fact which testifies about historical facts.


Gadamer, p. 255: the prejudice of the Enlightenment against prejudice is a means of destroying tradition. G. Ebeling, “Die Bedeutung der historische Kritischen; Methode für die protestantische Theologie”, Z[eitschrift] f[ür] T[heologie und] K[irche] 47 (1950), 33. Also Wort und Glaube, Tübingen, 1960.


The Historismus of the nineteenth century, relativism. The crisis has not yet been overcome; it is a deception to think it has.


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Problem of knowledge transposed into context of problem of interpretation; first solve critical problem & conclude re interpretation or tackle possibility of interpretation as practical solution to problem of knowledge


History vs Nature:

transformation of metaphysics

  on analogy of natural science

  on analogy of human science. 

Not “quid” but “quis” ® transformation of theological categories.


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I (1) about the past as such

  (2) about the past as a temporal dimension in particular human sciences

             Learning from history, which is assumed as a part, aside from the problems of religion, art, literature, science, the state, the law. There arises the free subject who uses history.

  (3) about the past as a temporal dimension in Catholic life.

            Theology à human science


                            ® Catholic life                                    kerygmatic                                                                                  kerygmatica

         | Christian culture

II Object: relatively fixed

                 Relatively fluid