Discussion on Insight 2 Audio
Archival Number: A823
Author: Lonergan, B.
CD/mp3 823, Discussion on Insight Hobart and William Smith Colleges, 1974 Part 1. Sponsored by Don Miles. The first question has to do with the use of mathematics: how does it differ from Kant's? Insight is into image. Kant was dealing with a different question. Kant's synthetic and analytic a priori are about judgments, not insights, and about the necessary. Insight grasps possibility. What is the status of laws of mathematics? They are a systematization. You can set up a hypothetico-deductive system from a set of basic postulates and definitions and rules of procedure. The formalizations make mathematics logical. They do not claim to be more than hypotheses. Godel's theorem is fundamental: the foundations of mathematics are not a mathematical problem. Questions on the nature of will: how does spiritual appetite manifest itself? Insight talks in the language of faculty psychology, but it is really intentionality analysis. Faculty psychology language disappears in Method. 'Will' vanishes in intentionality analysis, replaced by the fourth level. What then is the 'force' behind the decisions? It is not a matter of force, but of operators. Questions for deliberation are the criterion about a judgment of value, and coherent with the judgments of value will be decisions. It's causality in the field of intentionality. That causality is the active potency. The passive potency is the coincidental manifold of the lower levels. Insight builds on something? What is the material on which it builds? The subconscious. The act involved is inquiry, the effort to understand when one knows one has a problem. The reasoning in order to understand is part of the process. And there are previous insights, too, that are part of the picture. Does insight tell you which problems are more important than others? In maths, that is the sign of a good mathematician! Eventually, one stumbles on the big insights. The reason for using mathematics is pedagogical, not as a model for all knowing. The judgment of importance is a hunch, a possibility of insights. One doesn't know at the start where it is going to end, but there is a hunch that one continues to follow. Where does insight go after it has occurred? Of itself it is just a bright idea. When they start to accumulate, something important happens. Insights are a significant part in one's horizon. What is the relation between emotions and the effort to understand? Insofar as it is mathematical, it is pulling away from that. The connection with feeling occurs in connection with judgments of value. Are not judgments of fact and of value the same thing? There are cases in which the distinction is very important, especially is one is doing analysis. Can insight be related to inspiration or revelation? The expression of revelation will involve insight. Revelation is an enormously complicated category. What really is the significance of talk of insight? To get away from the 'black box' idea of mind. (In track 37 there is a glitch in the original tape.) The response about the judgment of significance might need some qualifications. Perhaps this is related to issues concerning the fourth level and moral feelings. How is Christ related to the discussion of self-transcendence and authenticity:? Each religion has its own conceptualizations. We need not find a common formulation. 'Being in love' is what I accept as the common element, but to take that as the formulation is to draw on the Judaeo-Christian tradition.
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