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This work should be read after completing Method in Theology. The best one volume comprehensive philosophy book of modern times It does have its shortcomings, since it is in the critical realism tradition of Aristotle and Aquinas and thus doesn t factor in the contributions of, for instance, the Frankfurt School s emphasis on the social implications for the theory of knowledge and ethics or Heidegger s emphasis on the event quality of knowing. After 18 months of commentary, papers, essays, meeting Lonergan s living students and disciples, considering and reconsidering Insight among other works of his, I must say that I hope to at some point do some post grad work with Lonergan Quentin Lauer noted upon Insight s publication that great books were seldom received as such straightaway, and that the text is either read sentence by sentence or not at all It would seem to me that familiarity with Insight is a solid first step prior to form After 18 months of commentary, papers, essays, meeting Lonergan s living students and disciples, considering and reconsidering Insight among other works of his, I must say that I hope to at some point do some post grad work with Lonergan Quentin Lauer noted upon Insight s publication that great books were seldom received as such straightaway, and that the text is either read sentence by sentence or not at all It would seem to me that familiarity with Insight is a solid first step prior to formal studies in Lonergan One thing that perpetually caught my attention was scattered correlations to contemporaneous literary theory Insight is a great untangling, and thus applicable to any hypothetical devotee of the threshold of philosophy whose work is centers in philosophy proper or any other realm of the Arts.It is both trying and infectious If anything herein surprised me it was that while I had looked most forward to Lonergan s Thomism and meditations on Duns Scotus, Descartes, Plato, c., in addition to theological histories of conceptual insight, the sheer amount of mid paragraph gems of epigrammatic content have rendered my edition of the text quite well handled There are in fact debris of pencil shavings and eraser fragments all about my desk, table, and person Reflecting from the Epilogue, I trace over the voluminous contents in the midst of narrative Insight into Insight, there is a ton of material that will be unpacked This is a joyous notion for me, who regularly engage with theologically and philosophically minded folks with a mutual love of literature and desire for a farther reaching dialogue And, frankly, an American Renaissance of Letters it may be a far off project and near beyond categorization, but many, many elements of Lonergan s Insight could be isolated and surgically analyzed in conjunction with the cognition of the literary work of art Summarily, a great many of us are informed on the first undergraduate day of Philosophy that etymology brings us to Love of wisdom this being the case, Insight is Philosophy par excellence Perhaps if I were a Lonergan scholar or specialist I would have some notes ready for criticism on parts that are less dubious than sheer taxing beyond the point of threshold Perhaps it s the numbering that recurs Again, I would imagine that reading this over the two semester plan at Boston College would be an inimitable experience It is, no doubt, an inimitable book As such I would have filled this little box with details had I employed this site as muchthan a public record of books read and books to read, in addition to the fact that the enormous quantity of my books will at some point be going toward the work on Lonergan, Insight, and the prospective cognition of the literary work of art For those reading this who are curious, I must echo Lauer it is an all or nothing affair As mentioned, I spent 18 months making a personal hobby of Lonergan before actually sitting down with the book And even then, upon completion, it feelslike a fair effort in preparation for a critical reading in the two semester post graduate setting What an interesting book This offers a really novel angle on human understanding Written almost as a series of mini essays the loose structure is open to criticism of being unwieldy But the fascinating dialogue that occurs renders such critique superfluous A ground breaking study which is challenging but rewarding to read. One of the most profound books I ve read Lonergan brings the reader very meticulously through a logical chain starting with common human experiences, such as insight and wonder, and drawing very broad conclusions about the reality of noetic experience, and what that entails. After about 100 pages, I knew that Lonergan was building up to an well considered conclusion But his progress was so painfully slow, that I concluded the game wasn t worth the candle. A great scope by Bernbard Lonergan finest thinker from XX century You have to read this It will change your life. There is totes a hardback edition, Goodreads Nice red boards and everything.I really struggled over the 3 to 4 star rating It really doesn t matter At 770 pages of actual text, you have to want to know what he has to say It s mostly readable It s a series of suggestions and sketches out a possible way of looking at things there is nothing that would constitute a proof in even a weakened, philosophical sense of the term I hesitate to even use the word argument to describe much of anything There is totes a hardback edition, Goodreads Nice red boards and everything.I really struggled over the 3 to 4 star rating It really doesn t matter At 770 pages of actual text, you have to want to know what he has to say It s mostly readable It s a series of suggestions and sketches out a possible way of looking at things there is nothing that would constitute a proof in even a weakened, philosophical sense of the term I hesitate to even use the word argument to describe much of anything in this book In the closing pages he confesses to being a professor of dogmatic theologyone of the best plot twists I ve ever read totally unexpected, and yet it describes the whole tone of the book My God, Popper and Carnap feel the need to stop every two to ten pages for the Response to Comments and then the Response to Dipshit Comments Made by People Who Solely Like To Argue, and this guy just floats along as if he s never actually been challenged on a single point in his entire career Everything he says needs to be tried and tested and pounded upon and seen whether any of it really works, but I find myself scratching my chin and thinking it might be worthwhile.Let me give an example A core claim in this book is that Lonergan understands human cognitional process so well he can use it to erect a completely unassailable central nub of metaphysics, upon which any possible actually working way of understanding what the whole universe of being has in common must be erected This cognitional process includes as its most prominent feature a three step structure of knowing, which proceeds in an Aristotelian Thomist fashion 1 from sense input or introspection of, say, an emotional process to 2 insights which provide understanding of possible real structures of the world that provided those sense inputs to 3 reflection and judgement on whether the insights actually correspond to reality That needs to be compared with actual neuroscience There have to be predictions that can be made on that basis that could be checked Lonergan s proof of this theory of cognitional process does in fact contain a stray element of proof, in that he notes that anyone who wants to argue with him about the truth of his theory will engage in some sort of reflection and judgement, i.e use of reason, to conclude that his theory is wrong That s good so far as it goes, but it does not bring us very close to determining whether the three steps are complete and properly described as Lonergan states them, which of course I cannot present in detail here.Let me resume what else I remember of Lonergan s long, repetitive, smug, but nevertheless intriguing system The notion of the empirical residue, which is largely just where things are in spacetime, and leads to the scatter of observations away from the predictions of classical i.e., simplified laws and models, which scatter Lonergan refers to as statistical law.The notion of schemes of recurrence and emergent complexity, evolution someone else would have called it, which allows families of simple entities to assemble into composite objects that turn out to have their own systems of rules, e.g from subatomic particles to atoms to molecules and crystals to cells to multicellular organisms to organisms with minds, etc In this context, he spends a paragraph or three insisting on a dry little unconvincing point that the composite entity completely assumes the simpler entities and it is no longer sensible to talk about them individually Right, like it makes any sense to say that I can t speak of John Q Core Electron in this aluminum atom why the example of an aluminum atom, specifically, came to mind and has stayed in my mind ever since I couldn t quite tell you because now it s an atom , doncha knowwell, I tried parsing the text there for several minutes and gave it up as bad business and went on Just in the past few days my reading about medieval philosophy has possibly given me the answer, that Lonergan was still defending Thomas point about the individuality of the substantial form against multiplicity of formsThe notion of the social surd, the tendency of people to initially set up a society or system according to thought out rules and then corrupt the system by means of common sense , which is to govern ones actions by the rules that will maximize payoff in the shortest term and which are discovered by trial and error This inherent tendency causes the decline of civilizations, the need for new insights, and the tension between those with a coherent vision and those whose common sense and practicality drag society further down The social surd is the irrational get it set of laws, customs, etc that come into existence and swallow up the initial rational aspects of the society For those of you keeping score at home, I bring you 1 health insurance, 2 postsecondary education, 3 immigration law and enforcement Social surd is of course one of those fairly fun names that Lonergan is very proud of coining He also uses the completely redundant word obnubilationthan once and LOVES the word scotosis , which I thought he had made up to mock Duns Scotus until I looked it up just now.This brings us to the main dish, the carving out of a metaphysics according to Lonergan s ideas of cognitional process, which are, again, a neo Thomist progression from 1 the conscious stream and sense input to 2 the construction of possible schemes of understanding the inputs to 3 checking, reflection, and judgment upon the schemes as certain, possible, or false, resulting in knowledge He maps these onto 1 potency , central potency being an entity as separate and individual in spacetime 2 form , central form being its unity as a single entity and conjugate forms being its actual properties, rules of interaction, and also, as I haphazardly understand the classical terminology, accidentsbut perhaps those are conjugate potency oh, bother 3 act , central act being the entity s actual existence This spells out a system of metaphysics of proportionate being, i.e being sized so as to fit our understanding.Two unreasoned sketches in three chapters follow The first is a skeletal ethics, grounded on the unrestricted desire to know and involving the addition of a fourth story of cognitional process, willing and taking action based on a decision in the third story The second is a suggestion that this same unrestricted desire to know leads to transcendental knowledge, the God of classical natural theology, and onward to a recognition of the need, and certainty that the need has been fulfilled, for this transcendental Being Itself to have implemented a plan of salvation for humans that would of necessity include a suspiciously large number of Catholic elements.Thus the end of the book, evenso than the first course in metaphysics that takes up its third quarter and change, demands elaboration and checking, work of enormous proportions The vision is intriguing enough that I do want to see if there are enough of the cultists hinted at in the preface that any of this elaboration and checking has actually been done ^EPUB ☛ Insight: A Study of Human Understanding, Volume 3 ☟ Insight is Bernard Lonergan s masterwork It aim is nothing less than insight into insight itself, a comprehensive view of knowledge and understanding, and to state what one needs to understand and how one proceeds to understand itIn Lonergan s own words Thoroughly understand what it is to understand, and not only will you understand the broad lines of all there is to be understood but also you will possess a fixed base, and invariant pattern, opening upon all further developments of understanding The editors of the Collected Works of Bernard Lonergan have established the definitive text for Insight after examining all the variant forms in Lonergan s manuscripts and papers The volume includes introductory material and annotation to enable the reader to appreciate fully this challenging work