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Author Topic: Insight and Method  (Read 5552 times)

Phil McShane

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Insight and Method
« on: August 02, 2012, 08:03:40 AM »

In the Method section I have added a further appeal to the broad common statement I gave a month ago under both the Insight and the Method headings. I now split my comments: The second half of Method in Theology warrants attention as a candidate for the X of Cosmopolis.  There is a complex analysis it suggests is a division of labor that would lift the Lonergan movement towards that “final stage” in which “theological reflection bears fruit”(Method, 355). But I would note here, in the Insight context, the simpler division of labor that is forced on us by Lonergan’s definition of metaphysics at the end of page 416 of Insight. Implementation screams for a certain type of woman or man. The simple distinction is not anyway effectively evident in our Lonergan community.  In an addendum to a letter of May 5th 1946, in which Lonergan is quite blunt about second-rate educational culture, he makes some relevant simple initial comments worth quoting: “Individuals combining both academic interests and executive ability are rare. The average run of men are like Bernie and Mark Lonergan: Mark does not disguise his dislike of the academic, but he did rather a brilliant job in an executive post during the war; Bernie disguises his admiration for the level heads who handle things well, but his ability is along the other line. Long-term planning for an organization has to take such differences into account. It cannot be based upon the assumption that it will have a lucky run of the exceptional people who combine both talents.” Method in Theology does, in fact, deal implicitly with the statistics (Insight, 144) of the lucky run in its brilliant long-term planning; but Insight’s defining of metaphysics calls clearly for a community capable of “a brilliant job in an executive post”. We need to take implementation seriously, even if we take a stand against the benefit of splitting “conception, affirmation” (Insight, 413) into a sevenfold dynamic.
 Phil McShane