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Author Topic: Cosmopolis and functional specialization  (Read 53780 times)

Bob Doran

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Cosmopolis and functional specialization
« on: August 30, 2012, 07:37:55 PM »
The question is related to Fred Crowe's question, What happens to wisdom after about 1964? There are certainly connections between cosmopolis and functional specialization. Do they map completely onto each other? I don't know yet. Lonergan always emphasized the complexity of wisdom. It was Aristotle's intellectual virtue that could discern, however implicitly, the position on being, but it was also a gift of the Holy Spirit. Lonergan's wisdom transposes very easily, I think, into the multidimensional reality of conversion. Cosmopolis as introduced in chapter 7 has some features of such wisdom. It is a communal mentality, a set of habits in a community, habits that are not only intellectual but also more than intellectual. Due to its abiding presence a community pursues integrity at every level: intellectual, moral, psychic, social, and by chapter 20 religious. Chapter 20 presents a religiously transformed cosmopolis. I suggest (nothing more) that functional specialization is part of all that, and a crucial part of it. But do they map onto each other completely? I'm not sure. Certainly they don't unless functional specialization includes all dimensions of conversion at the foundational level: intellectual, moral, religious, and psychic/affective, all of them intending a posture that corresponds to 'Natural Right and Historical Mindedness' in its concern for collective responsibility. We may find that the heuristic of cosmopolis finds the X in functional specialization, once the full reality of conversion plays its foundational role in such an operational division of labor. Could be -- that's as far as I can go at present. Alternatively I wonder whether the call to a community to live in accord with the normative scale of values doesn't come closer to the X that INSIGHT calls cosmopolis. And I'm not sure that the scale of values and functional specialization, however related they may be, map without remainder onto each other. Maybe that is where the question is heading. Rambling thoughts, nothing more.

TomHalloran

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Re: Cosmopolis and functional specialization
« Reply #1 on: August 31, 2012, 06:09:17 PM »
I posted this in the Insight and Method thread but am re-posting here under this new topic that Bob started.

I am convinced that there is a relationship between Lonergan's heuristic notion of cosmopolis and the functionally specialised collaboration that he "sketches" in the second part of Method.  As Mark's exercise (in the Insight and Method thread) in "disposing the data" would seem to demonstrate, it is not simply a relationship of "identity".

My conviction arises on an insight which emerges from another way of disposing the data (i.e., analogically).   
The notion of cosmopolis as  described (sociologically??) in Insight : the functionally specialised collaboration as explanatorially sketched in Method (do the first five chapters convey the explanatory context of Insight??)   : : what : how : : finis quod : finis quo. They are "identical" as ends not concepts.
Recalling that Insight is written from a moving viewpoint, it would seem that cosmopolis only comes fully into the light of luminous subjectivity in the concluding remarks about "implementation of the integral heuristic structure"...

Richard Moodey

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Re: Cosmopolis and functional specialization
« Reply #2 on: September 07, 2012, 06:10:46 AM »
I posted some questions about Phil's  "Method in Theology: Revisions and Implementations" before I had read Bob Doran's post of August 30.  Bob, you raise questions that are very similar to mine, touching upon the importance of conversions at different levels, or as I put it, in different domains of activity.
You raise the questions of the mapping onto one another of cosmopolis and functional specialization and a normative scale of values and functional specializations.  I think of "mapping" as the core cognitive act involved in using a model or a metaphor, in which there is a metaphorical movement from something that is more concrete, or perhaps just better known, to something more abstract or less well known.  Do I read something into your use of "mapping" that you do not intend?
“Think, live, be: next try to express scrupulously what you are thinking, what you are living, what you are.”
Henri de Lubac

Bob Doran

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Re: Cosmopolis and functional specialization
« Reply #3 on: September 09, 2012, 03:19:03 PM »
I think I was using "mapping" in a more general sense of a complete correspondence of one to the other. E.g., I also asked whether the four-point theologcal hypothesis could be "mapped" without remainder onto a unified field structure for systematic theology and concluded that it could not. A unified field structure requires as well a theory of history. In the instance before us, I'm asking whether what Lonergan functional specialization can be "mapped" without remainder onto what INSIGHT designates heuristically as cosmopolis, and I'm indicating that I have some questions about this.

Sorry I didn't respond earlier. I've been away for most of the weekend.

Phil McShane

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Re: Cosmopolis and functional specialization
« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2012, 10:25:14 AM »
In discussing the relation of the X of Cosmopolis to the X of Functional Specialization, it seems to me that one must appeal to the analogy of science, something  Lonergan points to in Method,3-5. He did not have the answer when he wrote the Cosmopolis stuff. So, he was not even in a position parallel to Higgs. The X of functional collaboration is a much more refined structure  than  the X of Cosmopolis, even though its reality is missing  [a point I make in chapter 10 of *Method in Theology, Revisions and Implementations.*]  The key point is the point Lonergan made in including  Implementation in the definition of metaphysics: if metaphysics [or theology: see Method, 355, “fruit to be borne”] is not statistically effective it fails as a science [on that see *Topics in Education* 160, lines 15-17]. That was his task from the 1930s: changing history. Our challenge is to try his solution. How? I hope to tackle that question in October’s* Posthumous 5*. But my basic point is, Is it not high time that we pushed out of the old conventions that appalled Lonergan and had a shot at, say, the eighth functional specialty  in its fermenting of radically  better economics and radically better theology?

Richard Moodey

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Re: Cosmopolis and functional specialization
« Reply #5 on: September 12, 2012, 08:46:19 PM »
Bob,
Would it be correct to say that your more general use of "mapping" implies that you are looking for complete identity between the "map" and the "territory" -- a tacit denial of Korzybski's famous "the map is not the territory"? 
Dick
“Think, live, be: next try to express scrupulously what you are thinking, what you are living, what you are.”
Henri de Lubac

Artfulhousing

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Re: Cosmopolis and functional specialization
« Reply #6 on: September 12, 2012, 10:43:29 PM »
It seems to me that to speak of “mapping” cosmopolis onto functional specialisations misses the point. Lonergan’s discussion of the characteristics of cosmopolis come at the end of Chapter 7, Common Sense as Object. The challenge of this chapter is to come to some sense of the problem we face in bringing about progress in history. Lonergan is not interested in some grand theory of history but rather a practical theory of history, one which looked toward creating a better future in the face of both the necessity of common sense (“the practicality of common sense engenders and maintains enormous structures of technology, economics, politics, and culture…” Insight p.232) and its inadequacies and impotence. The problem lies not only with common sense but also with science as it currently operates. Lonergan is looking forward heuristically to the nature or characteristics of the solution. Until I had some ‘appreciation’ of the enormity and depth of this problem, the characteristics of the solution made little sense.

The characteristics of cosmopolis outlined in Chapter 7 are further complemented by the solution outlined in Chapter 20, the last chapter of Insight. Central to this chapter is Lonergan’s discussion of belief. It offers not only the possibility of collaboration with God in bringing about a solution but the 31 ‘determinations’ of the heuristic structure of the solution also point to the centrality of human collaboration in bringing about a solution.

It seems to me that one of the problems in speaking of functional specialisation is that it focuses our attention on the functional specialities as individual elements rather than their totality - what together these functional specialties achieve, viz. the constitution of progress. (There are various attempts to name the functional specialties as a totality – McShane refers to Functional Collaboration, Global Functional Collaboration, Cyclic Functional Collaboration, galactic method, fusionism etc; Benton refers to the Global Table; Drage refers to the Great Circle of Feminism.)
If we are to ask what is progress, we could think of the various improvements in living standards, in reaching agreements, in meaning that inform our living, in our personal identity and in our religious sensibilities etc. But these are descriptive definitions of progress rather an explanatory definition. An explanatory definition incorporates the significant and essential elements that constitute or bring about progress. In my view, an explanatory definition of progress is the functional specialities – they constitute progress. Unless, we work our way through all these functional specialties, we cannot bring about a better future.

The characteristics of cosmopolis and the 31 determinations of the heuristic structure of the solution ‘map’ onto the characteristics of the totality of the functional specialities, whatever we may call it, as what practically brings about progress in every field of human endeavour. It is a new meaning of science, a science of progress as collaborative, as functional.

Richard Moodey

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Re: Cosmopolis and functional specialization
« Reply #7 on: September 13, 2012, 06:08:16 AM »
Artfulhousing,
If I ask "what is progress?" I have to include an ecological dimension.  I believe that we need to move toward a second industrial revolution that will enable us to produce the goods and services needed to maintain human population in an ecologically sustainable way.  A dimension of the problem of evil consists in the way our current manner of industrial production is eating up non-renewable resources and dumping ever-increasing amounts of waste, some of it highly toxic, into the air, water, and earth.  But movement towards a sustainable form of industrial production is blocked by powerful interests.  I fail to see how functional specialization and collaboration in theology and all of the other scientific and scholarly disciplines will have an effect upon the way decisions are made in the boardrooms of the great corporations that dominate industrial production.  The officers of corporations have a fiduciary responsibility to act in ways that will enrich the owners of the corporations.  Even if they were to all to become free from individual, group, dramatic, and general bias, they would still have that fiduciary responsibility to make profits for the stockholders.  They are prohibited by law from making the common good, either of their own national society or of global society, take precedence over profits in making their decisions.  This is a problem of structure, more than it is a problem of the knowledge or virtue of the men and women who make the decisions that result in the actions of giant corporations.  Changing that structure requires political action, but the political power of corporations has been great enough to block all attempts to make the structural changes that would lead to an ecologically sustainable mode of production.
Another aspect of progress is a more equitable distribution of the wealth that is produced.  The social teachings of the Church tend to focus on distributive justice.
Dick
“Think, live, be: next try to express scrupulously what you are thinking, what you are living, what you are.”
Henri de Lubac

TomHalloran

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Re: Cosmopolis and functional specialization
« Reply #8 on: September 14, 2012, 06:13:27 PM »
Dick,
Having read your last post here, I thought you might be interested to read this from the SGEME website:

Cosmopolis… “is concerned with the fundamental issue of the historical process. ….
The business of cosmopolis is to make operative the ideas that, in the light of the general bias of common sense, are inoperative.” Bernard Lonergan; CWL 3, University of Toronto Press, 1992. Page 263-4[239]

INTRODUCTION

The Halifax N.S. gathering of July 6-10, 2009 focused on the topic “Functional Collaboration” in the sense meant by Lonergan in chapter 5 of Method in Theology. The focus was an amateurish version of the reflections that are to identify the group that is eventually to emerge as the members of the eighth functional specialty, called by Lonergan Communications but variously titled by others as Executive Reflection, Marketing, etc. Whatever title is to emerge as relatively definite, the properties of the operations of the group are those identified in section (8) of Method in Theology, p. 132.

The operations can also be associated with a part of the role to be played by “implementation’ in metaphysics, considered by Lonergan as a “conception, affirmation and implementation”. What became clear to the group was that this area of metaphysics has been neglected since the emergence of Insight. So, conception and affirmation, components of a larger implementation, were being carried forward without the feedback benefit of the concrete implementation identified above by (8), the result being a contraction of the original challenge intended by Lonergan in his reflections on Cosmopolis.

The implementation meant by the Halifax group, then, relates to the ad extra effectiveness of metaphysics, to the challenge of Cosmopolis, to the institutional realization of functional collaboration. This website is a place of virtual collaboration through the provision of a manner by which researchers can assist each other in the implementation of collaborative work.

Lonergan’s concern for the historical process produced over three decades [1935-1965] three central ideas that are still inoperative. In chronological summary, he provided an analysis of the business cycle, an analysis of the structure of human knowing, and an eight-fold method designed to implement his first two ideas. It is on this third discovery that this society is focused. The commitment is to support the initiation of functional collaboration in the various sciences, arts and technologies in a way that would lead to a new integral global care for evolutionary progress.

robert henman

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Re: Cosmopolis and functional specialization
« Reply #9 on: September 15, 2012, 07:36:57 AM »
In respone to Dick's comments and perhaps a further context for Tom's, I would add a need for a renewed appreciation for patience and time. It is one thing to have an idea, quite another to have a plan of implementation. The idea of an evolution in and of consciousness is an idea to be appropriated. It's implementation is a plan grounded in that appropriation. Functional collaboration and specialization reach for such patience. Phil McShane mentions 9011 as a possible time of fruition. Can we intussuscept such a vision of implementation?   

Richard Moodey

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Re: Cosmopolis and functional specialization
« Reply #10 on: September 16, 2012, 04:04:21 PM »
Yes, patience is certainly a necessary virtue.  I believe that collaboration, including functional collaboration, is something of a political process.  To ask "we are we going to do?" is to ask a political question that involves processes by which the collectivity called "we" can arrive at a collective decision.  I regard functional collaboration is a partial specification of a political ideal, in which the members of the collectivity decide to cooperate both in the search for truth and in attempting to acts in ways that are consistent with truth.   The closer a collectivity comes to making and sticking to those two decisions, the closer it approximates a collectivity I would be willing to call "cosmopolis."

The "supernatural solution" would reduce some of the difficulty inherent in making these collective decisions to the extent that the members of a collectivity have accepted the gifts of loving God with all their hearts, and of loving their neighbors as they love themselves.  To the extent that Christians succeed in creating such a community, with the grace of God, to that extent they have participated in creating the Kingdom of God.  Moving closer to that ideal would create the conditions in which it would be possible to move closer to the ideal of cosmopolis.

I am uncomfortable with speaking of ideas as being either "operative" or "inoperative."  That way of speaking and writing seems to me to obscure the fact that the only way an idea is effective is for a person, or a collectivity, to decide to act upon it or in conformity with it.  I believe that it is important to remember that collective action depends upon a collective decision.   

“Think, live, be: next try to express scrupulously what you are thinking, what you are living, what you are.”
Henri de Lubac

Phil McShane

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Re: Cosmopolis and functional specialization
« Reply #11 on: September 28, 2012, 07:08:40 AM »
Certainly we could debate  on about the nature of functional specialisation and its relationship to cosmopolis but it seems that the nature of both would be best revealed by simple experiments with some of Lonergan’s suggestions about functional collaboration. I wish to point out three, three that moreover suit different types of people or different stages of enculturation in Lonergan studies. 
[1] One can have a shot at functional research. This is, oddly, easier than one might expect. It is a matter of working towards an attitude of “this is worth researching or recycling”. So, you are interested in, say, some point in Lonergan or Darwin or Gadamer or Rahner. Then you pin down the point as best you can within your present horizon.  Think of Boyer talking to Lonergan about the problem in a piece of Thomas (CWL 1, xviii). Try to get a decent grip on the problem and then check around with colleagues: has it been done before, is my viewpoint up to tackling it?  The stance here is one of a normal successful science (see Method, 3-5). It is a way of showing “a fundamental concern for method, eliminating totalitarian ambitions” (Second Collection, the interview from Florida 1970, edited by McShane, 213).
[2] a second way of moving into functional collaboration is to place yourself (privately for starters!) at line 20 of Method 250: “each investigator proceeds to distinguish …. Etc”. But here I would note that it is not a matter of naming Lonergan’s achievements. It is a matter of discerning one’s own, like Liddy did in his little book on “startling strangeness”. Try for a life-narrative … how many years, for instance, have you spent struggling into theory in some science.  This can only be a stumbling business until you chat with others. That chatting gives an informal way of getting a glimpse of the “final objectification”(250: line 28).  When functional collaboration matures, these narratives and positionings will be complex e.g. efforts to say just how one handles the search for “things” in some particular science, or how one meshes in prayer with Grace “to embrace the universe in a single view” (Insight, 442: see McShane, Posthumous 4, “Conversing with Divine Friends”).
[3] the third way is less strenuous in that it offers a spectrum of efforts to communicate Lonergan’s economics. One is balanced between FS 8 and ordinary journalism: one may have a decent grip on “the need for two types of firm” or just a suspicion that the present stuff is a disaster. This third way shows how difficult FS8 is, or, if you like, how difficult it is to add implementation to the present truncated metaphysics. A successful group effort here could change the globe and history in these next decades. 
 

Richard Moodey

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Re: Cosmopolis and functional specialization
« Reply #12 on: September 30, 2012, 05:19:49 PM »
I have always thought that the achievement of cosmopolis depends upon the integration, not just of theology, but of the arts and sciences more generally.  Having taught at a liberal arts college for many years, I have connected this with the kind of integration idealistically proposed in theories of liberal education.  I have also thought a good bit about the functional integration of sociology.  Some of the people who worry about the fragmentation of sociology point to the more than forty-five sections in the American Sociological Association as evidence for this.  I argue that what Lonergan calls "field specialization" and "subject specialization" might be evidence for wide diversity of interests, if not for the lamented "fragmentation."  But I also believe that functional specialization holds out the possibility for integration.   
1.  Field specialization is the basis for many of the sections of the American Sociological Association, and for many of the substantive courses in sociology departments – the sociologies of family, religion, education, and medicine, for example. 
2. Subject specialization is expressed in the differences between disciplines or departments in a college or university.  Anthropology, economics, history, linguistics, political science, and sociology are usually in different departments and have different journals and professional associations.   
3. Functional specialization is an emphasis upon one of the different activities we engage in, and the functional specialties are very similar as we go from one field specialty or one subject specialty to another.
Sociologists are most familiar with research methods and theory as functional specialties within sociology.  Lonergan's description of functional specialities in theology suggest similar functional specialties in sociology.
(1) research:  For sociology, I suggest that this is what we often call "data construction."
(2) interpretation: In sociology, interpretation is necessary in both qualitative and quantitative studies.
(3) history: Sociologists need to be aware of the histories of the institutions that are the objects of their inquiries, as well as the histories of the intellectual tools they use in the conduct of these inquiries.
(4) dialectic:  Lonergan's distinction between positions and counter-positions provides explanations for the social conflicts sociologists study, and for the disciplinary conflicts about how to conduct our inquiries. Levine, Donald N.Levine has described the dialectical relationships among sociological schools of thought in his  1995 book,   Visions of the Sociological Tradition
(5) foundations: Alvin Gouldner in The Coming Crisis of Western Sociology called upon sociologists to become more aware of their "domain assumptions."  The popularity of the notion of "paradigms" has alerted sociologists to the existences of different foundational beliefs.  The difference between this specialty and dialectic is that in the focus on foundations, the inquirer is explaining his or her own commitments, rather than describing in a more non-committal way the different foundational beliefs embraced by others.
(6) doctrines:  This name for a functional specialty seems more appropriate for Catholic theologians than for sociologists, since we do not have revealed sociological truths, or popes and councils that can provide authoritative interpretations of revealed truths.  I have thought of calling this "hypothesis testing," but that seems pretty far reomoved from what I understand Lonergan to mean by "doctrines."  Also, in all of the previous functional specialties, the process of formulating tentative hypotheses and then testing them seems to be involved.
(7) systematics:  This corresponds very closely to the sociological specialty of higher-level theory construction.  There has been a distinction in sociology between "grand theories" and "theories of the middle-range."  Both seem to me to correspond to systematics.
(8) communication.  Previously, this was (somewhat contemptuously) called "popularization."  In recent years, there have been concerted efforts to establish "public sociology" as a respected specialization in the discipline.  The aim is to make the findings of sociology more generally available to non-sociologists.
I mention this because I believe in ecumenical dialogue, not just between people with different religious convictions, but also between people in different disciplines.  I have always marvelled at the way some educators expect students to integrate what they learn in the different arts and sciences, when the teachers in these disciplines remain so isolated from one another.  I will stop here, however, as this post is already too long.

“Think, live, be: next try to express scrupulously what you are thinking, what you are living, what you are.”
Henri de Lubac

Phil McShane

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Re: Cosmopolis and functional specialization
« Reply #13 on: October 01, 2012, 09:14:29 AM »
Hello Dick,
Your comments on functional specialization and sociology open doors: far from being too long they cry out for an article or a book. Rahner noted the relevance of FS to the social sciences in his Gregorianum article of 1971 and I had already noted its need in musicology at the Florida Conference in 1970, but it just did not catch on. Re theology as particular zone: a tricky issue. There is an implicit theology in all areas, but that is a very complex question. When I ran the seminars in the past year or so (see my FuSe series) the first series of eight were to be general categorical, the next eight with focus on special cats of Christian theology and the final eight on special cats of world religions. The effort died after the fifth seminar due to lack of collaborative time and efforts, but it pointed to a global collaboration, both disciplinary and omnidisciplinary. Your effort gives us a pointer towards a fresh beginning. 

mounce.d

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Re: Cosmopolis and functional specialization
« Reply #14 on: October 09, 2012, 10:38:51 AM »
Does Lonergan continue to hold or develop in Cosmopolis and FS the ideas
he presented with Insight Chs. IX and X on dynamic knowing and wisdom?

We might notice how Lonergan approaches the dynamic structure using his
previous work for individuals and communities, and here he approaches the
idea of knowledge (or science) beyond common sense by elaborating on the
mathematician and "scientist" as particular types in their unique
collaborations.  This changes the general category of science from any
generally produced knowledge, but allows BL to illustrate a sense of
movement across the levels with isomorphic balance between the two types.
In one sense, the one shared with common sense, the terms of dynamic
knowing generally are conditioned.  In the other, that used by the
empirical scientists (most-likely meant-to-be physicists, chemists and
biologists) we have the reverse interest to arrive at concretely combined
judgments of fact with the important implication of inter-subjective
belief.  While the mathematician moves from particular terms up toward
general conditions, the "scientist" isomorphically moves down from general
principles to particular instances.  For both, the nature of knowledge is
dynamically structured with general conditions and concrete combinations.
The curiously different limit for these types, as it remains for the
nature of insight itself, is that insight only is probable because,
even-when these types are fully-operational in knowledgeable outcomes,
insight remains outside of the residue, outside of the intelligence beyond
sense (our modern experiments and theory mostly are imaginative
projections,) and outside the joining of the two regardless of performance
in one direction or the other.

Although science (empirical products) and math (theoretical conditions)
are not noted as having the same role as technology for providing the
potential advance over time, time is the carrier forward for these
operations and outcomes.  Lonergan concludes the chapter with a technical
discussion of the assumed analysis in how particular propositions can be
(and have been) turned-into concrete principles using the existential
terms embedded in all logic.  The technical extraction of existential
terms from the judgment operation is a simple driver of the possible
advance by decisive action.

This leaves irrational insight as the general case for the mathematician
and the particular case for the physicist because their conjoined upper
and lower blades will always include the context for a larger synthesis
which is the definition for these existential terms in any of the
particular work or general theory at any level of development.  Such terms
furthermore only can be "wisely" chosen as Aquinas originally knew (Sum
Theol I-II 9.66 a.5 ad4m.)

Wisdom therefore develops over time outside the general conditions of
concrete combinations, and we shouldn't be surprised that judgments are
made on virtual conditions because we've already exhaustively seen how
science and math are founded in abstract notions.  The Virtually
Unconditioned is thus itself the principled result of a wise notice and
choice about the existential terms in all dynamic knowing; knowledge being
the judged facts that are a personal commitment.

What is the relation between an individual and the society in this regard?