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Author Topic: Lonergan in Self-discovery  (Read 5932 times)

robert henman

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Lonergan in Self-discovery
« on: August 16, 2012, 05:22:48 AM »


Two entries under “Lonergan for Beginners” were eliminated from the site, one from Tom Halloran and one from me [Phil McShane]. Perhaps the elimination was due to Halloran being critical of the title “Lonergan for Beginners”. Now we do know that “Lonergan for Beginners” is legitimate shorthand for the use of Lonergan in self-discovery: so, no problem re the title. Still, there was the added point from myself which I considered worthwhile, and I repeat here what I said: 

“Yes, Tom: valid points. We need to shift attention from Lonergan to the subjectivity of ourselves and our readers, whatever the discipline. And, sadly, this is true even in elementary issues for the reading of Lonergan. So, for example the empirical obviousness of the diagram of doing on page 323 of Phenomenology and Logic can be missed in the reading of the four-level slogan on Method 53. “Be intelligent” there is referred by Lonergan to what-to-do questions. We need more elementary plodding round those famous “sixty-three articles in a row” (CWL 1, 94) in Thomas that Lonergan leans on.”

I have been teaching Lonergan to beginners since the late 1950s, and produced a variety of texts, the simplest of which is *Wealth of Self and Wealth of Nations: Self-Axis of the Great Ascent*, written in the early 1970s and available free on my website www.philipmcshane.ca . The key chapter relating to the problem I raise is chapter 6 with its diagram that parallels the Diagram of Doing in Appendix A of CWL 18. Many beginners, however, are introduced to Lonergan in terms of a shrunken view that talks of experience, understanding, judgment and decision. Decision is left as a muddled zone with no clear attention to the dynamics of planning such as the attention Lonergan pays in Insight 18 and Thomas pays in the text I referred to in the Prima Secundae. This flaw certainly needs to be aired.

Phil McShane has asked me to post this. Robert Henman