Lonergan Forum

Main Forum Topics => General => Topic started by: mounce on January 05, 2013, 03:04:58 PM

Title: Lonergan in the public domain - Happy New Year!
Post by: mounce on January 05, 2013, 03:04:58 PM
Does anyone know who the Trustees of the Bernard Lonergan Estate might be?  I know Rixon and Doran both are, but I'm curious about access to Lonergan in the public domain. 

Anyone know why the writings of Bernard Lonergan are not accessible in the same way as, say, Thomas Aquinas?
Title: Re: Lonergan in the public domain - Happy New Year!
Post by: Catherine B. King on January 06, 2013, 11:33:17 AM
Hi Doug:

It seems to be a creeping question that continues to seek an adequate insight:  for those who study Lonergan's work for very long--this stuff should be "out there."  Why isn't it?

But in terms of Acquinas' work, my thought is that Acquinas' work was of a different, less differentiated, time; and with a different span of influence in terms of the state of conscious order, the power structures at the time, and the accumulation of events over time between now and then.

Also, though the below paper doesn't hit all of the reasons, it does address the question "Why isn't Lonergan's work 'implemented' more than it is? " On the other hand, I think that Lonergan's work IS being implemented as we speak--perhaps more slowly than we would like, but still, it's being incorporated into syllabi in many places all over the world--not systematically, and sometimes not critically, but there nevertheless.  My view is that all is of merit.

May the new year unfold in well-being for us all.


Paper given at West Coast Methods Institute conference, 2009:
http://educationasimplementation.blogspot.com/ (http://educationasimplementation.blogspot.com/)
Title: Re: Lonergan in the public domain - Happy New Year!
Post by: Doge of Venice on February 21, 2013, 03:04:25 PM
I imagine it's straight forward copyright laws. Father Lonergan only entered his eternal reward in 1984. Aquinas died centuries ago and, further, published before the advent of copyright laws.
Title: Re: Lonergan in the public domain - Happy New Year!
Post by: Richard Moodey on March 17, 2013, 01:00:24 PM
Doug, Catherine, and Doge,

I hesitate to respond, because my responses seem to be conversation stoppers.  I believe, rightly or wrongly, that the folks who once were active on this forum have turned to other ways of communicating, where they won't be bothered by what I have to say. 

Enough of my paranoid self-pity!  I agree with Catherine that many of Lonergan's ideas are "out there" in the wider world, but most often without acknowledgement -- or even the realization that could result in a citation.  To the extent that Lonergan has correctly described and explained his own inner life, and to the extent that his inner life is very similar to the inner lives of all men and women, others will come up with similar descriptions and explanations of their inner lives.  Each person has the potential for appropriating and affirming the dynamic structure of his or her knowing and doing, even without having read, or even heard of, Lonergan.

Best regards,

Title: Re: Lonergan in the public domain - Happy New Year!
Post by: Catherine B. King on March 24, 2013, 11:25:30 AM
Hello Dick:  I can understand why you would have a paranoia moment; but I also wouldn't think that's the end-all, nor am I bothered by it, for one, and if it means anything to you.

Also, you say:  "Each person has the potential for appropriating and affirming the dynamic structure of his or her knowing and doing, even without having read, or even heard of, Lonergan."

This is quite true, and even germane to Lonergan's own work--it's not about the concept, or applying a method, but about the internal experience, and then the "appropriation" and affirmation of that experience as a  "heightening."

From my view, however, we don't want to dispense with Lonergan's work. Philosophical problems come to us "in the air" of our educational history. Unfortunately, we get themas parasites before we are critical enough to filter them out.  So that it's Lonergan's theory development, and his understanding of the "peculiarity" of  cognitional theory (in Insight) that makes the difference and that signals a slow-in-coming paradigm shift in our philosophical understanding. Further, it's not merely a psychological/individual/isolated event, as we tend to read it in today's environment.

The difficulty is that, unlike how we understand most other studies, how we understand philosophical issues, even theoretically, already correlates with one's present philosophical demeanor; but that demeanor is either synthetic or conflicting with the actual interior structure (of all human beings) and its concrete activities. As conflicting, it's over and above that basic structure and its otherwise-resonant functioning.  The resultant polymorphism (from the conflict) and then the taking and expression of poorly-wrought but (to us/them) logical philosophical "positions," presents us with all sorts of blocks to a truly (self-affirmed) empirical base for critical self-understanding.

Title: Re: Lonergan in the public domain - Happy New Year!
Post by: Richard Moodey on March 28, 2013, 12:17:59 PM
Hi Catherine,

I definitely do not want to dispense with Lonergan's work.  Three very nice things have happened to me recently, all  of them connected with colleagues at Gannon. 

The first is that a professor of computer science and engineering (Steven Frezza) has collaborated with me (sociology) and a philosphy professor (David Nordquest) on a paper that he presented at a conference on engineering educcation, and has since been accepted for publication in an engineering education journal.  David and I presented out positions on how the thought of Lonergan and Polanyi might be useful for issues in education in computer science and engineering.  We intend to continue this collaboration. 

The second is that in my senior seminar, in which students are supposed to be integrating concepts and methods they had learned in the core of liberal studies courses at Gannon, I have been trying to get them to take the "shorter journey," as you describe it, towards and appreciation of some of the basic ideas of Lonergan (and Polanyi).  In that class I have a student who took David's class on the philosophy of knowledge, in which he tried to get students to more towards self-appropriation/affirmation.  She made the connection, and has been writing and talking about self-appropriation, getting the point across to other students in ways that are more convincing that my professorial preaching and offering of exercises and examples.

The third is that David has discovered in one of Lonergan's recorded lectures that towards the end of his life he had come to incorporate one of Polanyi's leading ideas into his thinking.  He is going to send me his transcript of that lecture.  It can be heard at http://www.bernardlonergan.com/audio/96500A0E070.mp3 (http://www.bernardlonergan.com/audio/96500A0E070.mp3)

So, although I regret the degree to which contributions to this forum have ground down almost to a halt, and fear that I have been partly responsible for the decline, there are other conversations that are still going on, from which I am deriving some inspiration.

Best regards,
Title: Re: Lonergan in the public domain - Happy New Year!
Post by: Catherine B. King on March 29, 2013, 09:38:17 AM
Hello Dick:

Glad to hear it, and thank you for the link. A couple of questions, and a couple of comments:

I'm wondering how they are treating the issue of theory--not just any theory per se, but theory as such, or a theory of theory?

Also, I am wondering, however, if you are using the term "shorter (philosophical) journey" in its technical sense (what I mean by it in the book) or in a general sense of beginnings in philosohical study through engagement in some of  "Lonergan's and Polanyi's ideas "?   No matter--just wondering.

Also, Lonergan has a wonderful passage in Insight about incorporating the work of others in the movement of ideas as history goes forward, if you are interested, as it relates to your comment about Polanyi's work and the lecture/link.  If so, it's in Insight (2000/412), or if you have another publication, it's in chapter 14, "The Method of Metaphysics," the first few pages.

Title: Re: Lonergan in the public domain--Caveats
Post by: Catherine B. King on March 29, 2013, 10:57:24 AM
Hello again Dick:  This is an addendum to my above note:

FYI: The below is a snip from a paper I am to give at the West Coast Methods Conference in LA next week.  In the light of our above discussion . . . a caveat:

"A directly-psychological exercise, which many teachers have their students perform, is a good and worthwhile addition to curricula. However, the caveat is that such movements commonly leave untouched commonsense consciousness as students’ main philosophical guide and they leave in place whatever philosophical stances students may already harbor, e.g., general bias, naïve realism, and/or empiricism, et al.

"Students commonly greatly-appreciate such exercises, and should. However for the naïve realist, for instance, such excursions can be considered merely novel and, thus, are insignificant to their entrenched foundational comportment. Also, from that undisturbed view, and in all probability, they will not be inspired to raise critically-based questions against poor philosophical assumptions and statements in other courses or in their own common thought and personal and professional discussions." 

But that's why we can call it a "short" philosophical journey. This brings us to the difference between a common and techinical meaning of "the shorter philosophical journey."  I take from your note that you mean by it brief excursions into philosophical meaning.   That's fine for a common meaning.  However, the technical meaning is quite different and takes a stab at giving the student a critically-established base. 

Title: Re: Lonergan in the public domain - Happy New Year!
Post by: Richard Moodey on March 29, 2013, 02:41:27 PM
Hi Catherine,

As usual, your questions are probing and though-provoking.  I mentioned Steve Frezza and Dave Nordquest because I feel blessed to have some people with whom to converse about theory, even a theory of theory.  You are right to say that our efforts to get students to appropriate the dynamic structure of their own knowing and doing more often than not fail, leaving students not only with the same biases they began with, but also without any intention of trying to discover and overcome those biases.  I take your "caveat" as a warning against expecting too much, rather than as an admonition not to try.

I am not trying to lead students into short journeys in which they explore some philosophical "meanings," but to lead them into beginning the process of self-appropriation, and to get them to appreciate both the fruits of that process and the dangers of avoiding it.  I try to balance expecting too much and too little.  He who expects nothing is seldom disappointed, but I would rather risk disappointment than expect too little.

Best regards,