Quest for Self-knowledge: An Essay in Lonergan's Philosophy
The theme of self-knowledge, introduced by classical philosophers, was taken up and extended by Bernard Lonergan in his major work, Insight. In this innovative and complex study, Lonergan developed a systematic method for understanding the development of self-knowledge. Joseph Flanagan shares with Lonergan the premise that the problem of self-knowledge can be resolved methodically. The purpose of this book is to introduce teachers and students to this difficult subject and to provide readers with a transcultural, normative foundation for a critical evaluation of self-identity and cultural identity.
Flanagan elucidates the complicated historical context in reference to the emergence of Lonergan's positions; in particular he relates Lonergan's thought to the development of modern science. He then retraces the main arguments of Insight as they relate to the theme of self-knowledge, and invites readers to discover and verify within their own conscious experiences a foundational identity that they share with all knowers in an ever-expanding search for truth. This method of self-appropriation not only reveals a new philosophical method, but also transforms the traditional science of metaphysics by subsuming it into a richer and more comprehensive ethical context.
Quest for Self-Knowledge establishes new ground for philosophical and religious dialogue and demonstrates how Lonergan's philosophy provides a context that complements and enriches the analytic and phenomenological approaches that dominate Western schools of philosophy.