Quest for Self-knowledge: An Essay in Lonergan's Philosophy

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University of Toronto Press, Jan 1, 1997 - Philosophy - 292 pages

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.

 

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Contents

Insight
16
Empirical Residue29
29
History of Modern Physics
46
Statistical Science
65
Biases
79
Long Cycle of Decline
86
The WorldOrder of Things
95
SelfAffirming Knower
120
Genetic Method
164
The Authentic Objective Known
177
Summary
190
First Ethical Question
197
Religion
231
Primitive Religion
240
Dialectic of Religious Expression
250
Summary
258

Self as Knower
131
Being as Unrestricted
137
Summary
146
Explanatory Genera and Species
154

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About the author (1997)

JOSEPH FLANAGAN, SJ, is director of the Lonergan Institute and a member of the philosophy department at Boston College.

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