4. Lonergan and the Key to Philosophy

Elizabeth A. Murray

in Finding God in All Things

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print December 2007 | ISBN: 9780823228089
Published online March 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823236954 | DOI:
4. Lonergan and the Key to Philosophy

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Bernard Lonergan is counted among the major Catholic thinkers of the twentieth century. His contribution to philosophy with his major work, Insight, and to theology with his crowning achievement, Method in Theology, has been widely recognized. This chapter explores Lonergan's understanding of human consciousness in order to find the “key” to his philosophy. Arguing that Lonergan starts in the polymorphic nature of human interiority, it charts the stages of consciousness that emerge in the dynamic, intentional process of self-appropriation. This moment of insight is Lonergan's methodological key. The chapter suggests that Lonergan's philosophical methodology can be employed in order to safeguard the complex nature of consciousness, a methodology that keeps in tension the understanding of consciousness as an “act of knowing” and consciousness as an “act of identity”. It also discusses the polymorphism of consciousness, seven patterns of experience, and the transformations of consciousness corresponding to the differences in horizons.

Keywords: Bernard Lonergan; human consciousness; philosophy; human interiority; self-appropriation; theology; polymorphism of consciousness; experience; horizons

Chapter.  6997 words. 

Subjects: Christian Theology

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