Entering Lonergan's Novum Organon
TIdeas have consequences
Embracing a Full-on Crisis in Authority
Any cosmopolis mission statement requires a knowledge of its institutional setting. This project redefines the purpose and function of a university away from universal education to a specialized function as a place for theoretical work of all sorts, sets this against the client world of common sense intelligence, and adds a separate institution geared to the formation of deep Christians. The notion of a cosmopolis is broken down into two primary functions: providing a conceptual framework wherein potential students can place their theoretical learning as a specialized realm of meaning, and providing tools so that such knowledge can be brought into the sphere of common sense intelligence. Spiritual formation re ongoing conversion is a fundamental feature of such a specialized institution, where the primary purpose is the formation of individuals capable of creating emergent cosmopolis groups as a primary means of countering the consequences of short-term common sense expediency.
An exploration of a pivot point in time, where Jasus like we face both the past and the future at the same time using Lonergan's legacy to better understand what is going on. For example, facing the past is a matter of entering into worlds mediated by meaning that already exist either in the past or the present. This cultural milieu has many aspects that Lonergan's functional specialities of Research, Interpretation, History, and Dialectics illustrate, but what is of primary importance is dialectics. It is in facing the reality of fundamental conflicts that we make the foundational choices that orientate us to whatever may come.
Facing the future is quite different, for future events not only have not yet happened but they are contingent upon the decisions currently being made by participants and stakeholders that still have to play themselves out in practice. This is now a task of establishing our orientation, our position, in the present. What do you stand for? Who do you serve? Who do you trust? This starts with who you are, then moves into your "doctrines" or fundamental beliefs concerning reality before being extended to Systematics than finally Communications. The latter is to engage the world, to be present in the world.
The ground level stratum of the Lonerganian Schematic is that of the world view or world process of emergent probability. Adjusting to this at the intellectual level may not be that much of a problem, providing Lonergan's analysis of empirical heuristic structures holds a modicum of truth. Emergent probability, by shifting to a higher perspective, solves the discrepancy between two primary forms of empirical research: universal classical laws expressed in differential equations and particular statistical statements of probability.
But it is quite another thing to use such a world view to anticipate what there is to be known in historical and geographical circumstances as well as what is taking place in the current affairs of our time. How do we analysis the good of order and the institutional structure that provides the conditions underlying it? What are the recurring schemes of operation that are essential in understanding current conflicts between positions and counter-positions? What lower level schemes condition the emergence of such recurring schemes? Are there still higher levels of intelligibility that constrain the operations of the particular recurring scheme that grabs our interest?
To help participants to work assimilate such world processes into their thinking, two articles were used as core material, one on Orcs as absolute evil and the other describing similarities between radical Islamic groups and the Mafia. While other examples could be used to better understand and incorporate world processes into our cosmopolis work, the rising global conflict between the emergence of such groups and Western society in general seems to be one of the dominate issues of our time. As such, it falls within the scope of a Lonerganian cosmopolis.
One of the fundamental problems in starting a Lonerganian cosmopolis group is the wide range of interests that people bring. This is not a problem, for one of the primary features of such an intentional group is to encounter the values of others so as to enhance or improve our own. This is a matter of intellectual, moral, and religious improvements to our orientation in life, to who we are.
But this is a problem when it comes to collective work on terminal value, for this depends to a large extent on a broad understanding of the fundamental conflicts at work in our own times. This exercise is one way to expand participants horizon by exposing people to a wider range of issues and concerns that potentially may be of importance in the foundational work of deciding on terminal value, which in turns sets the collective orientation for diagnosing and evaluating the current state of the good of order in society.
An inspectional reading ranges from 10 minutes to an hour in which the title, table of contents, publisher's comments, preface or introduction, bibliography and perhaps the last chapter are scanned in order to answer the question "What is this book about?" It does not answer the question of where or not the author is correct or in error, but only what was the author's motive for writing the book.
By our very nature, we have no choice about wanting to understand.