Things to Keep in Mind: Organizational Issues

How do you set up and run a Lonerganian cosmopolis group? Our preliminary work tackles fine key issues. Like any body of knowledge it is one dynamic and ongoing moment frozen in time objectified for all to see, evaluate, and improve. We're a small group, limited in scope, quite aware that there are people that know far more about such topics. For this we could use your help.


First, there needs to be a common objective, a communal task that serves as a means for each participant to not only know what is going on within the organization but locate their own role or task within that common task. The mission statement is a result of such deliberations, but the real work depends on understanding Lonergan's notion of cosmopolis and the place this unknown "X" has in countering the long term effects of a common sense bias that does not understanding that it is a subset of human intelligence and not its master. This requires an understanding of current events and human historical background as it is experienced.

Control over Meaning

Second, to avoid the massive confusion of fragmented Tower of Babel communications, there needs to be a commonly accepted way of controlling meaning. While Lonergan's transcendental method provides a generalized means of controlling meaning in its two primary forms (mediated and mediating) and the basic terms and categories are laid out in both Insight and Method, there is still no one common framework to pull it all together. This leads us to the Lonerganian Schematic with its four strata and vertical hierarchy.

An Organized Group

Third,if you are to provide a steady stream of cosmopolis groups you need an organizational structure of mutually supportive roles and tasks. For this you need such clearly defined roles and tasks such as mentoring, coaching, leading, and participating. There is also a need for a board to oversee the running of the organization within its legal and administrative context.

Body of Knowledge

Fourth, you need a body of knowledge that is geared to the type of work in which cosmopolis members engage. not all of what is available in either useful or if it is in a form that makes it usable to a cosmopolis group. Because of its task, participants need a background in current affairs, in historical and geographical contexts, and in the myriad ways individuals and groups seeking power have of rationalizing and justifying their position and authority.

Being Present

Fifth, you need a way for a cosmopolis group to be present in the world. While any cosmopolis group functions at a cultural level of values and reflective understanding, its members form a unique community with its own focus. This means that for the general project to work there needs to be a number of such groups engaged in a common task and yet unique in their own ways. Each such group needs to find its own niche in a larger society, be it policy/planning institutions, educational, cultural creations such as books or videos, or even simply announcing one's presence in the world for anyone to pick up on if interested. Play to one's strengths.

[Cosmopolis] is not easy. It is not a dissemination of sweetness and light, where sweetness means sweet to me, and light means light to me. Were that so, cosmopolis would be superfluous. Every scotosis puts forth a plausible, ingenious, adaptive, untiring resistance. The general bias of common sense is no exception.

— Lonergan, Insight


An Emergent Cosmopolis