An Emergent Cosmopolis

Educational Projects: Introductory Course: Phase 1, Day 2

Summary: Phase 1: Day 2

Living in a World Mediated by Meaning


​1. An Overview.​ Our species primary distinguishing feature is that of creating and manipulating symbols. Our greatest act of creation is the construction of worlds mediated by meaning that stands between us and the immediate sensate world. We make mistakes and these errors lead to decline.

2. Mediation. A mediated world opens up not only the present but also the non-present, i.e., the past, the future, the merely possible or ideal or normative or fantastic.

3. An inconvenient truth is that such worlds mediated by meaning depend upon the individual's capacity for intellectual, moral, and religious conversion.

4. Only God can be said to possess an universal perspective. Our "truths" will always be proportionate to the fact that we are human beings and not members of some other species.

5. Our choice of which epistemology to follow is critical. Naïve realists, idealists, and empiricists attribute quite different meanings to things than does a Lonergan critical realist.

6. So too is our choice of world process. Lonergan's emergent probability is quite different from the Newtonian worldview or even that of an evolutionary perspective. The reality is that we live in a complex, dynamic, open-ended, non-linear universe of emergent properties and recurring schemes of operation each with their own probability of emerging and once existent of surviving.

7. The notion of a world view encapsulates the key questions and answers that lay out our fundamental orientation.