Entering Lonergan's Novum Organon
"A Cosmopolis Institute." What professional standards do we hold for such a organization? For there is a difference between being a technican called in to solve a problem defined by others, and a professional whose allegiance is not to the demands of any potential employer but to the ethical standards of their profession.
This meeting dealt with the beginning of a two-fold directed workshop strategy, an outline of a twelve week training program in the essentials of professional practice, and a quick sketch of what it may mean to be a human being.
Our first session covering these points did so in a very brief manner. Instead, there were a number of issues that arose, things having to do with virtually unconditioned judgments, shifts from animal to spiritual control mediators, the sequence of conditioned levels following Lonergan's functional specialties (foundations to doctrines, doctrines to systematics, and systematics to communications), values as derived from a need to make choices, and the fact that the only true critical instrument is oneself.
This is the first draft of a problem we have been dealing with for many years: the difference between putting one's professional skills under the control of a client, and exercising one's own judgment when it comes to exercise one's skills. This is a matter of who one considers the boss: the client or the Divine Mystery? If the former, than one doesn't have to take personal responsibility for whatever happens; for responsibility lies with the client. If the latter, then one takes personal responsibility for the way in which one's professional skills are used.
The problem is, what does making responsible professional practice a reality mean in practice?
Our first set of meetings have to do with common guides for common action, or in other words a set of pointers that one should keep in mind whenever engaged in professional practice. Very briefly, they are:
A copy of an appendix of a master's thesis is attached that covers the reasons why each point is important.
This week we deal with three topics:
This week we continued our conversation around the set of twelve points to keep in mind. The first thing we did was do a group ranking, separating those points of particular interest from those that were not. The conversation shifted to the fact that professional practice always takes place within a time-and-space-specific situation, i.e., within unique historical and geographical circumstances. Then we moved on to the problem of recognizing and actualizing potential before delving into the twin streams of personal development and professional practice. Of special interest was a short video on VUCA (situations characterized by high levels of volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity.
A Cosmopolis Institute: Professional Practice