Welcome to the Pons Asinorum

There is no easy fix

Entering Lonergan's Novum Organon

Facing the Reality of a Lack of Moral Courage

Joyous Insurgency & the Long Game?

A Strategy for People Celebrating Life

This workshop is an extension of the prior one on Insight: Elements. Here we enter into the realm of the empirical sciences, i.e., Lonergan's analysis of the heuristic structures of empirical method (chapters 2, 3 & 4). In this workshop we enter into the world of the hard sciences, noting the kinds of questions being asked, the insights sought, and the canons that apply across any such empirical investigation.

But as a cosmopolis training exercise our attention is focused on Lonergan's world view of emergent probability as the best description of world processes within which all human activity takes place. So if we wish to understand planning and policy making, taking as our starting point the Orientation/Diagnosis & Evaluation/Estimating Scope & Constraints approach of Otto Friedman, we need to appropriate such a world view as they apply to any and all of these stages for remedial action in time-and-space-specific socio-political situations where rationality is only one of the primary concerns among stakeholders and participants.

Russell Charles Baker

November 16, 2018

June 14, 2019

Insight: Chapter 1: Section 2

Concrete Inferences from Classical Laws, Part 2

First of all, this session deals with the way Lonergan provides equal theoretical weight to both classical and statistical empirical heuristic structures through the identification of both systematic and non-systematic processes. Then for some reason we shift to the world of Quantum Mechanics, where probability plays a major role in understanding those processes going on at the sub-atomic level. The discussion also ranges into estimate scope and constraints on action in unique time-and-space-specific socio-political situations, the need for intellectual/moral/religious conversion within a central self, and the different ways stability and novelty can emerge. Finally, there a short discussion of what it means to "be" in traditional societies (cyclic time) and non-traditional societies (linear time), for knowing who one is in a society based on long-standing traditions is quite different from the self that one has to come to know in a society where the gap between one's transcended self and transcending self is large and fundamental institutional changes occur with greater frequency. 

June 7, 2019

Insight: Chapter 1: Section 2

Concrete Inferences from Classical Laws, Part 1

This session deals with the differences between the two basic world processes that emerge from a consideration of empirical heuristic structures: systematic (classical physics) and non-systematic (statistical investigations). All this leads up to a discussion on Lonergan's world view of emergent probability as the way to combine both systematic and non-systematic anticipations of what there is to be known within one conception of world process. This discussion leads to issues of predestination, salvation, the good of order, and where novelty can erupt into history.

May 17, 2019

Road Map for Chapters 2 through 5 of Insight: Empirical Heuristic Structure

  1. What difference does Lonergan’s world view of emergent probability make when it comes to understanding the world around us?
  2. How does a reliance on scientific “reason” as the primary method of controlling meaning affect the body politic?

The road map describes our approach to the Lonergan's discussion of the scientific realm of meaning from the point of view of educational techniques for advancing a Cosmopolis Institute.

Educational Projects: Insight--Emergent Probability

May 24th, 2019

Insight: Chapter 1: Section 1

Mathematical and Scientific Insights Compared

This session covered a number of ideas:

  1. That there are two primary questions to keep in mind (Note May 17)
  2. Different realms of meaning and a few of the problems that arise when boundaries become fluid.
  3. Galileo's experiment with falling bodies.
  4. Misc. discussion, including:
    1. Theology gives depth to common sense piety.
    2. Language cannot talk about higher mathematics, music, or God.
    3. Theology breaks conceptual boundaries that constrain other fields of investigation by bringing the sacred to the foreground of human living.
    4. Our primary skills as a species lies in our ability to create and manipulate symbols.
    5. This skills allows human beings to bring new recurring schemes of operation into the world.
    6. Examples? The coordinating notion of an classical orchestra, Lonergan's functional specialties, and our own emerging currently being actualized form the Lonergan's cosmopolis.

Entering Lonergan's world view of Emergent Probability

July 5, 2019

Chapter 2.4: Statistical Heuristic Structure

We are using the text to improve our understanding of Lonergan's world view of emergent probability. For that reason we didn't read the text but instead discussed three important areas: the general state of systemetic and non-systematic processes, how to sneak up on a definition of probability, and understanding universities as a combination of both processes melding into one perspective. Hence the banner change to "the city of God."

Two important shifts:

1. Instead of "divine mystery" use the term "divine sôd." The latter is a biblical Hebrew term that among other things means council, familiar conversation, intimate circle of, assembly, company.

2. An inverse insight concerning the incest, birthright, and other "immoral" acts that God sanctioned.