What I hope to accomplish in this paper is relatively simple, though
its subject matter is not. Perhaps the best way to express it is by means
of a question. How might one view today the "calculative" endeavors of
Bernard Lonergan in the light of the decentralizing schemes of Michel Foucault
and Jacques Derrida without falling into the trap of totalization? The
question, particularly the latter part of it, reveals a torn allegiance
between what I consider to be two different patterns of thinking: Lonergan's,
which is based on a peculiar notion of subjectivity, and Foucault's and
Derrida's, which is usually understood as a denial of subjectivity and
the subject as such, even of selfhood and rationality altogether. In the
first section I offer a summary of the respective understandings of Foucault
and Derrida on subjectivity and calculation that will hopefully raise the
discussion to its proper level of complexity. In the second section I attempt
to situate this complexity in the context of Lonergan's philosophy, offering
various clues and suggestions about what this might mean for someone caught
in the throes of the tension inherent in the question above.
DESTABILIZING SUBJECTIVITY AND DISSEMINATING SUBJECTS
"[I]t is not so easy," writes Lonergan, "to leave the subject outside
one's calculations."(2) Spoken as a true
mathematician. It is interesting how many interpret the contemporary critique
of subjectivity as an out and out rejection of calculation. They are no
doubt surprised to read the champion of their cause, Jacques Derrida, judge
such views as indicative of "that condescending reticence of 'Heideggerian'
haughtiness."(3) Needless to say the excesses
of subjectivity are not overcome by ignoring or exaggerating its history.
Derrida is as aware of this as Charles Taylor, who has recently condemned
Derrida to the straights of a philosophical frivolity, "unfettered by anything
in the nature of a correct interpretation or an irrecusable meaning of
either life or text."(4) While this may
apply to "postmodern" appropriations or expropriations of Derrida, I have
yet to be convinced that it applies to Derrida himself. In any case the
issue for Derrida is not anti-calculative, "which usually comes down to
philosophizing badly,"(5) but (if I may
use the expression) "epi-calculative": a kind of writing on--not about--the
basis of calculating endeavors.(6)
What, then, are Continental thinkers like Derrida and Foucault up to when they deconstruct or excavate notions of the subject? Without wanting to reduce their individual efforts to a univocal intention, I think it's safe to say, at the very least, that they do not rule out the question of "the self." Indeed I would echo Paul Ricoeur's sentiment, uttered originally in reference to Heidegger's Destruktion, that their varying critiques serve as "the condition for a justified repetition of the question . . . ," and self-consciously so.(7) If we are to believe the reports of Derrida and Foucault on their own work, reading them as if they find the entire tradition of subjectivity to be "utterly bankrupt," as Robert C. Solomon clearly does in his overview of Continental philosophy since 1750, is simply, though typically, inaccurate.(8) Derrida--and Foucault no less--is too careful a thinker to breach the rules of his own game or, for that matter, to implicate himself in the dialectics of subjectivity. As Vincent Descombes puts it (nicely paraphrasing Derrida, who nicely paraphrases Hegel), "all negation is a superior affirmation. If I denounce this or that unreason within reason, I am denying only the negative of reason, a defect of reason within reason."(9)
Is the subject rejected? Our immediate reaction, especially when our tolerance level of "free-play" (jeu) is low, is to affirm that indeed it is. We might even side with Taylor, who incidentally takes Foucault more seriously than he does Derrida, by pressing their respective viewpoints to their logical conclusion, to wit, that Foucault and Derrida (but Derrida especially) only give license to subjectivity.(10) As I indicated earlier this ignores the tendentiously "non-dialectical" comportment of their work (in Hegel's sense), which is hardly anti-dialectical or anti-rational. Foucault, for one, "simply refuses to see reason as either our hope or our nemesis."(11) He reminds us that "it was on the basis of the flamboyant rationality of social Darwinism that racism was formulated, becoming one of the most enduring and powerful ingredients of Nazism. This was, of course, an irrationality, but an irrationality that was at the same time, after all, a certain form of rationality."(12) What we have here is the historian's refusal to separate the life of the intellect from the ambiguities of life.
Foucault quite unabashedly states that the goal of his work has not been to analyze the phenomena of power, nor to elaborate the foundations of such an analysis. His objective, instead, has been "to create a history of the different modes by which, in our culture, human beings are made subjects."(13) The absence of this kind of analysis, Foucault would say, is precisely what allows philosophers of subjectivity to continue presupposing the subject as a given, which is consequently used as a topic to explain "things" other than (oddly enough) the subject. Whereas Heidegger seeks to relativize the discourse on subjectivity by appealing to "ontological difference," Foucault does so with an eye to the social practices that provide for the emergence of subjective awareness. Subjectivity has a history, claims Foucault, and that history is neither ancient nor mysterious. This is what underlies his rather provocative claim that "Man is an invention of recent date. And one perhaps nearing its end."(14)
Derrida's relation to the subject is more ambivalent, so much so that Jean-Luc Nancy, himself well versed in matters of subjectivity, once asked Derrida, startled by Derrida's casual reference to the term: "Are you proposing that the question be reformulated, keeping the name 'subject,' but now used in a positive sense?"(15) Derrida responded that he would keep the name provisionally only as an index for discussion. But he is certainly not committed to the term as such, "especially if the context and conventions of discourse risk introducing precisely what is in question."(16) What is in question, of course, is the (rational) subject as basic to discourse, so basic in fact that it remains a dominating presupposition of thought or, to use Derrida's manner of expression, the central presence that remains "outside" centered structures. The need for a logistics (calculability) of subject Derrida does not wish to deny. "There has to be some calculation," he says.(17) However, having learned much from radical critics of subjectivity (that is, Nietzsche, Freud, and Heidegger), he is wary of reducing everything to calculating schemes--a stance that needs to be situated historically.
According to Descombes, from 1930 to 1960 the notion of a univocal subject reigned supreme in France largely due to a rediscovery of Hegel, which upset the neo-Kantian emphasis on analytical reason (Verstand). "The Dialectic became such a lofty concept that it would have been offensive to request a definition." Descombes compares the concept's then fashionable importance to the God of negative theology who, being utterly transcendent, eludes formulation and so must be approached by means of explanations of what God is not.(18) This can be gleaned from statements like the following by Jean-Paul Sartre: "The dialectic itself . . . could never be the object of concepts, since its movement engenders and dissolves them all."(19) The generation that followed (after 1960) found this supreme elusiveness to be nothing more than supreme illusion, the tyranny of which required overcoming. And yet this backlash is hardly to be understood as "anti-dialectical" in the popular or technical sense of the term. To be anti-dialectical is to substantiate dialectical thinking. Alternatives always function concentrically with what is critiqued, however radically. It is for this reason that Derrida counsels Emmanuel Levinas that it would be "better" for him to dispute the Hegelian system in silence than to speak against it, since speaking against it only confirms it.(20) Naturally Derrida, much like Lonergan, rejects the possibility of a non-thinking silence.(21) Derrida's point, however, is that the negation of something only makes sense within the framework of that which is negated. "Since . . . concepts are not elements or atoms and since they are taken from a syntax and a system, every particular borrowing," whether constructive or destructive, "drags along with it the whole of metaphysics."(22)
To think non-dialectically, for Derrida, is to immerse oneself in dialectical thinking without affirming or negating it, another term for which is "deconstruction." Grammarians used this term originally to designate a process of analysis on account of which sentence construction comes to light. Derrida's use of the term functions similarly but more specifically as a translation of, signifying an alternate form of, Heidegger's Destruktion. Although the temptation has been to interpret deconstruction as the epitome of modernist disenchantment (disengaged analysis at its worst),(23) Derrida is quite confident that "it always accompanies an affirmative exigency," one that "never proceeds without love."(24) However we might wish to interpret such claims, deconstruction for Derrida is clearly a serious sort of thinking, "a thinking of affirmation,"(25) which suspends, as part and parcel of its strategy, the affirmation and/or negation of given concepts to show how they are constructed. For many this leads to nihilism, the death of the subject; for Derrida it leads to vigilance, a requisite of critical subjectivity.(26)
To return, then, to this tantalizing issue of the subject. I noted earlier
how before 1960 in France there was an air of univocity surrounding the
notion of subjectivity. After 1960 the overcoming of the sovereign subject
of the Dialectic entailed not its death per se, but its fragmentation,
its multiplication. "Instead of being subjected to a single ego, the world
[had] now [to] manifest itself to a mass of small supposita, each
one tied to a perspective"--a crucial concept to which I will return
later.(27) In Foucault the subject comes
to mean that which has been constituted through certain discursive practices,
through certain "regimes of truth." In Derrida the subject is seen as a
central function without which one cannot finally get along. Enough has
been said about the contemporary destabilization and dissemination of subjectivity.
It remains now to see what implications this might have if not for the
thought of Lonergan, then for those who intend to follow the rhythms of
SITUATING THE DESTABILIZATION/DISSEMINATION IN LONERGAN'S PHILOSOPHY: A PROPOSAL
How does all of the preceding relate to the study of Lonergan? I think that the most obvious answer is contained most succinctly in Giovanni Sala's recent characterization of Lonergan as "the philosopher of human subjectivity."(28) One can be sure that pronouncements, seemingly pro or con (but especially con), are bound to elicit the attention of Lonergan scholars. Removing the subject from Lonergan's philosophy is (if you will pardon the analogy) very much like removing the resurrection of Christ from Christian faith.(29) As the popular jingle goes, "You can't have one without the other." Lonergan's turn to the subject or, as he liked putting it, his turning of Saint Thomas's metaphysics "upside down," goes to the very heart of his contribution.(30) Remove that, I dare say, and all one is left with essentially is the genius of Aquinas, which is not a bad thing of course.
Doubtless, this is among the principal reasons why followers of Lonergan (but not only his followers) are made uneasy by expressions like the "end of subjectivity." Such an "end," however, pertains to a particular attitude of subjectivity, not to subjectivity per se.(31) One could say that the diverse forms of "decentralization" currently among us have engendered if not a closer analysis of subjectivity, then most certainly an unprecedented interest in the topic. The discourse on subjectivity, it seems to me, has never been more alive, nor more controversial. "In fact," if I may invoke the authority of Descombes once more, "it is not hard to detect the promotion of new subjectivities in many of the communiqués announcing the victory over THE SUBJECT."(32)
Lonergan scholars have picked up on this. Most, if not all, have critically recruited thinkers like Derrida and Foucault to the unmasking of various "counterpositions" in what is commonly called the narrative of modernity (from Descartes to Husserl), which Lonergan is said to have anticipated from within a different philosophical stream (Aristotle, Aquinas, and Kant) and, consequently, from a different philosophical angle (insight into phantasm).(33) Ronald McKinney's ground-breaking article, "Deconstructing Lonergan" (1991), has served somewhat as a watershed in this regard-- although I hesitate calling it a "deconstruction" of Lonergan; "critique" is more accurate. The Lonerganian tendency "to treat rival philosophies in too polemical a manner"(34) has been slowly dissipating since the tempered analyses of Martin Matustík,(35) Michael McCarthy,(36) James Marsh,(37) Jerome Miller,(38) and Fred Lawrence,(39) to name only a few who have concentrated their efforts on this topic. And yet traces of mistrust remain, for example, in commonplace appeals to the supposed relativism or potential relativism of "rival philosophies." Lawrence, for instance, concedes that Lonergan "shares many of the deepest concerns of postmodernism," but quickly adds that "[Lonergan] does so in a way that takes relativity seriously without being relativistic . . . without capitulating to nihilism in any form."(40) Marsh, too, recognizes certain affinities between Lonergan and his contemporary interlocutors, but complains, divining the intention of Lonergan, that "post-modernism is an unhappy, uneasy, contradictory mixture of search for understanding and flight from understanding, position and counterposition, truth and falsity."(41) We are to decide, counsels Marsh, "[w]hich account is more faithful to the desire to understand," Derrida's or Lonergan's?(42) In other words we are counseled to decide which account surrenders to the improprieties of relativism, assuming a strong-alternative approach to the question.
Such interpretations are made possible, I believe, by treating other viewpoints as though they were by-products--confused though they be--of the intellectual pattern, to use the terms of Insight. Although one may trace this proclivity back to Lonergan himself, that is, his concern for the philosophical component presupposed in cognitional theory, "the basis" of a viewpoint rather than its "expansion,"(43) I am of the opinion that his philosophy permits a less constricting view of the situation. The Cincinnati Lectures (1959) on the Philosophy of Education provide some helpful indications of this.(44)
The closest Lonergan comes to the thought pattern of someone like Derrida appears in his handling of Martin Heidegger. Lonergan's thoughts on Claude Levi-Strauss, given at the International Conference on "Hermeneutics and Structuralism" in Toronto (1978), are largely descriptive and so not very helpful here.(45) Lonergan identifies Heidegger's manner of thinking as one which is preoccupied by a "purely experiential pattern" that is tendentiously artistic. It involves a withdrawal from the ready-made world, in which meaning is instrumentalized to serve various functions in society, to one that is "other, different, novel, strange, new, remote, intimate."(46) While objectification is part and parcel of that pattern, its form is unlike that of the intellectual which conceptualizes, systematizes, instrumentalizes. This mode of artistic expression harbors a completely life-relational intelligibility that does not admit formulation.(47) We might even add, for purposes of clarity, that its four-tiered consciousness is driven by a different concern than that which drives the intellectual, which need not imply that it is any less concerned with "reality."
It is my contention that the Derridian-type discourse functions similarly, intending the unpresentable, the content of a purely experiential pattern, through peculiar means of expression that are deemed as appropriate as calculative inquiry, if not more fundamental. The business of such discourses, Lyotard would say, is "to invent allusions to the conceivable which cannot be presented."(48) Derrida has been doing precisely this since 1967 by means of the inaudible "a" of his neographism, differance, intended to curb intellectualist tendencies to reduce everything to the "understanding" (entendement) grounded in "hearing" (entendre) and therefore under the dominance of logos. "[T]his almost nothing of the unpresentable," he writes, "is what philosophers always try to erase. It is this trace, however, that marks and relaunches all systems."(49) We find a similar sentiment--though Derrida is hardly surprised--in Heidegger's rejection of the terms "subject" and "object," inherently epistemological designations to describe the primordial intimacy and dissimilarity of das Seiende and Sein. Our systems of measurement are thus humbled by a forever elusive, experientially meaningful bull's-eye.
Lonergan judges this kind of thinking to be "quite fine" and "useful," although he exerts little patience for its tendency to forestall "rational affirmation" (intellectually patterned reflective understanding), the raison d'être of his own thinking.(50) I think we can agree that Lonergan's scholastic background and his interest in mathematics are not incidental to his stance. The scope of Insight alone suggests influences of a thought world that puts "an extraordinary premium on logic, clarity, the mechanics of exposition, on precise division and subdivisions of material."(51) Like Descartes before him, Lonergan is very much intrigued by the clarity and precision of mathematical-like reasoning, although for him such precision is viewed pragmatically as a means of unveiling the dynamics of "insight."(52) Differences between individuals, places, and times, "the empirical residue," are hardly thought of as obstacles to the explanatory exigency. As we saw at the outset of this paper, Derrida would agree. In any case what separates the two are opposite ways of approaching perspectival understanding. The intellectual ("geometrical") way, which Insight exemplifies rather well, attempts to determine the unvarying properties of thought for all perspectives, discovering order in diversity, the invariable in change, identity in difference. The artistic way reverses matters, understanding order to be but one aspect of variety, the invariable one possible perspective among others.(53) The latter reminds us that difference is at the basis of determination, calculation; the former that such a basis, or glimpses of it, cannot be had without the determining role of explanation. We are at the threshold of the "logic" of ontological difference.
By understanding these admittedly logically irreconcilable approaches to be distinct patterns of experience, we might become less prone to reduce the concerns of one pattern to those of another, the artistic to the intellectual, and vice versa. Since grammatology is not cognitional theory, since its function has a different--some would say more modest--aim, subjecting it to the demands of cognitional theory, whoever's version that might be, deserves in my opinion the charge of inflated reasoning. However, this counter reaction is also susceptible to another charge, that of deflated reasoning, relinquishing its role as a useful corrective to intellectual truncation and thus espousing, though arguing to the contrary, an opposite triumphalism, that of the asymmetrical.(54) Refusing to resolve such tensions has earned Derrida great notoriety: either he is praised by those who are only too eager to abandon "the extravagances" of philosophical reflection, thereby confirming both their inability to understand Derrida and the suspicions of the opposing stream who rightly take philosophy seriously; or he is condemned by those who are unable to see beyond (or beneath) the demand that propels principles like the excluded middle, impervious to the equally important, if not more primordial, demands of the imagination. I see such a nontotalizing stance as a heuristic precondition for the emergence of insight, albeit differently patterned insights.(55)
For those of us who are appropriating the Lonergan idea--to borrow
the carefully chosen title of a book by Frederick Crowe(56)--the
relevance of "rational affirmation" is not easily left by the wayside.
Indeed I refrain from making such a suggestion. Doing so, as I remarked,
would only support the view that I am consciously avoiding, let us call
it "postmodern totalization through negation." Having said that, I do mean
to suggest that the counterpositional charge of relativism, when applied
to thinkers like Heidegger, Derrida, or Foucault (although one is less
likely to see such charges brought against Heidegger), does not really
hold water. Not only does it make light of the complexity of the situation,
the debate on difference and its various implications, but it may also
be committing a category mistake, confusing artistic claims with intellectual
ones, regardless whether Lonergan's emphasis on the knower would lead him
to a different conclusion.(57)
Calculative synthesis may be desirable, but it is not always prudent. Ambivalence toward the alleged positions and counterpositions of Foucault and Derrida is advisable, given the current state of confusion regarding the import of their thought, which may be accredited to a negligence of the central issue that guides their work: the question of the emerging subject and the conditions of its possibility, to express it in a Kantian manner. If we are forced to understand them in terms of the intellectual pattern, we should at least admit that the facts about them are not all in, and that we are still very much in the "self-correcting process of learning" more about their manner of questioning, our understanding of which is "constantly being reviewed, enlarged, qualified, refined."(58) We have to entertain the possibility, as did Lonergan with regard to Heidegger, that the content of their inquisitive impulse is intended to be and will probably forever remain elusive, which may be "useful" to us if not intellectually, then surely experientially, artistically.(59) As far as I can see this is not relativistic; it is a precondition of contextually differentiating consciousness.(60)
2. Bernard Lonergan, Insight: A Study of Human Understanding, revised and augmented edition, ed. Frederick E. Crowe and Robert M. Doran, Collected Works of Bernard Lonergan, vol. 3 (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1992) 433. Although closely related, "calculation" (as it is used here) has more to do with precisional thematizing than it does with Martin Heidegger's technologically circumspective manipulating and using. See Heidegger, Being and Time, trans. John Macquarrie and Edward Robinson (San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1962) 135, 355, 371. Friedrich Schleiermacher's notion of kalkulieren, as intellectual systematization of experiential relations (that is, the believer's relation to Christ), is close to our meaning. See F. Schleiermacher, "Das Leben Jesu" (1832), Sämmtliche Werke, vol. I/6 (Berlin: Reimer, 1834-1864) 387-9. Jacques Derrida's use of the term permits a similar connotation. See Derrida, "'Eating Well,' or the Calculation of the Subject," Points . . . : Interviews, 1974 1994, ed. E. Weber, trans. P. Kamuf, et al. (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1994) 272-3; Altérités (Osiris: Paris, 1986) 32-3. It is Vincent Descombes, however, who comes closest to our sense when discussing a kind of geometrical thinking over against which he situates contemporary French Nietzscheanism. See Descombes, Modern French Philosophy, trans. L. Scott-Fox and J.M. Harding (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1980) 188-9.
5. Derrida, "Structure, Sign, and Play in the Discourse of the Human Sciences," The Structuralist Controversy: The Languages of Criticism and the Sciences of Man, ed. Richard Macksey and Eugenio Donato (Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1972) 259.
7. See Paul Ricoeur, "The Critique of Subjectivity and Cogito in the Philosophy of Heidegger," Heidegger and the Quest for Truth, ed. Manfred S. Frings (Chicago: Quadrangle Books, 1968) 69, who concludes similarly with regard to Heidegger's destruction of the Cogito. See also Ricoeur, Oneself as Another (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1992) 2, with reference to the comment "Michel Foucault's magnificent title" Le souci de soi. See also p. 188, n. 22, of the same work.
10. See Taylor, "Overcoming Epistemology" 16. Taylor, in Sources of the Self: The Making of the Modern Identity (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1989) 489, identifies this type of subjectivity that has gone awry as "pure untrammelled freedom." Hugo Meynell tends to agree with this, even though he is more open to the utility of deconstruction than Taylor generally is. See Meynell, "On Deconstruction and the Proof of Platonism," New Blackfriars 70 (1989) 21-31; "On Knowledge, Power and Michel Foucault," The Heythrop Journal 30 (1989) 419-432.
13. Foucault, "The Subject and Power," Michel Foucault: Beyond Structuralism and Hermeneutics, ed. Hubert Dreyfus and Paul Rabinow (Chicago: The Chicago University Press, 1982) 208, quoted in Rabinow, "Introduction" 7.
20. See Derrida, "Violence and Metaphysics: An Essay on the Thought of Emmanuel Levinas," Writing and Difference 120. For an example of Derrida's own inability to escape the "constant threat" (tocsin) of Hegelianism see Maurice Boutin, "L'inouï l'indécidable selon Castelli et Derrida: Philosophie de la religion et critique du logocentrisme," Philosophie de la religion entre éthique et ontologie, ed. Marco M. Olivetti (Padua: CEDAM, 1996) 821-2, n. 45.
23. See, for instance, Taylor, Sources of the Self 488 (emphasis added), with regard to "Derrida's supposed stance outside of any affirmation of good." In connection with this compare Derrida's comment in "'Eating Well,' or the Calculation of the Subject" 273: "[I]f I speak so often of the incalculable and the undecidable it's not out of a simple predilection for play nor in order to neutralize decision: on the contrary, I believe there is no responsibility, no ethico-political decision, that must not pass through the proofs of the incalculable or the undecidable." See also Boutin, "L'inouï l'indécidable selon Castelli et Derrida" 820-29.
26. See Derrida, "Structure, Sign, and Play in the Discourse of the Human Sciences" 271: "[Deconstruction] is simply a question of (and this is a necessity of criticism in the classical sense of the word) being alert to the implications, to the historical sedimentation of the language which we use--and that is not destruction." See also his statement in "'Eating Well' or the Calculation of the Subject" 272: "This deconstruction (we should once again remind those who do not want to read) is neither negative nor nihilistic; it is not even a pious nihilism, as I have heard said . . . [;] there is a duty in deconstruction. There has to be, if there is such a thing as duty. The subject, if subject there must be, is to come after this."
30. See Lonergan, Collection, revised and augmented edition, ed. Frederick E. Crowe and Robert M. Doran, Collected Works of Bernard Lonergan, vol. 4 (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1988) 142. See also Lonergan, Verbum: Word and Idea in Aquinas, ed. David B. Burrell (Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 1967), 45; Lonergan, A Second Collection: Papers by Bernard J.F. Lonergan, S.J., ed. William F.J. Ryan and Bernard J. Tyrrell (London: Darton, Longman & Todd, 1974) 43-53; Insight, CWL 3 432.
31. In his article, "What is Enlightenment?," based on an unpublished paper, in The Foucault Reader, Foucault asks whether it is not better to envisage modernity as an attitude (an ethos) rather than an epoch: "a mode of relating to contemporary reality; a voluntary choice made by certain people; in the end, a way of thinking and feeling; a way, too, of acting and behaving that at one and the same time marks a relation of belonging and presents itself as a task" (39).
33. See, for example, Insight, CWL 3 433-48. As Richard M. Liddy has recently reminded us, a more accurate (microscopic) chronology of "the philosophical stream" would read something like: John Henry Newman, the Plato of John Alexander Stewart, Augustine, Peter Hoenen and Joseph Maréchal in dialogue with Aquinas and Kant. See Liddy, Transforming Light: Intellectual Conversion in the Early Lonergan (Collegeville, MN: The Liturgical Press, 1993) 16-119. Aristotle, Aquinas, and Kant (one might also include Hegel) serve as the major (macroscopic) dialogue partners of Lonergan in his explication of the dynamics of understanding.
37. James L. Marsh, "Reply to McKinney on Lonergan: A Deconstruction," International Philosophical Quar-terly 31 (1991) 95-104; "Post-Modernism: A Lonerganian Retrieval and Critique," International Philosophical Quarterly 35 (1995) 159-73.
38. Jerome A. Miller, In the Throe of Wonder: Intimations of the Sacred in a Post-Modern World (Albany, NY: SUNY Press, 1992); "All Love is Self-Surrender: Reflections on Lonergan after Post-Modernism," Method: Journal of Lonergan Studies 13 (1995) 53-81.
40. Lawrence, "The Fragility of Consciousness" 56. See also the parallel statement on p. 72, that is, "the postmodern extreme," which seems to be that of relativism and nihilism ("death of the subject").
42. Marsh, "Reply to McKinney on Lonergan" 104. For a similar approach to the literature conveniently dubbed "postmodern" see Hugo Meynell, "On Deconstruction and the Proof of Platonism" and "On Knowledge, Power and Michel Foucault" (cited in n. 9 above); Robert Doran, Theology and the Dialectics of History (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1990) 153-8, 459-67; Paulette Kidder, "Woman of Reason: Lonergan and Feminist Epistemology," Lonergan and Feminism, ed. Cynthia S.W. Crysdale (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1994) 33-8.
44. See Lonergan, Topics in Education: The Cincinnati Lectures of 1959 on the Philosophy of Education, ed. Robert M. Doran and Frederick E. Crowe, Collected Works of Bernard Lonergan, vol. 10 (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1992), that is, the lectures "The Theory of Philosophic Differences" and "Art." Lonergan's remarks in Insight, CWL 3 210-12, regarding "the dramatic pattern of experience" serve as the general horizon for the specific forms of thinking I am about to identify, that is, specific forms of thinking the ground of imagination and intelligence, the already-prior of generality that "varies with the locality, the period, the social milieu" (Insight, CWL 3 211).
45. See Lonergan, "What is Claude Levi-Strauss Up To?" (paper given at the International Conference on "Hermeneutics and Structuralism," York University, Toronto, November 1978) 1-25. There is, however, the "clue" Lonergan gives at the end of the paper regarding a possible "release" in structuralist analysis, but his unusually obscure style makes it difficult to be sure about this equation. The possible relevance of Lonergan's reading of Edmund Husserl, whose The Origin of Geometry Derrida translated into French with an important Introduction in 1962 (4th edn., 1995), is not altogether apparent with regard to the present discussion. For comparative analyses of Lonergan and Husserl see William F. Ryan, "Edmund Husserl and the 'Rätsel' of Knowledge," Method: Journal of Lonergan Studies 13 (1995) 187-219; and other related works by the same author noted in n. 4, p. 189, of the same article.
48. Jean-François Lyotard, "Answering the Question: What is Postmodernism?," trans. Régis Durand, in The Postmodern Condition: A Report on Knowledge, trans. Geoffrey Bennington and Brian Massumi, Theory and History of Literature, vol. 10 (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1984) 81.
49. Derrida, "The Almost Nothing of the Unpresentable," Points . . . : Interviews, 19741994 83. See also the first part of Derrida's Of Grammatology, trans. Gayatri Chakrovorty Spivak (Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1974), where he shows how hearing or phonological writing is tied to logos and how that bias surfaces in the history of philosophy.
50. See Topics in Education, CWL 10 188-90; Insight, CWL 3 304-53. If Derrida's manner of thinking is artistic in Lonergan's sense, one could say that Derrida does indeed "judge," but he does so according to the demands of a peculiar pattern. One of the prerogatives of that pattern is to deconstruct judgments, in the name of the undecidable, that would contain (aufheben) the positions and dis-positions of others through calculative judgment. For Derrida the undecidable is the condition of judgment, decisional judgment, beyond calculation and the programmatic as such. "C'est au moment où le calcul est impossible que quelque chose comme une décision s'impose . . . et à ce moment-là la . . . indécidabilité n'est pas le suspens de l'indifférence, la différance comme neutralisation interminable de la décision, au contraire, c'est la différance comme élément de la décision et de la responsabilité, du support à l'autre" (Derrida, Altérités 33, quoted in Boutin, "L'inouï l'indécidable selon Castelli et Derrida" 826, n. 93). Lonergan may be after something similar in his cognitional reversal of the Hegelian Aufhebung. See Lonergan, "Philosophy and the Religious Phenomenon," Method: Journal of Lonergan Studies 12 (1994) 133-2; "A Post-Hegelian Philosophy of Religion," in A Third Collection: Papers by Bernard J.F. Lonergan, S.J., ed. Frederick E. Crowe (New York/Mahwah: Paulist Press, 1985) 202-223. See also the discussion of Elizabeth Morelli, "Post-Hegelian Elements in Lonergan's Philosophy of Religion," Method: Journal of Lonergan Studies 12 (1994) 215-38.
54. The philosophical dialogue between James Marsh, John Caputo, and Merold Westphal is, for me, illustrative of this entire dynamic. My sympathies, which I suspect have by this point become only too apparent, lie with Westphal, that is, his strategy. As the publisher remarks on the inside cover of the book in which the dialogue appears, "Caputo finds [Westphal] to be almost as hopeless a rationalist as Marsh, while Marsh finds him to flirt almost as shamelessly with irrationality as Caputo. Westphal seeks to argue, not for a synthesis of the two perspectives, but for a willingness to live in the tension between the two." I have tried to situate that strategy in terms of Lonergan's patterns of experience, while being sensitive to the burden of Lonergan's contribution: self-appropriation. See "A Philosophical Dialogue: James L. Marsh, John D. Caputo, and Merold Westphal," Modernity and its Discontents, ed. James L. Marsh, John D. Caputo, and Merold Westphal (New York: Fordham University Press, 1992) 119-61.
55. Lonergan does not speak this way of course. For him insight is a technical term that refers to the act of un-derstanding that grasps the significance of data, driven by what he calls "questions for intelligence." In Insight Lonergan explicates insight-ful activity from a specifically intellectually patterned point of view, which does not at all mean that he restricts insight to the workings of the intellectual pattern alone. As Lawrence points out, Lonergan's thought is the philosophical equivalent of what "occurs in 'high' therapies." Instead of experiencing, identifying, and naming our emotions and feelings, Lonergan invites us--without denying the central importance of emotions and feelings--to experience, identify, and name the equally important datum of insight, which is a function of diverse patterns of experience. See Lawrence, "The Fragility of Consciousness" 69; Doran, Theology and the Dialectics of History 42-63. See also Lonergan's comments in Caring about Meaning: Patterns in the Life of Bernard Lonergan, ed. Pierrot Lambert, Charlotte Tansey, Cathleen Going (Montreal, QC: Thomas More Institute, 1982) 107.
57. Lonergan wrote at a time "when neither mathematicians nor scientists nor men of common sense were no-tably articulate on the subject of insight" (Insight, CWL 3 7). Times have changed, however, to the point where intelligent men and women have become increasingly suspicious of such undertakings. In such a context caution needs to be exercised, so that intelligent men and women may not miss what Lonergan is really saying.
59. Lonergan's critical reaction to such tendencies, as we saw earlier, is that they brush aside questions of objectivity. See Lonergan, Philosophical and Theological Papers 19581964, ed. Robert C. Croken, Frederick E. Crowe, and Robert M. Doran, Collected Works of Bernard Lonergan, vol. 6 (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1996) 239, 243, 269-70.