Two things should become apparent as one reads this article: first, that it is not about the erotic imagery of mysticism as the title may suggest in abstraction from a context, and second, that the term "pragmatics" refers to a distinction of semiotics and not to some philosophical tenet of American pragmatism. Since uncertainty about the former has been laid to rest, I will do little more here than apologize for raising the reader's hopes. As for the latter, ambiguity abides and so further comment is merited.
Charles W. Morris (19031979), often credited as the one who earmarked the field of semiotics tripartitely as syntactics, semantics and pragmatics, was unambiguous about the term "pragmatics" signaling the achievements of pragmatists like Charles Sanders Peirce, William James, John Dewey and George Herbert Mead.(2) However, Morris was quite particular about not equating pragmatics with "pragmatism," the "pragmatical" with the "pragmatic." As a specifically semiotic term, pragmatics has its own formulation as that which deals with the relation of signs to their users, in contrast with its sister branches that deal with the internal relations between signs (syntactics) and that to which they refer (semantics).(3) While nothing prevents pragmaticians from being or becoming pragmatists, it does not follow that the study of the pragmatic relation of signs entails or endorses pragmatism. One should not see, then, what I describe as Bernard Lonergan's pragmatics as an endorsement of pragmatism. Indeed, Lonergan himself was quite averse to pragmatism, owing to what he believed is its exclusive experientialist slant on things.(4) What I do here is elucidate a dimension of Lonergan's work that has many affinities with a pragmatics of language. Pragmatics is but a critical touchstone for typifying the pragmatic dimension of Lonergan's thought without simply repeating its elements.
If epistemology "seems in a bad way these days,"(5)
methodology is no better off. Its distancing effects on our experiential
knowledge of self and world continue to pinch an already sensitive nerve.
Still, there are as many methods as there are academics who would think
them, though not all methods are thought alike. The fundamental question
of a philosophical pragmatics of language is how they are thought, how
they relate to their users. Since method for Lonergan depends ultimately
on cognitional theory, I turn immediately in the first section to the semiotic
nature of that theory, establishing certain relations between it and the
categories of semiotics. This provides insight into the character of Lonergan's
thought at a fundamental level.(6) In the
second section I examine his view of the relation of method to religion.
The outcome of that discussion is significant for religious studies because
it identifies religious experience (an important dimension of human semiosis)
and "foundational" interaction with it (a kind of theological semiotic)
as key to the pragmatics of Lonergan's theological method. The expression,
"the 'ins and outs' of love," is how I identify this relational dynamic.
But as with all pragmatic expressions, whose meaning eludes the syntactic
arrangement and semantic constitution of terms, the only way to settle
the meaning of this one is by participating in the context that gives it
meaning. With that in mind I now turn to filling out that context.
THE PRAGMATICS OF LONERGAN'S COGNITIONAL THEORY
Pragmatics, writes Charles W. Morris, "deals with the biotic aspects of semiosis."(7) Ralph Fasold similarly, though more specifically, writes that "pragmatics is about everything human in the communication process, psychological, biological, and sociological."(8) In a word, pragmatics is about life (bios), not life in general but in particular, in its uncontainably elusive yet meaningful complexity. Of course, pragmatics is defined as a specific area of semiotics concerned not with life per se, but with the relation of language to its users. As applied, however, the role of pragmatics has gone beyond even that of classical areas of research such as psycholinguistics, neurolinguistics and ethnolinguistics.(9) Jacob Mey, for instance, notes a reciprocal problem-solving relationship between pragmatics and various "outside agents" like ethnomethodology, philosophy, anthropology, ethnography, psychiatry, psychology, rhetoric, the media sciences, the educational sciences and so forth.(10) If we play along with the syntactician's and semantician's caricature of pragmatics as that waste-basket of semiotics into which is dumped whatever "regular, accepted linguistic theories" cannot explain, then it is clear that that waste-basket has increased in size considerably since the ground-breaking work of Charles Sanders Pierce and Charles W. Morris.(11)
In what follows I combine pragmatics and the "outside agent" of philosophy as a means of better understanding the intent of Bernard Lonergan's methodological approach to the study of religion. Karl-Otto Apel does something similar in the service of Kant's transcendental philosophy, arguing for the pragmatic conditions of the possibility of scientific knowledge, what he calls a "transcendental pragmatics of language."(12) Closer to home is William Rehg's "formal-pragmatic extension" of Lonergan's account of cognition, taking his (Rehg's) cue from Jürgen Habermas's discourse theory.(13) These works and others like them have taken their stand on the turn from the subject to intersubjectivity, the proper forum of communication. And so, Rehg advises, "to bring Lonergan's cognitional theory fully into the current arena" one "must present it as an intersubjective account of inquiry and insight. Although Lonergan certainly recognizes the social character of inquiry, his theory primarily elucidates the structure of rational judgment as a process enacted by the individual."(14) Rehg then rethinks Lonergan's position "in a way that reduces the step to Habermas's formal pragmatics."(15)
My aim is similar to that of Rehg. However, while Rehg attempts to elucidate the intersubjective character of Lonergan's philosophy by appealing to the formal pragmatics of Habermas, I wish to elucidate the pragmatic character of Lonergan's emphasis on the subject as a necessary corollary of an intersubjectively formal or transcendental or whatever pragmatics of language. For, as Apel states (in connection with his own "outside" concerns of course), "pragmatics is the philosophical discipline that deals with the subjective-intersubjective conditions of understanding meaning."(16) In other words, a formal-pragmatic extension of the intersubjective aspects implicit in Lonergan's cognitional theory needs to be complemented by a preliminary analysis of the pragmatic dimension of what is explicit in that theory. Although my primary interest here is Lonergan's understanding of the methodological study of religion, I would be amiss not to treat with equal importance the pragmatics of his theory of cognition. The latter is an indispensable point of entry into any discussion of the former.
In Insight, his philosophical master-work, Lonergan traces the fine lines of cognitional process by carefully attending to actual instances of what he calls direct and inverse insights in mathematics, physics, philosophy, psychology and theology--to name only those fields that surface regularly in his discussion. The point of the work, however, is not to impart knowledge of these fields, but to advance or occasion "insight into insight." What this means is that the particular insights chosen as examples and the formulation of these insights are simply a means to a cognitional end.(17) As Lonergan squarely states in the Introduction, "this is not a book on mathematics, nor a book on a science, nor a book on common sense, nor a book on metaphysics; indeed, in a sense, it is not even a book about knowledge."(18) It is a book in aid of self-knowledge, that is, knowledge of one's own experiencing, understanding, judging and deciding. While that aim cannot be had without recourse to actual instances of knowledge, to confuse it with knowledge of those instances would be to miss the point entirely. We are at the threshold of Lonergan's pragmatics.
Consider the example in chapter 1 of Insight. Lonergan discusses the definition of a circle, a round plane figure whose circumference is everywhere equidistant from its centre. His interest is not to engender an understanding of the circle per se or to provide an understanding of the insight its definition expresses. Of course, cognizance of this has not a small role to play in the determination of insight into insight. What is paramount for Lonergan is that we note, not what the insight into the circle is, but that we are grasping it, identifying in ourselves what that insight, if we are truly grasping it, happens to occasion: self-understanding. The book is filled with similar instances of insight that go into greater detail than I can here. The intention, however, is always the same, whether the examples are from geometry, physics, philosophy, psychoanalysis, ethics or theology: personal appropriation of oneself as an experiencing, understanding, judging and decision-making being. Realizing this depends on the manner in which this aspect of Lonergan's work is read, a manner I believe best typified semiotically by the term pragmatics. But before clarifying further what I mean by this potentially unnerving term, certain obstacles that stand in the way of a semiotic reading of Lonergan require discharging.
Lonergan himself does not speak of his program in semiotic terms. In fact, in Method in Theology (1972) he is quite circumspect with regard to the illuminating role of Morris's classic distinctions, syntactics, semantics and pragmatics. The concern is that these "metalanguages" foster forms of discourse that undermine the meaningfulness of language based on originating mental acts like conceiving, judging and uttering.(19) Prompting Lonergan's reaction are philosophical positions that limit semiosis to language, barring discussion of nonlinguistic data that are peculiar to levels of semiosis like physics and biology, psychology and theology. However, if we understand semiosis more broadly to include both verbal and non-verbal or extra-verbal processes, as semioticians are wont to do,(20) this removes the obstacle of committing Lonergan to a view of semiosis that he himself would have difficulty accepting. It also dispels popular misconceptions of semiotics as an endeavor that merely authenticates specifically or exclusively linguistic conceptions of semiosis. This is among the many reasons why semioticians such as Thomas A. Sebeok are trying to disengage semiotics from certain philosophical, linguistic and hermeneutic presuppositions.(21)
Why the pragmatic option for describing what Lonergan is doing? How, in other words, is his type of analysis pragmatic? It is pragmatic in the sense that it functions essentially "at the level of practice or performance."(22) Properly syntactic and semantic modes of inquiry function at the level of logic, bracketing the situation of the rationally self-conscious subject. Looking at it in the context of Insight alone, these levels of reflection for Lonergan serve only as a means, even if a necessary means, to a practical end: the appropriation of oneself as a knower.(23) In Method in Theology Lonergan equates these aspects of semiotics with a realm of meaning reserved largely for logically controlled theories of reality, approaches that are given exclusively to the logistics of theoretical deduction. He introduces "interiority" as the practical, though no less reflective, realm of meaning that grounds the abstractions of the theoretical realm.(24) Put in terms of the present discussion, interiority represents the self-consciously engaged subject encountering worlds of meaning that require the collaborative validation of personal and interpersonal dimensions of experience. Syntactically and semantically oriented views of meaning, whose sole purpose, according to Apel, is "the logical deduction of sentences from sentences," cannot provide such a context.(25) What is also needed as expressive of the full nature of semiosis is a kind of self-performative, (inter)subjectively validating testing-ground that allows one to (dis)confirm in one's own experience, and in close relation to others', syntactically and semantically constituted objectifications and formalizations.
Lonergan's cognitional theory, it seems to me, provides such a ground
primarily at the level of the individual, in the realm of interiority.
In Insight this "ground," which is acknowledged as multifariously
apprehended from the moving viewpoint of the reader, is potentially and
only preliminarily attainable at the end of a long journey of personally
enacted, though intersubjectively occasioned, feats of understanding. It
is personally enacted in that Lonergan leaves it up to readers to appropriate
themselves as knowers. It is intersubjectively occasioned in that self-knowledge
is spawned (in this case) by Lonergan's creative mediation of the insights
of other would-be knowers (in the sense of desirers to know).(26)
Although "no one can understand for another or judge for another,"(27)
everyone needs a Dantean Virgil to incite one to engage in syntactic-semantic
reasoning. Insight, then, serves this function as "a pragmatic
act of inviting,"(28) cajoling us beyond
theory to interiority, beyond a syntactics and semantics about world and
self to a pragmatics of self-discovery.
THE PRAGMATICS OF LONERGAN'S THEOLOGICAL METHOD
To introduce the formal pragmatics of Method in Theology I need to say something about Lonergan's notion of differentiated consciousness. A differentiated consciousness is one that transcends the undifferentiated perspective of common sense by developing its own distinct language and manner of apprehension. Lonergan stipulates that one can list as many as 31 different types of differentiated consciousness.(29) Fortunately, we need only concern ourselves here with two, theoretically and interiorly differentiated consciousness, since they are the ones that pertain directly to the realms of the same name. I will mention another, religiously differentiated consciousness, when I come to discuss the "ins and outs" of religious love.
Theoretically differentiated consciousness is a syntactic-semantic achievement within the realm of theory. It disengages subjects from their lived, commonsensical experience on account of a systematic exigence that prizes the sunlit world of forms over the cavernous chamber of appearances. Some philosophers like Apel understand this rather negatively as the scientific predisposition to explain things, including human behavior, "from the outside" in formulating sentences. Lonergan understands this more positively as the scientific predisposition to relate things explanatorily to one another (quoad se) and not just descriptively to us (quoad nos).(30) Interiorly differentiated consciousness, which is a pragmatic achievement within the realm of interiority, recognizes that "a purely logical or semantic account, based solely on the truth or falsity of sentences uttered in isolation, cannot possibly be the whole story."(31) Needed, too, is the moving viewpoint of the self-appropriating and intersubjectively constituted subject who must critically engage theoretical thought forms not only with regard to the canons of logic (whether or not theories contain certain breaks in logic), but also with regard to the canons of experience (whether or not theories can be validated by individual members of an interpretation community). Interiorly differentiated consciousness represents self-knowledge that understands the different realms of meaning, knowing how and when to shift from one to the other.(32)
While this analysis can do little in the way of occasioning the aim of Lonergan's cognitional theory, it has, I think, placed us in a better position to understand the intent of that theory in the context of a transcendental pragmatics of language. It remains now to see how this relates to the "ins and outs" of religious love, that is, the pragmatics of Lonergan's understanding of religious experience and methodological reflection on its expression.
The significance of the conventional phrase "ins and outs," as it is used here, depends on Lonergan's characterization of religious experience in terms of a being-in-love. By it he intends everything that is involved in our existential comportment toward God, or the divine, and fellow human beings.(33) In a word, being-in-love refers to the differentiation of consciousness Lonergan deems religious. "It is the type of consciousness that deliberates, makes judgments of value, decides, acts responsibly and freely. But it is this consciousness as brought to a fulfilment, as having undergone a conversion, as possessing a basis that may be broadened and deepened and heightened and enriched but not superseded."(34) Everything Lonergan implies by this nonsupersessional cultivation of being-in-love I take the liberty to identify as a being-out-of-love, modes of consciousness through which being-in-love comes to expression. We might recall here the realms of meaning previously mentioned and their respective differentiations of consciousness. In its undifferentiated, commonsensical mode, being-in-love "will express its reference to the transcendent both through sacred objects, places, times, and actions, and through the sacred offices of the shaman, the prophet, the lawgiver, the apostle, the priest, the preacher, the monk, the teacher."(35) As it begins to raise "special theoretical questions concerning divinity, the order of the universe, the destiny of mankind, and the lot of each individual," that is, questions of a syntactic-semantic nature, religious consciousness enters a theoretically differentiated state; in other words, it becomes acutely aware of the fact that its undifferentiated mode of being is ill-equipped to handle such questions.(36)
At this point the ambiguity of the phrase being-out-of-love comes to the fore. As undifferentiated, being-out-of-love is the spontaneous movement of being-in-love. "For one believes with the heart and so is justified, and one confesses with the mouth and so is saved" (Rom. 10:10). But as theoretically differentiated, as theoretically predisposed to explain its proper object "from the outside" (to use Apel's expression), being-in-love always risks falling out of love. This is the type of alienation Pascal presupposes when he demarcates the God of the philosophers from that of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Being-in-love is thus faced with a number of possibilities. Either it will (1) content itself with the quest for the conceptual (in)adequacy of the actus purus, alienating itself from the daunting and fascinating deity of undifferentiated consciousness and by that become, sadly and literally, a being-out-of-love; (2) take refuge in the representations of undifferentiated consciousness to bypass the conceptual quandaries of theoretically differentiated consciousness; or (3) reintegrate the "ins and outs" of love at an interiorly differentiated level, a level where conceptuality remains open to the inconceivable (the actus purus) and where "unknowing" need not mean uncouth.
Lonergan understands the withdrawal into interiority as the condition of the possibility for such a reintegration, which is a pragmatic achievement. If being-in-love is not to lapse into some lifeless religious orthodoxy or hazy liberalism or some well-meaning yet irreparable obscurantism, it must turn aside at least momentarily from the logical implications of its objects, expressed commonsensically or theoretically, to the one for whom such objects were (and perhaps continue to be) existentially meaningful in the first place. This is a precondition for putting new wine into fresh wineskins (Luke 5:38). Although Lonergan avoids confusing the concerns of interiority with those of transcendence, the realm of meaning within which religiously differentiated consciousness is brought to term and is "cultivated by a life of prayer and self-denial,"(37) he suggests that inattention to the dynamics of interiority may explain why objectifying moves within the realm of transcendence are so often truncated, exaggerated. Interiority, then, serves as a kind of halfway house between the realms of theory and transcendence, in which the concerns of undifferentiated and theoretically differentiated consciousness may be preserved in their difference and carried forward "to a fuller realization within a richer context."(38) As with scientifically syntactic-semantic theorizing about semiosis, interiority may serve as the religiously sensitive testing ground for syntactic-semantic theorizing about religious semiosis, be it theological, philosophical, sociological or whatever.
If interiorly differentiated consciousness is "a grasp of transcendental
method"(39) in relation to scientific inquiry,
then interiorly differentiated being-in-and-out-of-love is a grasp of transcendental
method in relation to religious experience and its contents. In both instances,
the "withdrawal into interiority is not an end in itself." It is but a
withdrawal for return. "From it one returns to the realms of common sense
and theory with the ability to meet the methodical exigence."(40)
However, introducing method and the methodical exigence into the discussion
complicates matters, especially in the wake of contemporary deconstructions
of methodical rationality. Jerome A. Miller captures this climate well
when characterizing method in the following terms:
Incidentally, Miller takes the position that Lonergan's notion of method does not function in this totalizing manner for the same reason I have been outlining here, without calling it a pragmatics. "This is indicated by the fact that Lonergan takes pains to emphasize that 'method,' as he praises and practices it, is a profoundly personal exercise in self-reflection, not a mechanical device for producing true propositions."(42) Indeed, Lonergan was in the habit of branding such mechanical devices as "the New Method Laundry which keeps on repeating the same result whenever it is used."(43)
Method, thus understood, is a syntactic-semantic preoccupation given to the logical constitution of sentence construction. Consequently, its practitioners tend almost spontaneously to bracket the context and concerns of engaged subjects as incidental to the truth of their pronouncements. In theological or philosophical reflection, for example, separating the "what" from the "when" in Augustine's prayerful question--"What, then, do I love when I love God?"(44) --might be regarded as an instance of this, a primary candidate for inauthentic being-out-of-love.
By shifting attention away from methods guided by a syntactic-semantic a priori to the individually experienced transcendental thrust of the human spirit, Lonergan believes that the predominance of logically oriented queries over personal experience may be tempered.(45) We have seen this already in connection with his cognitional theory, which is the fundamental feature of his transcendental method. Rather than proposing specific concepts or categories to which readers should adhere in order to reach the conditions of their knowing, feeling, doing, loving or whatever, Lonergan situates them in the midst of a menacing terrain of intelligence to provide clues as to the conditions of such intelligence based on actual instances of knowing. In other words, he does not begin syntactically or semantically with method. "Performance," he writes in the Introduction to his monumental work on Aquinas, "must precede reflection on performance, and method is the fruit of that reflection."(46) This manner of proceeding is seen more clearly in Insight than in Method in Theology, which is a belated sequel to the former. Not until chapter 14 of Insight, a hefty volume by all standards, do the etchings of a method appear, namely after the extended self-appropriating ventures of the preceding chapters. Moreover, the method Lonergan proposes, which he develops and names "transcendental" in Method in Theology, is heuristically constituted, a method whose findings are to be proportionate to the existential situation of the knower. Pragmatics always remains at the forefront of his methodological concerns. It is no wonder, then, that Miller understands method in Lonergan to be literally an afterthought, "a thought that occurs after thought has already happened--after thought has already made its irrevocable surrender to the throe of imperatives it does not institute."(47)
This accounts for the pragmatic undertow of the macroscopic component of Lonergan's method: methodological self-discovery and reflection on one's own experiencing, understanding, judging and deciding that transcends all other methods and yet is operative in them all.(48) The microscopic component, which he conceives in terms of eight interdependent "functional specialties," has a different though related aim. First, it reminds being-in-love of "its antecedents, its causes, its conditions, its occasions."(49) I take this to mean, among other things, that being-in-love is always and everywhere tied to a context made up of several factors. What this amounts to, in short, is the simple yet befuddling awareness that our historical rootedness, our being-in-the-world religiously and reflectively, is not "easily" uprooted. Second, the microscopic component guards against escape routes to some ahistorical vantage point from which "the whole show" might be glimpsed in one (or more) intuitive leap(s). Miller expresses this in a way I cannot improve upon: "[T]he underlying purpose of the functional specializations of theology is not to 'heighten' theological consciousness by releasing it from the throe of historicity but precisely to deepen our sense of the inescapability of history."(50)
At an interiorly differentiated level, then, at a level where going beyond common sense and theory means following and extending them, being-in-love deepens its (un)knowing by turning to the sources that have occasioned and continue to illumine its particular manner of being. Through research, interpretation and historical analysis being-in-love is constantly reminded of a past that is distant yet near, strange yet familiar. Dialectical and foundational analysis are the pivotal moments of this methodological self-reflection that allow for the properly existential to surface as a crucial element if not for the understanding of the past as past, then for the understanding of the past as present. And if Hans-Georg Gadamer has taught us anything, the present has not a small role to play in apprehensions of the past. At the center of the "concrete specificities"(51) of method is the subject who engages the mediated meanings of the past with a view to mediating those meanings to, in and from an ever emerging present. It should be noted, however, that this proposed centre is not the basis of being-in-love. The basis of being-in-love, for being-in-love, is divine grace. By acknowledging the centrality of the engaged subject, Lonergan wants to shield the mediating functions of method (i.e., foundations, doctrines, systematics and communications) from backward, existentially alienating repetition; by emphasizing divine grace, he wants to avoid confusing the centrality of being-in-love with its proper basis.
From the standpoint of pragmatics this is quite significant. Although
one hesitates to treat foundations (which regards the subject's horizonal
stance toward the world) as something more than an object of study (syntactics-semantics),
the recent emphasis on engaged agency (pragmatics) suggests that such an
appreciation may not go far enough.(52)
Indeed, the outpouring of literature on the totalizing subtleties of treating
foundational stances as objects of a disinterested gaze indicates that
Lonergan may have been onto something. Miller, for one, views foundations
as "the place" where the true ground of method becomes apparent, namely
divine grace. If, he argues, the functional specialties, beginning with
foundations, themselves rest on grace, "they are well 'grounded' only
in a profoundly ironic sense: they are 'grounded' in, animated, and governed
by a throe that never ceases to be astonishing, and from which there emerges
what seems to us, accustomed as we are to our economies of possession,
to be an utterly absurd economy--namely, the economy of redemptive love."(53)
What is absurd for semantically guided inquiry may be a boon for a pragmatic
Understanding the anthropological leanings of Lonergan's cognitional theory and theological method in terms of a transcendental pragmatics of language helps us to situate his concerns in a context where it is often felt that the anthropological and methodological have been exhausted; in a context where anthropologically and methodologically centered work is looked upon suspiciously as inherently totalizing and alienating. Attention to the "whys and wherefores" of programs like Lonergan's may hinder such legitimate concerns from degenerating into knee-jerk reactions against calculating endeavours, as they often do. Using semiotic theory as a preventative is promising not only because it continues to exercise a powerful influence on the contemporary imagination, but more importantly because its categories provide useful means of demarcating the pragmatic from the strictly syntactic and semantic. Since many currents in contemporary philosophy and theology arguably embody a pragmatics of meaning, establishing the character of systems like Lonergan's along these lines, if truly pragmatic, can be quite illuminating. In Lonergan's case it yields, I believe, a better appreciation of notions in his work that are ripe for syntactic-semantic misapprehension.(54) We have seen, for example, that his version of the methodological study of religion, whose point of departure is interiorly differentiated being-in-and-out-of-love, is not a promotion but a demotion of the basic validity of the abstractions of theory. Lonergan would agree with verdicts like Apel's that "the logical deduction of sentences from sentences is not itself the justification of the validity of knowledge."(55) We have also seen that Lonergan's central emphasis on the engaged and engaging religious subject signals the groundless ground that debases the basic validity of method. For the "ins and outs" of love, Lonergan would doubtless say, depend on a wholly other whose love, as the condition of the possibility of loving, precedes, penetrates and transcends methodical and methodological inquiry.
1. An earlier draft of this paper was presented at the annual Eastern International Region Meeting of the American Academy of Religion in Buffalo (D'Youville College) on April 5, 1997. Research for this article was supported by a grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. The author would like to thank the anonymous readers for their insightful comments.
3. Ibid. Despite Morris's technical delineations, semioticians in general and pragmaticians in particular persist in using the adjective "pragmatic" to signal the semiotic sense of the term instead of Morris's awkward "pragmatical." The same goes for their use of the terms "syntactic," "semantic" and "semiotic," dispelling with Morris's technical adjectival "-al" endings. I, too, follow this practice.
4. See Bernard Lonergan, Collected Works of Bernard Lonergan, vol. 3: Insight: A Study of Human Understanding (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1992), p. 246, 318; Collected Works of Bernard Lonergan, vol. 10: Topics in Education: The Cincinnati Lectures of 1959 on the Philosophy of Education (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1993), p. 178, 187; Method in Theology (New York: Herder and Herder, 1972), p. 2137.
6. In this study I bracket, for practical reasons, the consequent moments of Lonergan's generalized empirical method (i.e., epistemology and metaphysics) as they appear in Insight. However, I think it is safe to say that they share in, because they depend on, the pragmatics of his cognitional theory. Although epistemology and metaphysics deal with the semantic concerns of "truth," "objectivity" and "reality," they, at least Lonergan's version of them, participate in the pragmatic structure of his cognitional theory. Why this is will be seen momentarily. I only state here that it is because epistemology and metaphysics in Lonergan's philosophy prolong the call to self-discovery, based on self-discovery, in the mode of self-objectification. See footnote 28 below.
12. See Karl-Otto Apel, "The Problem of Philosophical Foundations in Light of a Transcendental Pragmatics of Language," in Kenneth Baynes, James Bohman and Thomas McCarthy, eds., After Philosophy: End or Transformation, p. 25090. For a more detailed outline of his position see Apel's works noted in ibid., p. 284, n. 28.
13. See William Rehg, "From Logic to Rhetoric in Science: A Formal-Pragmatic Reading of Lonergan's Insight," in Thomas J. Farrell and Paul A. Soukup, eds., Communication and Lonergan: Common Ground for Forging the New Age (Kansas City, MO: Sheed & Ward, 1993), p. 15372. Martin J. Matustík takes a similar route in "Democratic Multicultures and Cosmopolis: Beyond the Aporias of the Politics of Identity and Difference," Method: Journal of Lonergan Studies, 12,1 (1994): 6389.
15. Ibid., p. 158. Unlike Charles Davis, Rehg believes that the positions of Habermas and Lonergan can be mutually illuminating, although he emphasizes (rightly, I think) the illumination process from Habermas to Lonergan. Matustík, too, follows the same route. Davis does not seem to think that this is possible, viewing Lonergan's efforts as an untimely attempt to resituate Thomism within the "philosophy of consciousness," a Habermasian signpost of destitute philosophy. See C. Davis, "Post-modernity and the Formation of the Self," in Charles Davis, Religion and the Making of Society: Essays in Social Theology (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994), p. 15354, 169.
16. Apel, "The Problem of Philosophical Foundations in Light of a Transcendental Pragmatics of Language," p. 258. See also Apel's comment in ibid., p. 270 (italics added): "Although the evidential consciousness that is always mine does not guarantee the intersubjective validity of knowledge, still the argumentative redemption of claims to validity in a scientific language game must refer back ultimately to that evidence which can, in principle, ultimately be validated by every single member of the interpretation community in his or her (empirical or a priori) evidential consciousness."
19. See Lonergan, Method in Theology, p. 2567, and the preceding discussion on p. 2535. See also Collected Works of Bernard Lonergan, vol. 3: Insight, p. 32930, 3812, 58892, 611. Lonergan is not alone in this. Noam Chomsky has made similar charges, for instance, against philosophers influenced by Ludwig Wittgenstein who reduce knowledge and language to ability. See Noam Chomsky, "Language and Problems of Knowledge," in A.P. Martinich, ed., The Philosophy of Language, 2d ed. (New York: Oxford University Press, 1990), p. 50927.
20. See Thomas A. Sebeok, Signs: An Introduction to Semiotics (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1994), especially p. 341, 10527. See also Umberto Eco, A Theory of Semiotics (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1976), p. 432.
23. Lonergan holds out little hope for those functioning in the realm of common sense apprehending and expressing what they happen to illustrate in practice (see Collected Works of Bernard Lonergan, vol. 3: Insight, p. 15). See also Apel, "The Problem of Philosophical Foundations in Light of a Transcendental Pragmatics of Language," p. 196204, 23169. By the realm of common sense Lonergan means all that is undifferentiated in the biotic aspects of semiosis, although he does not use these terms.
26. "The process of self-appropriation occurs only slowly, and, usually, only through a struggle with some such book as Insight" (Lonergan, Method in Theology, p. 7, n. 2). Substitute "some such book as Insight" with "other knowers."
27. Lonergan, Insight, p. 421. And again, "No one else, no matter what his knowledge or his eloquence, no matter what his logical rigor or his persuasiveness, can do [self-appropriation] for you" (ibid., p. 13).
28. Mey, Pragmatics, p. 5. A good example of Lonergan's invitation to self-appropriation, which implies an explicit awareness on his part that he cannot realize or objectify the reader's apprehension of the pragmatic grounds of his or her own experience, occurs, appropriately, in the Introduction of Insight: "Though I cannot recall to each reader his personal experiences, he can do so for himself and thereby pluck my general phrases from the dim world of thought to set them in the pulsing flow of life" (p. 13). Lonergan's reference to the "general phrases from the dim world of thought" corresponds to what Apel means by the phrase "syntactic-semantically oriented logic of scientific inquiry"; the "pulsing flow of life" corresponds to Apel's "pragmatic dimension of argumentation that cannot be objectivized and formalized" (Apel, "The Problem of Philosophical Foundations in Light of a Transcendental Pragmatics of Language," p. 276). Of course, formalized objectifications may follow pragmatic engagement, but that is something one does ideally for oneself, according to Lonergan's own understanding. After all, syntactics and semantics are also integral parts of the semiotic triad. See Morris, Foundations of the Theory of Signs, p. 524.
30. See Apel, "The Problem of Philosophical Foundations in Light of a Transcendental Pragmatics of Language," p. 261; Lonergan, Collected Works of Bernard Lonergan, vol. 3: Insight, p. 6162, 101, 201, 204, 316317. See also Collected Works of Bernard Lonergan, vol. 5: Understanding and Being: The Halifax Lectures on Insight (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1990), p. 178, 333.
33. See Tad Dunne, "Being in Love," Method: Journal of Lonergan Studies, 13, 2 (1995): 168. Such a definition of being-in-love takes into consideration Lonergan's sporadic references to a "fifth," even "sixth," level of consciousness--beyond the undisputed "four": experience, understanding, judgment and decision. The first three are concerned with knowing, the last with decision making, which is suffused with the gift of God's love (see Lonergan, Method in Theology, p. 107). For a discussion of the contentious "fifth" level see, in addition to Dunne's illuminating article, Robert M. Doran, "Consciousness and Grace," Method: Journal of Lonergan Studies, 11, 1 (1993): 5175; Michael Vertin, "Lonergan on Consciousness: Is There a Fifth Level?," Method: Journal of Lonergan Studies, 12, 1 (1994): 136; Patrick H. Byrne, "Consciousness: Levels, Sublations, and the Subject as Subject," 13150; Robert M. Doran, "Revisiting 'Consciousness and Grace'," Method: Journal of Lonergan Studies, 13, 2 (1995): 15159.
35. Ibid., p. 266. This refers to the realm Lonergan technically describes as common sense, which among other things has no inclination for the theoretical (see Lonergan, Collected Works of Bernard Lonergan, vol. 3: Insight, p. 200). See footnotes 23 above and 36 below.
36. Lonergan makes this point by noting the limits of common sense. "As one may approach theoretical objects from a commonsense starting-point, so too one can invoke common sense to correct theory. But the correction will not be effected in commonsense language but in theoretical language, and its implications will be the consequences, not of the commonsense facts that were invoked, but of the theoretical correction that was made" (Lonergan, Method in Theology, p. 82).
38. Ibid., p. 241. Echoes of Hegel's Aufhebung can be heard in Lonergan's account of a consciousness that is continuously differentiating itself, but significant differences abide. Significant in this regard is Lonergan's previously unpublished lecture, "Philosophy and the Religious Phenomenon," Method: Journal of Lonergan Studies 12, 2 (1994): 12546, especially p. 12830. See also the important comments of Elizabeth A. Morelli, "Post-Hegelian Elements in Lonergan's Philosophy of Religion," Method: Journal of Lonergan Studies, 12, 2 (1994): 21538. There is also Lonergan's classic statement about his relationship to Hegel in Collected Works of Bernard Lonergan, vol. 3: Insight, p. 3968, 4468.
42. Ibid., p. 199, n. 6. Reference to "mechanical device" may allude to the technological underpinnings of Martin Heidegger's notion of Gestell, usually translated as "enframing." In fact, Gestell should be translated as "device" to relate it to and contrast it with Gesetz. See Maurice Boutin, "Préliminaires à une étude de la 'verbalité' du religieux," in Enrico Castelli, éd., La philosophie de la religion (Paris: Aubier Montaigne, 1977), p. 59, n. 12.
43. Bernard Lonergan, "Religious Knowledge," in Frederick E. Crowe, ed., A Third Collection: Papers by Bernard J.F. Lonergan, S.J. (New York/Mahwah: Paulist Press, 1985), p. 140. See also Lonergan, Method in Theology, p. xi: "Method is not a set of rules to be followed meticulously by a dolt. It is a framework for collaborative creativity."
45. We might think here of the "categorial" and "predicamental" in Aristotelian and Kantian categories of thought, from which Lonergan wishes to distance himself--at least with regard to their particular understandings of the a priori. Lonergan is, however, indebted to the connotations of the transcendental in both. See Lonergan, Method in Theology, p. 1314, n. 4; Bernard Lonergan, "Philosophy and Theology," in William F.J. Ryan and Bernard J. Tyrrell, eds., A Second Collection: Papers by Bernard J.F. Lonergan, S.J., p. 207.
47. Jerome A. Miller, "All Love is Self-Surrender: Reflections on Lonergan after Post-Modernism," Method: Journal of Lonergan Studies, 13, 1 (1995): 78. The imperatives Miller mentions doubtless correspond to Lonergan's "transcendental precepts" or transcendental beatitudes: Be attentive, be intelligent, be reasonable, be responsible, be in love.
48. See Vernon Gregson, "The Desire to Know: Intellectual Conversion," in Vernon Gregson, ed., The Desires of the Human Heart: An Introduction to the Theology of Bernard Lonergan (New York/Mahwah: Paulist Press, 1988), p. 25.
52. Although "engaged agency" is Charles Taylor's chosen term, he is well aware that other contemporary (and classical) thinkers share if not the term, then the insight it expresses. See Charles Taylor, "Lichtung or Lebensform: Parallels between Heidegger and Wittgenstein," in Philosophical Arguments (Cambridge, MS: Harvard University Press, 1995), p. 6178, which is a development of his earlier article "Engaged Agency and Background in Heidegger," in Charles Guignon, ed., The Cambridge Companion to Heidegger (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993), p. 31736. For a discussion of this notion in connection with Lonergan see Jim Kanaris, "Engaged Agency and the Notion of the Subject," Method: Journal of Lonergan Studies, 14, 2 (1996): 183200. See also Jim Kanaris, "Calculating Subjects: Lonergan, Derrida, and Foucault," Method: Journal of Lonergan Studies, 15, 2 (1997): 135150, especially p. 13646, for a critique of Taylor's interpretation of contemporary (French) thinkers on this issue.
54. A good example of such misapprehension may be seen in Ronald McKinney, "Deconstructing Lonergan," International Philosophical Quarterly, 31, 1 (1991): 903, where McKinney complains about "the primacy of theory" in Lonergan. McKinney's emphasis on the semantic dimension of Lonergan's work, which is clearly there to be sure, causes him to lose sight of its pragmatic constitution.