PL 772 01 Insight and Beyond I
Patrick Byrne W 4:30-6:20
“Insofar as there is a struggle about agreeing with Insight or disagreeing with it, that struggle arises on a very fundamental existential level. It is akin to Heidegger’s classification of a person as authentic or inauthentic; in other words, there is a deep existential level of self-criticism.”
This course begins a two-semester project exploring Lonergan's unique invitation to "self-appropriation" as a response to the crises of our times. Bernard Lonergan wrote his major philosophical work, Insight, to address what he regarded as the great challenges posed by Modernity: modern natural science, modern historical thought, and the great revolutions in modern philosophy, especially in Descartes, Kant and Hegel. In many ways Insight shares the concerns of post-modernism, but departs from its pervasive relativism. Written after his scholarly investigations of Aquinas, Lonergan set himself the task of developing what he learned from those studies into a methodical way of treating philosophical metaphysical, ethical, historical, hermeneutical and theological issues. He called that method “self-appropriation” – that is, coming to better know oneself as an agent of one's own conscious activities, and as a contributor to the destiny of human history.
Students in this course will have the unique opportunity to be part of an online, international learning community. Class sessions will be edited, placed online, and shared with the international community of others also wishing to study Insight and Lonergan's later works.
(1) Class preparedness (15%); careful reading of the weeks assigned chapters, responses to study questions and exercises, and prepared notes of questions and comments for class discussion);
(2) A short paper (4-5 pages) describing an insight you have had. (15%);
(3) Term paper (of 20-25 pages) (40%);
(4) Final Exam (30%).
Lonergan, Topics in Education
Flanagan, Quest for Self-Knowledge