piece of evidence further complicates the matter. Some may wish to say of Lonergan that he was an economist by avocation. It is clear, though, that the economic work, as interesting and important as it was to Lonergan, took second place to his other intellectual pursuits.
There is ample evidence, therefore, to support the view that Lonergan's primary concerns were questions and issues normally associated with philosophy, theology, and methodology. One might expect, then, that his works would receive the attention of philosophers, theologians, and those educated in what currently goes by the name of methodology. But, strangely, this is not generally the case. Anglo-American philosophers, with their emphasis on linguistic and conceptual analysis, have tended to dismiss Lonergan's philosophy because it gives primacy to the performance of mental acts and relegates the method of linguistic analysis to an auxiliary status.(24) If Lonergan's rejection of the traditional subject-object dichotomy, and his attention to the data of consciousness in the manner of phenomenological analysis, pose no problem for Continental philosophers, his critical realist account of objectivity continues to puzzle them.(25) Again, in Method in Theology, in which Lonergan proposes a collaborative theological method composed of eight functional specializations, his treatments of strictly theological issues serve predominantly as illustrations. This has left some theologians somewhat perplexed and dissatisfied.(26) Furthermore, efforts to introduce Lonergan's methodology into Germany have been hindered by the presumption that 'method' can mean only the method of Descartes, leading one of Lonergan's students to coin the term 'meta-method' to distinguish Lonergan's conception of method from the concerns and practices of an ahistorical, disembodied, detached Cartesian mind.(27) Elsewhere, the currency of commonsense notions of method as a recipe, a repeatable technique generating To Page 14
24. Lonergan discusses the basic contentions of linguistic analysis briefly in Method in Theology, 254-7. See also Lonergan's comments in 1982 on analytic philosophy's dominance in England, in Caring, 218. As Hugo Meynell notes, Lonergan's 'appeal . . . to mental acts and processes, as opposed to language, would generally be taken by contemporary philosophers to be a retrograde step.' See his 'Philosophy after Philosophy,' in Thomas J. Farrell and Paul A. Soukup, eds., Communication and Lonergan: Common Ground for Forging the New Age (Kansas City: Sheed and Ward, 1993), 149.
25. Method in Theology, 262 ff., on Jaspers and the problem of objective self-knowledge.
26. See, for example, Karl Rahner's remarks in 'Some Critical Thoughts on Functional Specialities in Theology,' in Philip McShane, ed., Foundations of Theology: Papers from the International Lonergan Congress 1970 (Dublin: Gill and Macmillan, 1971), 194-96.
27. Lonergan comments on his reception in Germany in Caring, 13, 114-15, 217.