The Lonergan Reader
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(eman)cipation if we are to transcend ourselves 'to the point, not merely of justice, but of self-sacrificing love.'(40)

Lonergan's project of self-development in which his readers are invited to join, unfolds as a methodological study. If one is to rise to the level of one's times intellectually, then one must involve oneself in the outstanding and successful intellectual endeavors of one's time, attend to oneself in that engagement, and formulate for oneself the normative dynamic structure of interior operations constitutive of that engagement. To carry out this self-appropriative involvement, in Lonergan's terms, is to engage in methodology, to study methods. Lonergan's methodological studies result in accounts of classical, statistical, genetic, and dialectical methods. Each of these accounts sheds light on the fundamental method of the human mind of which these methods are specifications. On the basis of these studies Lonergan formulated a general definition of method: 'A method is a normative pattern of recurrent and related operations yielding cumulative and progressive results. There is a method, then, where there are distinct operations, where each operation is related to the others, where the set of relations forms a pattern, where the pattern is described as the right way of doing the job, where operations in accord with the pattern may be repeated indefinitely, and where the fruits of such repetition are, not repetitious, but cumulative and progressive.'(41)

A method, in Lonergan's sense, differs significantly from a technique or a recipe. To employ a technique or recipe is virtually to dispense with intelligence, reasonableness, and responsibility. But to employ a method is to engage in a deliberate and responsible exercise of intelligence and reasonableness. To employ a technique is to know beforehand the result of its application. To employ a method is to seek knowledge of what won't be known until the method has been employed successfully. Similarly, a method differs from a logical procedure as interior operations and their dynamic relations differ from the terms, propositions, and relations among terms and propositions that interior operations generate and eventually revise. For Lonergan, logic is static, whereas method is dynamic.

The outcome of Lonergan's pursuit of dynamic foundations by way of a self-appropriative study of methods is formulated concisely in his To Page 22


40. Ibid.

41. Ibid., 4.