The Lonergan Reader
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level of thought, of this transition, and to articulate a new mode of controlling meaning proportionate to the demands of our age.

In 'Natural Right and Historical Mindedness,' an article written near the end of his life, the character of Lonergan's project as an effort to complete the transposition from classical to modern controls of meaning is illustrated with stark clarity. Lonergan also describes in it the ideal of enlightenment appropriate to this epochal moment in our history: 'As always enlightenment is a matter of the ancient precept, Know thyself. But in the contemporary context, it aims to be such self-awareness, such self-understanding, such self-knowledge, as to grasp the similarities and the differences of common sense, science, and history, to grasp the foundations of these three in interiority which also founds natural right and, beyond all knowledge of knowledge, to give also knowledge of affectivity in its threefold manifestation of love in the family, loyalty in the community, and faith in God.'(45)

However, besides the need for enlightenment, there is the need for liberation and emancipation. For Lonergan, emancipation is not the Enlightenment project of 'replacing traditional backwardness by the rule of pure reason.' It is a radical, threefold shift of orientation:

    Again, as always, emancipation has its root in self-transcendence. But in the contemporary context it is such self-transcendence as includes an intellectual, a moral, and an affective conversion. As intellectual, this conversion draws a sharp distinction between the world of immediacy and the world mediated by meaning, between the criteria appropriate to operations in the former and, on the other hand, the criteria appropriate to operations in the latter. Next, as moral, it acknowledges a distinction between satisfactions and values, and it is committed to values even where they conflict with satisfactions. Finally, as affective, it is commitment to love in the home, loyalty in the community, faith in the destiny of man.(46)

As the very nature of self-appropriation implies, Lonergan's ultimate account of the dynamically operative foundation he uncovered, and its ongoing emancipation by conversion, is presented neither as a theory to be believed on his authority nor as a system to be judged on To Page 26


45. A Third Collection, 179.

46. Ibid.