• Lonergan's Insight
4/14/2007: Chapter 2: Heuristic Structures of Empirical Method
Sections 1 – 2.3
intelligence as dynamic
guide/directives/principles for finding solutions.
- Heuristic notion:
a single directive, principle for finding solutions.
structures: an ordered set of directives/principles for finding
Relevance in book:
heuristic structures, the different kinds, and their relationship to
each other, is needed to understand the dynamically developing
nature of human intelligence as a whole.
- Provides an
“image” upon which one can reflect upon later in the
book for developing a metaphysics of development in general: and
more specifically, once integrated with higher viewpoints, and a few
as yet undiscussed notions and heuristics structures, a general
understanding of the unfolding of the universe from the lowest forms
of energy to human history.
- Contributes to
reestablishing the science of metaphysics.
What Lonergan does:
Shifts from Math
to Science because of the obvious developmental growth of the
sciences over the last number of centuries. Hence it provides an
obvious and relevant example of the development of intelligence.
Plus, sciences like physics and chemistry have more clearly entered
into explanatory modes of definition.
- Also, it is best
to start with some of the simpler sciences, namely physics and
chemistry (where the things studied do not develop intrinsic—as
do trees from acorns and humans from zygotes)
- By “simpler”,
I mean only when one moves into the explanatory mode. Hence just
as arithmetic is “simpler” in general than algebra,
algebra than calculus; so physics is simpler than chemistry (when
chemistry moves into a more complete explanatory mode of
definition), and chemistry than biology (when biology moves into a
more explanatory mode of definition), etc..
- Comparing Math and
intelligibility = direct insight = understanding the basic terms
and relations that make something be what it is.
- both filter out
many aspect of the data deemed irrelevant to discovering the
- equality of
- correlation of
measurements in a fall
- No need and need
for field work
- Continuous and
- Imagination does
best to keep up vs data do not
circuit vs external circuit
- Math: initial
- Science: data
and calculations (like symbolic operations)observation
initially overlooked or neglected datarevisions
- Clue leads one to
a sense of a problem to be solved.
- How to then solve
- Analogy of math:
- naming the
- identify the
known properties and relations connected to the unknown
(understanding) how to combine these properties and relations to
form an equation
- In Science
- Stage 1
(Aristotle): Nature of…
- From the data
of sense of things in relation to us, descriptive insights
emerge. This provides the basis for then asking the further
question: What is the nature of X?
identifying and naming the experience of something hot or cold
(relative to the sense of touch) allows us to ask what is the
nature of heat?
- Stage 2
(Galileo): the Unspecified correlation to be specified, the
indeterminate function to be determined.
- From the
question about the nature of something, one can then return to
the data and begin to examine the data in terms of the
relationships of things to each other. (found apart, together,
increase decrease concomitantly, similar antecedents or
consequents, similar in proportions—eg. elements in
Pre-explanatory classifications systems in biology (Kingdom,
phylum, class, order, family, genus, species, etc..) give way to
more precise correlations of organism in evolutionary trees
(notice how this shifts as one incorporates
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