Quest for Self-Knowledge: An Essay in Lonergan's Philosophy
Published: July 1997© 1997
295 Pages, 6.20 x 9.25 x 0.75 in
The theme of self-knowledge, introduced by classical philosophers, was taken up and extended by Bernard Lonergan in his major work, Insight. In this innovative and complex study, Lonergan developed a systematic method for understanding the development of self-knowledge. Joseph Flanagan shares with Lonergan the premise that the problem of self-knowledge can be resolved methodically. The purpose of this book is to introduce teachers and students to this difficult subject and to provide readers with a transcultural, normative foundation for a critical evaluation of self-identity and cultural identity.
Flanagan elucidates the complicated historical context in reference to the emergence of Lonergan's positions; in particular he relates Lonergan's thought to the development of modern science. He then retraces the main arguments of Insight as they relate to the theme of self-knowledge, and invites readers to discover and verify within their own conscious experiences a foundational identity that they share with all knowers in an ever-expanding search for truth. This method of self-appropriation not only reveals a new philosophical method, but also transforms the traditional science of metaphysics by subsuming it into a richer and more comprehensive ethical context.
Quest for Self-Knowledge establishes new ground for philosophical and religious dialogue and demonstrates how Lonergan's philosophy provides a context that complements and enriches the analytic and phenomenological approaches that dominate Western schools of philosophy.
'At long last, a lucid guide to the path-breaking methodology of Bernard Lonergan! Joseph Flanagan, a long-time colleague of the late philosopher, uses his extraordinary pedagogical gifts to make Lonergan's ideas accessible to contemporary readers. Quest for Self Knowledge is a boon to all who are searching for an effective response to today's secularism and relativism.'Mary Ann Glendon, Harvard Law School
'A Socratic tour de force! Drawing on the foundations of Bernard Lonergan's thought and the dynamic history of western science and philosophy, Joseph Flanagan guides his readers skillfully along the rigorous path to self-knowledge. Highly recommended to everyone concerned with personal, cultural and transcultural authenticity, Flanagan's chapters on mathematics and physics and on the different methods of explanatory understanding are a significant contribution to cognitional theory.'Michael McCarthy, Vassar College