An Introduction to the Philosophy of Bernard Lonergan by Hugo A. Meynell

By Hugo A. Meynell

This is an creation to the philosophy of a Christian philosopher of the twentieth century. the writer pursues his thesis via arithmetic, empirical technological know-how, logic, intensity psychology and social thought, into metaphysics, ethics and common theology.

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If the canon of parsimony is applied as well as the canon of complete explanation, further objections arise to the Galilean account of scientific explanation. Experiential conjugates are verifiable, so one ought not to reject them as mere appearance. Inversely, Galileo did not base his claim as to the reality and objectivity of primary qualities on their verifiability. 'Accordingly, his affirmation was extra-scientific. '19 Sixthly and lastly, we come to the canon of statistical residues. This presupposes inquiry of the classical type, and from there argues to the existence of residues which call for statistical inquiry.

Nature effects this process not with the exact predictability of the changing phases of the moon, but only by a general tendency that increases in efficacy with increase of numbers and prolongation of time-intervals. Unlike the planets, and like the electrons which one may imagine to leap from orbit to orbit around their nucleus, a plant or an animal may enter any one of a range of alternative schemes of recurrence. 30 Some indeterminists maintain a version of their own of the Galilean dualism of the real and the merely apparent, identifying the real with the sub-microscopic and random, the merely apparent with the macroscopic in which classical laws, as they see it, merely appear to be verified.

From this concreteness of conception, two results ensue; first, a hostility of incomprehension against statistical laws; second, a mechanistic view of the universe as a whole. In the abstract, Scientific Insight 37 of course, it is quite true that classical laws are both universal and necessary. ' For him, the necessary laws attach to imaginable particles or an imaginable aether or both; thus, 'it is already concrete, and it is not in need of further determinations in order to reach concreteness'.

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