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Insight: A Study of Human Understanding, Volume 3 (Collected Works of Bernard Lonergan) Paperback – April 6, 1992


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Product Details

  • Series: Collected Works of Bernard Lonergan (Book 3)
  • Paperback: 810 pages
  • Publisher: University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division; 5th edition (April 6, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802034551
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802034557
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.3 x 2.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #166,316 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

'One of the great philosophical treatises of the century'

(G.F. Davidson)

About the Author

Frederick E. Crowe is a professor emeritus at the Toronto School of Theology, University of Toronto and co-founder of the Lonergan Research Institute.



Robert M. Doran is the Emmett Doerr Chair in Systematic Theology in the Department of Theology at Marquette University and the General Editor of the Collected Works of Bernard Lonergan.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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It is very good and very comprehensive.
Mark Miller
Most importantly, Lonergan is able to solve some important problems in the contemporary philosophy of science.
Brian C.
Suffice it to say that *Insight* is a truly extraordinary work, unique in the history of modern philosophy.
Johannes Climacus

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

78 of 85 people found the following review helpful By George Zee on April 10, 2000
Format: Paperback
Rev. Bernard Lonergan, S.J.(1904-1984), though still not commonly known, was, talent-wise, certainly one of the top thinkers of the 20th century. It takes time for his thoughts to be appreciated, developed and applied. There are already numerous web-sites and hundreds of books, articles and theses written on his ideas. He might be publicly acknowledged as one of the 100 most influential thinkers by the end of this century. For more than forty years, his works continue to nourish and challenge people, initially in seminary circles, and gradually in different universities. Boston College has been a key base for over 20 years in fostering studies of Lonergan's thought and stimulating dialogue with people in diverse fields. Insight remains one of the basic books that one needs to master if we want to reach up to Lonergan's mind, just as he reached up to the mind of Aquinas. One of the perennial issues underlying human differences is our assumptions about knowing and reality. What is it to know? Is it taking a look out there? Or do we presume that we cannot know reality? Lonergan proposed an arduous journey for all of us to become aware of what we are doing when experiencing, understanding, judging and choosing. The focus is on appropriating or gaining self-knowledge of our recurrent cognitional processes and structures in knowing. "¡Kit is essential that the notion of insight, of the accumulation of insights, of higher viewpoints, and of their heuristic significance and implications, not only should be grasped clearly and distinctly but also, in so far as possible, should be identified in one's own personal intellectual experience." (p.Read more ›
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Johannes Climacus on February 24, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I have been studying and teaching philosophy for over thirty years; indeed philosophical wisdom has been a lifelong quest for me. For much of this journey, I was haunted by the prospect of discovering a thinker who would do for our time what St. Thomas Aquinas accomplished for his--namely, reconcile and synthesize the best aspects of philosophy, theology and natural science. Then about a decade ago I read Lonergan's *Insight* and found that not only was such a synthesis possible--it had actually been realized by this remarkable (but still underappreciated) thinker. Though Lonergan was a prolific writer whose later works (including *Method in THeology*) are justly admired for their mature wisdom, *Insight* represents his initial breakthrough and remains his masterpiece. Indeed, it is a unique and in many ways revolutionary book about the dynamics and dimensions of human consciousness as it develops from experience through questioning, to understanding, critical reflection, judgment, responsible deliberation and action. Along the way, Lonergan presents a full-orbed, wholistic, and astonishingly insightful account of the human subject as situated in a non-reductionistic but scientifically-informed cosmology. He also gives a plausible rationale for an intelligent, reasonable and responsible theism that accords fully with evolutionary science and the best traditions of Christian theology.Read more ›
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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful By George Zee on September 10, 2000
Format: Paperback
This is the definitive text of Bernard Lonergan's most important work, Insight, with over 130 revisions, based on the meticulous labor of comparing three texts, line by line, word by word! All students of Lonergan's thought owe a great debt to Frs. Frederick E. Crowe and Robert M. Doran for having executed their task with such thoughtfulness, perfection and devotion. Corresponding pages to the second edition of Insight, which has been the standard one, are given in brackets. My previous review was based on the second edition.
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Traveler on February 17, 2011
Format: Hardcover
How to review a whole philosophy? This book is a masterpiece, but with many flaws. Lonergan was a Thomist who sought to bring Aquinas into the 20th Century. He added to conventional Thomism a phenomenological method and an acceptance of the reality of the world as known by science. In this one work he offers a general account of human knowing in natural science, common sense, human science, and philosophy. He presents a philosophy of science, a Transcendental Deduction with a Kantian flavor, a position on objectivity, the outline of a metaphysics that will absorb and unify the findings of science, an ethics, a proof for the existence of God, and a preamble to religious faith.

Lonergan developed his conception of insight by extending the Thomist account of abstraction to all areas of knowledge. Knowing always starts with sensed or imagined data into which one has an insight, an act of understanding. After this, one considers the sufficiency of evidence and makes a judgment about the validity of the insight. Experiencing, understanding and judging are the three cognitional acts; they have for their respective contents the three Thomist metaphysical elements of potency, form, and act. Data play a special role. Lonergan assumes that there is a separate act of being aware of data, which seems unlikely, but his conception of data is equivocal. He takes over the sense data of empiricist philosophy and conflates them with the data of science and also with the concrete properties of the physical world.

On the basis of his understanding of classical and statistical science, Lonergan developed his own conception of world process, emergent probability, as an alternative to Darwinian evolution.
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