Philosophy is reflection on the human situation at an ultimate level. It is fundamental thinking about the human situation.
Bernard Lonergan appears to be principally concerned with the question of the person qua person - in the sense as to what are the central questions that may be raised about ourselves. Foremost (or perhaps more aptly, foundationally) are questions about knowledge and understanding. It seems, in fact, that all his major (and most of his other) works focus on questions pertaining to this.
This page is not meant to be an analysis, exploration, nor elucidation of Lonergan's works, but rather some brief notes on some of his statements to which I refer in other places (either online or elsewhere). For those interested in the works of Lonergan, I would first and foremost suggest the Lonergan Archives.
A quote reminiscent of Lonergan's Insight
Donald Rumsfeld (former USA Secretary of Defense) has been quoted as stating the following during a news briefing in 2002:
Though sections of the popular press at the time reacted with characteristic scorn, the comment is something that could easily have arisen out of the early chapters as well as part of chapter XVII of Insight.
Lonergan's sense of horizon has much to do with the 'unknown unknown' (alternatively termed by its Latin cognate indocta ignorantia) in, for example, CWL 18: 13 'Subject and Horizon':
In the ensuing lecture (CWL 18:14 'History, Horizon, Philosophy'), Lonergan succintly characterises 'horizon' as the fragile line between the known unknown (docta ignorantia) and unknown unknown (indocta ignorantia):
The concept of horizon is likely taken from either Nietzsche or Husserl (or perhaps both) – but it is worth pointing to some key references that Lonergan makes in Insight to S.K. Langer's works (Philosophy in a New Key and Feeling and Form, as well as her translation of some of Cassirer's works), together with her own important reference to Cecil Delisle Burns's 'The Sense of the Horizon' (1933) and his simultaneously written Horizon of Experience (1934).
In Method in Theology, Lonergan states that (p. 134):
The ease of reference these are summarised in tabular format, even though oversights may result: