Thursday, January 29, 2004






That's Catholic thinker Bernard Lonergan's cognitional schema in a nutshell. These four major cognitive operations are arranged in what he viewed as a logical sequence, but not necessarily a chronological sequence. This is especially true when you "layer" cognitive operations onto each other to produce meta-operations, such as "experience your experiencing," or "understand your experiencing."

The operations produce imperatives, which parallel the operations themselves:

Be attentive.

Be intelligent.

Be reasonable.

Be responsible.

As an afterthought, years after he'd formulated this schema, Lonergan added a fifth imperative: Be in love.

These operations and imperatives fit into what Lonergan called "transcendental method," i.e., his term for what "method," at its most abstract, means.

Method, according to Lonergan in Method in Theology, is:

A normative pattern of recurrent and related operations yielding cumulative and progressive results.

Your thoughts?


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