To Tom Keene, Andrew Ross Sorkin, Maria Bartiromo, Lisa Abramowicz, Becky Quick, Francine Lacqua, Dagen McDowell, Joe Kernen, Jonathan Ferro, Larry Kudlow, Charles Payne, Neil Cavuto, Stuart Varney, Jim Cramer, Henrietta Treyz, Larry Summers, David Weston, Courtney Donohoe, Romaine Bostick, Hallinda Amin, Dani Burger, Gina Cervetti, Margaret Collins, Manus Cranny, Abigail Doolittle, Scarlet Fu, June Grasso, Kriti Gupta, Ritika Gupta, Morgan Brennan, David Faber, Steve Liesmann, Carl Quintanilla, Kate Rooney, Rick Santelli, Michael Santoli, Liz Claman, Gerry Baker, Taylor Riggs, Anastasia Amoroso, Jackie DeAngelis, Brian Brenberg.
Lonergan’s Preface to his seminal work Insight, A Study of Human Understanding, begins …
In the ideal detective story the reader is given all the clues yet fails to spot the criminal. He may advert to each clue as it arises. He needs no further clues to solve the mystery. Yet he can remain in the dark for the simple reason that reaching the solution is not the mere apprehension of any clue, not the mere memory of all, but a quite distinct activity of organizing intelligence that places the full set of clues in a unique explanatory perspective. (CWL 3, Preface ix)
Paraphrasing the above (CWL 3, Preface, ix):
In the study of the immanent intelligibility of the economic process the student, regrettably lacking a scientific dynamic heuristic, is given all the clues of experience and data yet fails to spot the interdependencies and interconnections comprising the systematics of the process. The student may advert to each clue as it arises. The student needs no further clues to solve the mystery. Yet the student can remain in the dark for the simple reason that reaching the solution is not the mere apprehension of any one or two clues, not the mere memory of all, but a quite distinct activity of organizing intelligence that places the full set of clues in a unique explanatory perspective. (CWL 3, Preface, ix)
In the insight placing the full set of clues in a unique explanatory perspective and providing the complete, general, immanent intelligibility of a system …
All the concepts tumble out together, because all are needed to express adequately a single insight. All are coherent, for coherence basically means that all hang together from a single insight. [CWL 3, 11-12/36]
A unique explanatory perspective, Lonergan’s Diagram of Rates of Flow: (CWL 15, 55)
… it will be well at once to draw attention to J.A. Schumpeter’s insistence on the merits of the diagram as a tool. (Schumpeter, History 240-43, on the Cantillon-Quesnay tableau.) … First, there is the tremendous simplification it effects. From millions of exchanges one advances to precise aggregates, relatively few in number, and hence easy to follow up and handle. … Next come the possibilities of advancing to numerical theory. In this respect, despite profound differences in their respective achievements, the contemporary work of Leontieff may be viewed as a revival of Francois Quesnay’s tableau economique. Most important is the fact that this procedure was the first to make explicit the concept of economic equilibrium. All science begins from particular correlations, but the key discovery is the interdependence of the whole. … While it is true that a tableau or diagram cannot establish the uniqueness of a system or rigorously ground its universal relevance, it remains that the diagram (of the interconnections of a few precise aggregates) has compensating features that Quesnay’s system of simultaneous equations may imply but does not manifest. … There is the tremendous simplification (a diagram) effects the aims and limitations of macroeconomics make the use of a diagram particularly helpful, … For its basic terms are defined by their functional relations. The maintaining of a standard of living (distinct process 1) is attributed to a basic process, an ongoing sequence of instances of so much every so often. The maintenance and acceleration (distinct process 2) of this basic process is brought about by a sequence of surplus stages, in which each lower stage is maintained and accelerated by the next higher. Finally, transactions that do no more than transfer titles to ownership (distinct process 3) are concentrated in a redistributive function, whence may be derived changes in the stock of money dictated by the acceleration (positive or negative) in the basic and surplus stages of the process. … So there is to be discerned a threefold process in which a basic stage is maintained and accelerated by a series of surplus stages, while the needed additions to or subtractions from the stock of money in these processes is derived from the redistributive area. … it will be possible to distinguish stable and unstable combinations and sequences of rates in the three main areas and so gain some insight into the long-standing recurrence of crises in the modern expanding economy. [CWL 15, 53 and 177]
Superposed circuit of government spending and taxes:
… A science emerges when thinking in a given field moves to the level of system. Prior to Euclid there were many geometrical theorems that had been established. The most notable example is Pythagoras’ theorem on the hypotenuse of the right-angled triangle, which occurs at the end of Book 1 of Euclid’s elements. Euclid’s achievement was to bring together all these scattered theorems by setting up a unitary basis that would handle all of them and a great number of others as well. … similarly, mechanics became a system with Newton. Prior to Newton, Galileo’s law of the free fall and Kepler’s three laws of planetary motion were known. But these were isolated laws. Galileo’s prescription was that the system was to be a geometry; so there was something functioning as a system. But the system really emerged with Newton. This is what gave Newton his tremendous influence upon the enlightenment. He laid down a set of basic, definitions, and axioms, and proceeded to demonstrate and conclude from general principles and laws that had been established empirically by his predecessors. Mechanics became a science in the full sense at that point where it became an organized system. … again, a great deal of chemistry was known prior to Mendeleev. But his discovery of the periodic table selected a set of basic chemical elements and selected them in such a way that further additions could be made to the basic elements. Since that time chemistry has been one single organized subject with a basic set of elements accounting for incredibly vast numbers of compounds. In other words, there is a point in the history of any science when it comes of age, when it has a determinate systematic structure to which corresponds a determinate field. [Method, 241-42]
Every definition presupposes other terms. If these can be defined, their definitions will presuppose still other terms. But one cannot regress to infinity. Hence, either definition is based on undefined terms or else the terms are defined in a circle to that each virtually defines itself. … definitions do not occur in a private vacuum of their own. They emerge in solidarity with experiences, images, questions, and insights. … Let us say, then, that for every basic insight there is a circle of terms and relations, such that the terms fix the relations, the relations fix the terms, and the insight fixes both. If one grasps the necessary and sufficient conditions for the perfect roundness of this imagined plane curve, then one grasps not only the circle but also the point, the line, the circumference, the radii, the plane, and equality. All the concepts tumble out together, because all are needed to express adequately a single insight. All are coherent, for coherence basically means that all hang together from a single insight. [CWL 3, 11-12/36]
Also consult Field Theory in Physics and Macroeconomics.