Taking a cue from Descartes, Lonergan advised that we attend to the simple things that anyone can understand.
Again and again, in his regulae ad directionem ingenii, (Descartes) reverts to this theme. Intellectual mastery of mathematics, of departments of science, of philosophy, is the fruit of a slow and steady accumulation of little insights. Great problems are solved by being broken down into little problems. The strokes of genius are but the outcome of a continuous habit of inquiry that grasps clearly and distinctly all that is involved in the simple things that anyone can understand. (CWL 3, 3/27) Continue reading
[7/2/20) Generalization comes with Newton, who attacked the general theory of motion, laid down its pure theory, identified Kepler’s and Galileo’s laws by inventing the calculus, and so found himself in a position to account for any corporeal motion known. Continue reading
[7/2/20] Paraphrase of [CWL 21, 78]: the aggregate (basic) price spread is a function of purely objective factors: Continue reading
(7/2/20] … each stage of the long process is ushered in by a new idea that has to overcome the interests vested in old ideas, Continue reading
This section, Lonergan, Marx and Liberty, is presented simply in the form of a gathering of excerpts from different sources. The careful reading of the excerpts should inspire the reader to consult the sources for the rich context of each excerpt and for a fuller appreciation of Lonergan’s understanding and reasoning about the need for liberty. In brief, Lonergan demonstrates that Marx’s economics is insufficiently abstract and contaminated by descriptive sociological and political categories; he finds Marx’s summons to class conflict perilous to humanity because it promotes and enforces a drift away from liberty to a totalitarianism culminating in the dreadful conditions of a no-escape “frontier, clear and firm indoctrination, controlled media of information, a vigilant secret police, and the terrifying threat of labor camps,” – all in the name of a mythical macroeconomics. (Continue reading)
In the ideal pure cycle, the long-term expansion proceeds from a static phase through a proportionate-expansion phase , then through a surplus-expansion phase, then through a basic-expansion phase, and finally into a higher static phase.
At (the beginning of a basic expansion) an economic system is confronted with an intrinsic test. It success will be established if it can complete the major basic expansion and – without mishap, without inflation, without unemployment, without a break in confidence – make its way serenely into the haven of the stationary state. I mean of course, not the stationary state of mere backwardness, not the stationary state of stagnation when a disastrous crash follows on an earlier apparent triumph, but the stationary state that preserves all the gains of the preceding major expansions. It is (then) content to produce their gains at a constant rate. Its duration may be short or long, for in each case it must wait until such time as further new developments are grasped by human intelligence and eventually become practically conceived possibilities. [CWL 15, 80] (Continue reading)
[3/18/20] Michael Gibbons’ essay, “Economic Theorizing in Lonergan and Keynes” is a gem.
Gibbons, M. (1987) “Economic Theorizing in Lonergan and Keynes”, Religion and Culture: Essays in Honour of Bernard Lonergan S.J., Eds. J.P. Fallon and P.B. Riley, University of New York Press, Albany [Gibbons, 1987, pp. 313-23]
Gibbons’ essay is followed in the collection by essays of Patrick Byrne and Eileen De Neeve; all three are available together on line at Continue reading
As represented below in the Diagram of Rates of Flow, in Functional Macroeconomic Dynamics the “basic terms are defined by their functional relations.” The basic terms are precise analytical terms upon which a superstructure of explanatory relations can be constructed. Thus, the terms are of scientific and explanatory significance. (Continue reading)
Diagram of Rates of Flow