Hermann Hesse

Escritor suizo (1877-1962) de origen alemán. Frases.


Comunicación consciente del conocimientoOn April 20, 2007 Leoncio Jiménez and Jim Morin of the Universidad Católica del Maule met with Philip Sallis of the Auckland University of Technology to explore possibilities for collaboration between different faculties of our respective institutions. In this context Professor Morin presented the following epistemological model to orient the development of a Heuristic Design Network, as a framework for transdisciplinary dialogue and multicultural collaboration on specific problematic issues. This weblog was created to explore the theoretical foundations of this model and to document initiatives to advance developments within this framework.  

This model offers epistemological criteria for a heuristic design network based upon the experience of knowing that may be conceived semantically, represented mathematically, affirmed philosophically and verified in the practice of all fields of knowledge. The model assumes that the desire to know orients the sensible, intelligible, rational, responsible and religious development of human consciousness, which must transcend authentically in relation with the object or subject of knowledge that may be known compoundly as data, as idea, as real, as good and as God. The model is heuristic in the measure that it begins with the problem of an unknown and proceeds methodically towards reasonable understanding. The model also orients the design of both research and development activities in the foundation and application of knowledge. Finally the model represents the network of cognitive and linguistic activities that guide human historical development and explains why their misuse lead to intelectual decline and moral decadance.

Within this general framework, Jim Morin offered to develop a position paper that will include two parts. The first section will develop in greater detail this model for a heuristic design network on the basis of Bernard Lonergan´s epistemological research. The second and concluding section will present a series of tentative hypotheses that explore how this epistemological model may orient information sciences in the research and development of learning organization that promote human resource development for the production of knowledge.

Ética y economía

Mons. Alejandro Goic Karmelic.

Patricio Meller

Andrés Monares. Antropólogo. Profesor de Filosofía del Departamento de Estudios Humanísticos de la Facultad de Ciencias Físicas y Matemáticas de la Universidad de Chile. amonares@ing.uchile.cl.

Life and works of Bernard Lonergan  Bernard Lonergan was born on the 17 of December, 1904 in Bukingham, Quebec a Canadian town with a French and English speaking population, located 27 kilometres north east of the city of Ottawa. In the same town, he completed his basic education in the École Saint Michel (1910-18), where three grades of the minority English speaking students were taught together in one course. Lonergan attributes to this experience the development of his extraordinary capacity for independent study. Later he was an outstanding student at Loyola College in Montreal (1918-22), where he completed his secondary education under a Jesuit curriculum inspired by the Renaissance’s ideal of a classical and universal culture. Upon finishing his studies he entered the English Jesuit noviciate at Guelph, Ontario.  
As a Canadian Jesuit, Lonergan (1926-1930) studied philosophy at Hethrop College, in Oxfordshire, England and mathematics and letters in the University of London. During this period he wrote two papers that are indicative of his early interest in problems associated with the activities that are constitutive of human understanding. The first examines the function of inferences in the learning of geometry. In his study of one of Euclid’s proofs, he demonstrates that the solution to an angle of a triangle does not occur through conceptual deductions but through sensible inferences in which the image exercises an important mediating function in the act of understanding. The work is illustrative of his move towards an empirical and intellectual theory of understanding and his repudiation of conceptualism that characterize his later work.[1]
In the second paper Lonergan explores the distinction which John Henry Newman, in his An Essay in Aid of a Grammar of Assent, made between notional and real assent in order to refute the liberal argument that judgements are probable but not certain. On this basis Lonergan distinguishes between scientific investigation and judgement to affirm that if judgement may be consciously true, then the mind offers a more certain criteria than the logical inferences of scientific and syllogistic methods. The work anticipates the later development of Lonergan’s thought upon judgement that is founded upon the operations of rational self-consciousness. 
Upon his return to Canada Lonergan taught at Loyola College in Montreal (1930-33). During this period he read John Stewart’s Plato’s Doctrine of Ideas, which lead to three important dicouveries: that Plato was a methodologist, that ideas need to be verified in one’s experience and that verbal definitions depend upon something previous which is insight and when one understands it is easier to define. Another significant influence was Christopher Dawson’s The Age of the Gods, which led Lonergan to overcome the influence of his Renaissance formation that conceived classical culture as universal, unchanging, a temporal and normative. With Dawson Lonergan was introduced to an anthropological, empirical, pluralistic and dynamic notion of culture. During this period he also reread the philosophical dialogues of St. Augustine and discovered Augustine’s preference for intelligence and understanding over universal definitions, which coincided with the development of his own cognitional theory. 
In 1933 Lonergan began his theological studies in the Gregorian University in Rome. During his free time he read St. Tomas, Hegel and Marx. The effects of the great depression and the encyclical Quadrragesimo anno of Pious XIII led him to dedicate over a decade to the theoretic study of economics from the perspective of a moral science. He also wrote drafts for a fundamental sociology, a metaphysic of human solidarity and an analysis of history within a pattern of development, decadence and redemption. During this period he became familiar with the transcendental Thomism of the Belgium Jesuit Joseph Maréchal, who affirmed that human knowledge is discursive and not intuitive and that it is constituted through a heuristic process in which the decisive component is judgment. From Marèchal, Lonergan learned that knowledge is not constituted upon a priori or intuitive premises, as in Kant, but through a heuristic movement from something unknown that becomes explicit through cognitive operations that seek to understand and interpret the data within a perceptual framework and through founded judgment that has knowledge as its finality.
In 1936 Lonergan was ordained as a priest and from 1938-40 prepared his doctoral thesis that is a historical critical study of the development in Aquinas’s thought upon grace and freedom. With his dissertation Lonergan resolves the scholastic controversy on the topic, which for centuries had divided into irreconcilable positions the Jesuit followers of Luis de Molina and the Dominican followers of Domingo Bañez. With his historical critical method, Lonergan diagnosis the origin of the problem in scholastic speculations, which from the beginning of the XVI Century lacked the historical consciousness necessary to understand developments in the thought of Aquinas. The dissertation was published in four articles in Theological Studies in 1942 and 1942 and later as a book in 1971[2].
During his period as a teacher in Montreal and Toronto (1940-1953), Lonergan finished his research in economics with his essays on political economy[3] and circulation analysis[4], which were revised, updated and published only after Lonergan returned to these topics at the end of his career. The research he then undertook on the relation between thought and reality led to the publication of two major works. The first, a study of Aristotle’s theory of knowledge in Aquinas[5], is considered to be the most significant XX century contribution on the topic[6]. The second is Lonergan´s Insight: a Study of Human Understanding [7] the most important English epistemological treatise after John Locke and David Hume. In this study Lonergan leads his readers to experience insight in the development of mathematics, geometry, physics, the sciences and common sense.
On the basis of the experience of differentiated cognitional activity, that is sensorial, intelligible, rational and responsable, Lonergan establishes a “generalized empirical method” that includes both the data of the senses and the data of consciousness, through which both the natural and human sciences, as well as common sense, ascend from their attention to data, through the formulation of hypothesis and their verification to affirm what is known, meaningful and of value.
 On this basis Lonergan affirms the critically self conscious subject, and establishes a theory of knowledge, a heuristic epistemology and a critical metaphysics that offer the foundations for an ethics and transcendent knowledge. From this position Lonergan confonts a series of disputed questions on the possibility and nature of knowledge that for centuries have had negative repercussions upon the development of philosophy, the human sciences and theology.  
After finishing Insight Lonergan taught at the Gregorian University in Rome (1940-1953) where he published three major works in theology that address foundational questions upon the ontological and psychological constitution of Christ[8], the incarnate word[9] and the triune God[10].  During this period he also developed his philosophical research for the summer conferences he realized regularly in a diversity of English speaking universities in Canada, the United States and Ireland. These conferences addressed a wide range of topics that led to a number of publications. In the Boston conference (1957) on Phenomenology and Logic [11] Lonergan examines the development and limits of mathematical logic and presents a critical appreciation of phenomenology and existentialism from Husserl to Heidegger. In his Halifax conference (1958) on Understanding and Being[12] he offers an introduction to Insight, which had been published the previous year, and explicitly distinguished how he differs from Kant in the foundation of knowledge.  
His Topics in education [13] of the Cincinnati conference (1959) examines limitations in traditional and modern conceptions of education in relation to the challenge of learning within a mass technological society marked by revolutionary changes in mathematics and the sciences. He proposes two complementary modes to address the issue. The first considers the finality of education in terms of the structure of the human good, conceived of as object and subject in development. The second proposes an epistemology that identifies a constant from which it is possible to understand historical change in the development of the sciences and in the cultural expressions of human meaning and value. This constant which endures through historical changes is the experience of inquiring, imagining, understanding, judging and deciding. The modes of historical understanding and their cultural expressions may change and differ historically but the processes of the mind that sustain understanding endures. 
The topics of the above and following conferences offer a clear testimony to how Lonergan continued to develop notions he originally introduced in Insight. His Dublin (1961) conference on Critical Realism and the Integration of the Sciences, the conferences on Method of Theology, (Toronto, 1962), Knowledge and Learning (Spokane, 1963) and The Nature of Insight: Self-appropriation, Being and Objectivity (Los Angeles, 1963), expand upon these key topics that are present in Insight. During this period a first Collection of philosophical and theological papers, that span the 1943-65 period, were publishes.  After being operated upon in 1965 for lung cancer, Lonergan continued developing his academic activities in Canada and the United States. He realized conferences on Operative grace (Toronto, 1968), Transcendental philosophy and the study of religion (Boston, 1968), Theological Method (Toronto, 1969, Boston, 1970, Dublin, 1971), Grace and Freedom (Harvard, 1971), Christology (Harvard, 1972), Technology and Culture (MIT, 1972), Philosophy of God[14] (Spokene, 1972) and then on his recently publishes Method in theology[15] (Yale, 1974).  Other publications of Lonergan include three collections of his works as well as two volumes of his philosophical and theological papers.
From 1976 to1982 Lonergan taught and carried out his research at Boston College on topics such as Symbols and Analogy, Insight and Method, Myth and Theology and during the last four years of his life of his teaching career realized postgraduate courses on Macro Economy and the Dialectics of History. In 1982 he was once again diagnosed with cancer and the following year returned to be attended to at the Pickering Jesuit infirmary where he passed away on the 25th of November, 1984.
During the Second Vatican Council (1957-1965) Lonergan was a consultant to the Canadian Bishops and later named as a member of the International Theological Commission (1969-1974). In 1970 he received the Order of Canada, the highest recognition of the country to honor those who have demonstrated merit in their contribution to humanity on a national and international level. In 1975 he was named Corresponding Fellows of the British Academy in recognition of his contribution.

[1]  Cf. Frederick Crowe, Capitulo 1. ´The remote context: home, studies, formation´ en Lonergan. Geffrey Chapman. London. 1992, pp. 14.-15.

[2]  Bernard Lonergan. Grace and freedom: operative grace in the thought of St. Thomas Aquinas. Volume 3, Collected Works. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. 2000.

[3]  Bernard Lonergan. For a new political economy. Volume 21, Collected Works. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1998.

[4]   Bernard Lonergan. Macroeconomic dynamics: an essay in circulation analysis. Volume 15, Collected Works. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1999.

[5]  Bernard Lonergan. Verbum: Word and Idea in Aquinas. Volume 2, Collected Works. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1997. Originally published as “The Concept of  Verbum in the Writings of Saint Tomas Aquinas”. Theological Studies Nº 7, 1946, 349-92; N° 8, 1947, 35-79, 404-44; N°10, 1949, 3-40, 359-93.

[6]  Affirmations of Yale historian Jeroslav Pelikan, The Christian Tradition: A History of the Development of Doctrine. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1989 and the British philosopher Anthony Kenny, Aquinas on Mind. Routledge, New York, 1993.

[7]   Bernard Lonergan. Insight: A Study of Human Understanding. Volume 3, Collected Works of Bernard Lonergan. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1997. Originally published in 1957.

[8]  Bernard Lonergan: The ontological and psychological constitution of Christ. Volume 7, Collected Works. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. 2002.

[9]  Bernard Lonergan: De Verbo Incarnato (dicta scriptis auxit) Universidad Gregoriana: Roma, 1960.

[10]  Bernard Lonergan: De Deo Trino I: Parte dogmatica; II: Pars systematica. Gregorian University: Rome, 1964.

[11]  Bernard Lonergan, Phenomenology and Logic: The Boston College Lectures on Mathematical Logic and Existentialism. Volume 18, Collected Works. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. 2001.

[12]  Bernard Lonergan. Understanding and Being: The Halifax Lectures on Insight. Volume 5, Collected Works. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. 1990.

[13]  Bernard Lonergan, Topics in education: the Cincinnati lectures of 1959 on the Philosophy of Education. Volume 10, Collected Works. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. 1993.

[14]   Bernard Lonergan, Philosophy of God, and theology. London, Darton, Longman & Todd. 1973.

[15]   Bernard Lonergan, Method in theology. New York, Herder and Herder. 1972. 


Jean-Louis Ermine

Jean-Louis Ermine Professor and Director, Département systèmes d’information, Institut national des Télécommunications, President, Club gestion des connaissances and CEFRIO Guest Researcher (France)
Leader-moderator – Workshops 3 & 7

Jean-Louis Ermine lectured and conducted research at the Université de Bordeaux I between 1978 and 1991, and turned his attention to research on artificial intelligence in 1985. At that time, he joined the French Atomic Energy Commission (CEA), where he assumed responsibility for training in respect of research devoted to information processing at the Institut national des sciences et techniques nucléaires.

In 1994, he joined the CEA scientific and technical information unit, where he was responsible for managing knowledge, first as a group leader, then as assistant to the unit manager. Between September 2000 and September 2003, he pursued his research on knowledge management at the Université de technologie de Troyes.

Since September 2003, Mr. Ermine has served as head of the information systems department at the Institut national des télécommunications in Evry, in the Paris area. In particular, he is developing there teaching, research and industrial transfers in the realm of knowledge management and cooperative information systems.

He designed the Méthode pour l’Analyse et la Structuration des Konnaissances (MASK, method to analyse and structure knowledge) that CEFRIO is using in conjunction with its project devoted to the intergenerational transfer of knowledge in the Internet age, in which a number of Québec organizations such as Hydro-Québec, RRQ and Telus are participating.

Jean-Louis Ermine is the founder and President of the Club gestion des connaissances de France. The United Nations, in particular the International Atomic Energy Agency, frequently consults Mr. Ermine. He is the coauthor of Trends in Enterprise Knowledge Management which is available in librairies since March 2006.