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International Philosophical Quarterly

Volume 54, Issue 1, March 2014

Gaven Kerr
Pages 43-57
DOI: 10.5840/ipq20141221

Aquinas, Lonergan, and the Isomorphism between Intellect and Reality

In this article I explore Bernard Lonergan’s characteristic view that there is an isomorphism between intellect and reality such that the set of relations embedded in the cognitional process (experience–understanding–judgment) are replicated by the elements of metaphysics (potency–form–act). My exploration is with a view to the Gilsonian objection to the critical realist project as a whole, to the effect that one cannot begin with idealism and end with realism. In this article I argue that, despite my broad sympathy for Lonergan’s epistemological thought, his notion of isomorphism between intellect and reality distances him somewhat from Thomistic metaphysics.