The Lonergan Review

Volume 7, Issue 1, 2016

Applying Lonergan

Richard Grallo
Pages 49-61

Personal Differences in the Application of Generalized Empirical Method

Generalized empirical method (G.E.M.) is the scientific method as applied not only to the data of sense but to other data of consciousness as well. Among other things, a G.E.M. is description of conscious acts and operations involved in the process of solving problems. These conscious acts and operations coalesce into functionally related groups to generate human understanding, knowledge and responsible decision making. These groups have been named by some as “levels of consciousness,” but they can also be thought of as “patterns of conscious operation” with each pattern having distinct operators, integrators and products. Since G.E.M. is also a method it is practiced more or less well by individuals. Given G.E.M.’s complexity, one could reasonably expect variation in individual performance in relation to the different patterns of consciousness. This paper explores three hypotheses regarding these patterns of thinking and problem solving. Implications and applications of these hypotheses are identified and described.