Volume 88, Issue 3, Summer 2014
Robert E. Wood
The Notion of Being in Hegel and in Lonergan
The notion of Being is central to Hegel as the beginning of the System and to Lonergan as what first arises in the mind. They both ask: how must the cosmos and human society be structured so that rational existence and flourishing are possible? Hegel claims to show the necessarily interlocking set of conditions. Logos-logic underpins the realms of Nature and Spirit that together limn the space of free individual existents. For Lonergan the notion of Being orients us toward the Whole of the proportionate universe, and toward the Transcendent Cause. Inquiry moves from things present to us in sensation to ever broader explanatory modes of things in relation to one another. Through insight, ways of construing the Whole are formed and reformed. Things, scientific systems, and social systems are not static but are on the move in the universe that has the form of emergent probability.