Reaching for Collaboration in Insight (and Beyond)

Terry Quinn


There were two early incomplete attempts to think out practical philosophies in culture. About 2,400 year ago, Plato posed the problem of working out the finest implementable philosophy for culture’s progress. Later, there were Aristotle’s musings: “We must first inquire of what character is a branch. To speak concisely, then, it would seem to be a branch of nothing else than statescraft ”(Aristotle, Magna Moralia). More recently, there were Lonergan’s reachings in Insight - and his beginnings, there, identifying “aspects” of a solution that he named cosmopolis. As pointed to in Insight, the problem is in all disciplines. In this paper, the reader is invited to enter some ways into the science of biology. This concrete context helps further bring out the need for cosmopolis. In Chapter 20 of Insight, Lonergan indicates the need of new kind of collaboration, but “not something altogether new” (Insight, 266). The reaching in Insight brings the question of cosmopolis to a head. This paper ends with a brief mention of Lonergan’s later 1965 breakthrough to a solution which is to be an empirically grounded eightfold collaboration.



collaboration, cosmopolis, progress, decline, biology, insight.

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