Response to Glenn Hughes, “Ulterior Significance in the Art of Bob Dylan”
This essay—originally a conference response to Glenn Hughes’ essay—explores how themes and notions in Lonergan’s philosophy of art extend in surprising and often unnoticed ways into the larger whole of Lonergan’s thought. By the same token, the broader framework of Lonergan’s philosophy sheds a great deal of interesting light on his philosophy of art. The essay explores this mutual illumination in the context of Hughes’ reflections on “ulterior significance.” For example, it relates Lonergan’s notion of art to his heuristic of human development as an intertwining or interlocking of the organic, psychic, intellectual, and religious levels in human development. It also relates Lonergan’s notion of art, together with his recognition of the centrality of the symbolic in human living, to his treatment of the permanent human needs for liberation from “the ready-made world,” for the sense of the unknown, and for orientation into mystery—even for orientation into ultimate mystery.
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