Effective Dialectical Analysis


  • James Duffy Instituto Tecnolico de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey
  • Alexandra Gillis Simon Fraser University
  • Robert Henman Mount St. Vincent University
  • Terrance Quinn Middle Tennessee State University
  • William Zanardi St. Edward's University


The common description of science as ‘an organized body of knowledge’ possesses more than merely metaphorical significance. Like any self-organizing body—be it a tadpole, a giraffe fetus, an animal species, or humanity in its space-time solidarity—science develops. It develops through cumulative discoveries, especially significant discoveries, which often enough involve “a series of emergent leaps from the logic of one position to the logic of the next.” The displacement of one logic by another raises the question of method. Is there a logic of leaping?

Author Biographies

James Duffy, Instituto Tecnolico de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey

Professor James Duffy currently resides in Morelia, Michoac, Mico, where he teaches undergraduates in the Instituto Tecnolico de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey, Campus Morelia,and doctoral students in education in the Universidad Nova Spania.He holds a Ph.D. in Philosophy from Fordham University.

Alexandra Gillis, Simon Fraser University

Alexandra Gillis has been deeply involved in the work of Bernard Lonergan for twenty-three years. She has written Thinking Woman (2006) and is co-author, with John Benton and Philip McShane, of Introducing Critical Thinking (2005). She currently works as a secondary school teacher in Vancouver, BC.

Robert Henman, Mount St. Vincent University

Lecturer in Peace Studies, Ethics and Philosophy at Mount St. Vincent University, Halifax, Canada. Published books, The Child as Quest, (1984) University Press of America and Global Collaboration: Neuroscience as Paradigmatic (2016) Axial Publishing, BC. A reorientation of Education and the Social Sciences: Transitioning to towards a Positive Anthropocene, on Amazon.com and ca May 2019.

Terrance Quinn, Middle Tennessee State University

Quinn was born in Montréal (b. 1962). During his undergraduate studies in mathematics, he was inspired by, among others, Emil Stamm (University of Toronto), a teacher and mentor. Quinn completed his undergraduate studies at Dalhousie University, Halifax (1987, Sir William Young Gold Medal for Mathematics).

Quinn's MSc (1988, advisor Ian Putnam) and PhD (1992, advisor Heydar Radjavi) were in operator theory (an area of mathematics that emerged from quantum mechanics). Quinn’s three post-doctoral years were at Trinity College Dublin (1992-93) and then University College Cork (1993-1995). A formative experience was a year-long seminar (1992-1993) in group structure of gauge theories, given by Lochlainn O’Raifeartaigh (b. 1933 - d. 2000) at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Dublin.

Later, as a faculty member (USA, 1995ff), Quinn published in mathematics, applications of mathematics and mathematics pedagogy. Increasingly drawing on and being helped by the works of Bernard Lonergan (b. 1904 - d.1984) and Philip McShane (b. 1932), his publications shifted to philosophy of science, foundations, and economics.

Much of Quinn's work (including, for instance, this website initiative with John Benton) is now toward understanding and promoting Lonergan’s three major achievements: “generalized empirical method”; “functional specialization” (a normative eightfold collaborative division of labor that will “overcome or, at least, counter-balance the endless divisions of field specialization” (Lonergan, Method, 126)); and Lonergan’s discovery of the science of economics, a much-needed basis from which to address today’s social, economic and ecological crises.

William Zanardi, St. Edward's University

After retiring from teaching for over forty years at St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas, William J. Zanardi is continuing to write articles and books about functional specialization. A six-volume co-authored series on the third and fourth specialties contains multiple experiments in testing their worth in diagnosing and evading contemporary intellectual impasses. The most recent volumes are The Education of Liberty: Fantasies about the FutureComparing Philosophical Methods: A Way Forward (with R.G. Aaron Mundine and Clayton Shoppa) and Rescuing Ethics from Philosophers.