Intentionality in Edmund Husserl and Bernard Lonergan

ALTHOUGH THERE is no direct dependence of Bernard Lonergan upon Edmund HusserI in the manner, say, of Husserl himself upon Franz Brentano, there are nonetheless points of similarity and contrast between them. It would be possible to list these matching points singly on their own, such as Epoche and self-appropriation, Erlebnis and consciousness, monad and subject, Anschauung and affirmation. However, besides and beneath these individual points of similarity and contrast, lying as their basis, there is similarity and contrast at the level of the fundamental conceptions of the two philosophers. Husserl and Lonergan share a common problematic: the structure of intentionality. If intentionality is the common problematic where Husserl and Lonergan meet, one might ask if and how various notions of theirs viewed in relation to intentionality are common or divergent. For the sake of comparison-confrontation, one might take the two central notions, Anschauung (intuition) in Husserl and affirmation in Lonergan, and inspect some of the implications they have for the two philosophers. Husserl calls intuition the "principle of all principles for his phenomenology." For his part, Lonergan conceives of affirmation as the culmination of the knowing process. Intuition and affirmation have analogous roles. For Husserl it is through intuition that cognition attains what is real, whereas for Lonergan it is through affirmation. The comparison-confrontation between Husserl and Lonergan can be summed up in terms of the three questions that Lonergan sets up to mark off the range of human knowing. First, what happens when one knows? Secondly, why is doing that knowing? Thirdly, what does one know when he does it? Husserl and Lonergan would seem closest in their approach to answering question one. However, they would part company in their answers to questions two and three, for here intuition and affirmation essentially determine what kind of an answer can be given. This paper will work within the brackets of these three questions
Keywords Catholic Tradition  Contemporary Philosophy  History of Philosophy
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ISBN(s) 0019-0365
DOI 10.5840/ipq197313221
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