Insight: A Study of Human Understanding [Signed]
London: Longmans, Green & Co., 1958. Revised edition. Octavo. Original cloth boards and dust jacket (not price-clipped). Foxing and toning to endpapers and pastedowns; foxing, spotting, and rubbing to dust jacket with edgewear, particularly at jacket folds and along head and foot; sunning to spine; small ink inscription to front pastedown; general wear to dust jacket. Signed by Bernard Lonergan on the front free endpaper with message: “Bernard Lonergan S.J. / The fundamental principle is […] conversion / eg. P. xxii, f. ‘The hard fact is…’” Very good in good-plus dust jacket. Scarce with Lonergan’s signature and personal annotation. Item #77
Bernard Lonergan’s (1904–1984) masterpiece, Insight: A Study of Human Understanding, with Lonergan’s rare personal signature and inscription to front free endpaper. Lonergan’s Insight was born out of the success of a 1945 lecture that he gave at the Thomas More Institute in Montreal entitled “Thought and Reality.” In the following years he wrote Insight in order to inaugurate what he called the “generalized empirical method” (GEM), through which he sought to clarify what occurs in any discipline—science, mathematics, literature, art, philosophy, theology, historiography, etc.—when the mind’s methods of understanding are applied to various fields and disciplines. Lonergan understood human understanding as dividing into three levels—that of experience, understanding, and judgment. To account for disciplines that deal with human beings as the makers of meaning and value, Lonergan generalized the notion of data to include the data of consciousness itself in addition to the data of sense. From that compound, one may move through hypothesis to verification of the operations by which human beings understand what is meaningful and valuable. Ultimately, Lonergan developed a Thomistic vision of Being as the end goal of a dynamic and open-ended human spirit. Daunting in its erudition and scope, scholars throughout the world continue to analyze Lonergan’s Insight and unravel its revolutionary principles and implications. In addition to annual conferences, workshops, and seminars devoted to Lonergan’s thought, Boston College established the Lonergan Institute to specialize in the study of his scholarship. Considered by many to be one of the most important philosophical works of the twentieth century, Insight stands as a towering achievement across multiple fields and disciplines. This copy has been signed by Lonergan with a personal inscription that appears to elucidate the book’s text, suggesting Lonergan might have personally owned or used this book at one time. The book is signed to the front free endpaper: “Bernard Lonergan S.J. / The fundamental principle is […] conversion / eg. P. xxii, f. ‘The hard fact is…’” Lonergan’s inscription appears to reference to pg. xxii of this edition of Insight, which includes a sentence commencing, “The hard fact is…” Lonergan signatures are uncommon, especially attached to his magnum opus, Insight.