Bretz, Michael (2002). Emergent Probability – Lonergan’s Genetic Model of Knowledge Growth, Development and Decline, InterJournal of the New England Complex Systems Institute #531. An intriguing heuristic model of development, decline, and change conceived by Bernard J.F. Lonergan was laid out in a manner now recognizable as representing an early model of complexity. This report is a first effort toward eventually translating that qualitative vision, designated Emergent Probability, into a viable network computer program. In his study of human understanding, Lonergan saw the task of constructing a cohesive body of explanatory knowledge as a convoluted building process of schemes of recurrence that act as foundational elements to further growth. Although BL’s kernal recurrent scheme was composed of the cognitional dynamics surrounding Insight, other examples abound in nature: resource cycles, motor skills, biological routines, autocatalytic processes, etc. The corresponding growing generic World Process can alternatively be thought of as chemical, environmental, evolutionary, social, organizational, economical, psychological, or ethical, and its generality might be of particular interest to complex systems researchers.
See also p. 32 New England Complex Systems Institute An intriguing heuristic model of knowledge growth and structural change was conceived many decades ago by Lonergan (Insight, 1953) who successfully disentangled the dynamic elements surrounding the scientific intellectual process and modeled how explanatory knowledge is generated. He extended this model to knowledge growth itself and to the dynamics underlying all development – be it chemical, evolutionary, historical, environmental, economical, psychological, organizational or ethical. Lonergan characterized generic growth as the successive appearance of conditioned Recurrent Schemes(RS), each of which come into existence probabilistically once all required prior conditions (selected earlier schemes) are in place. When formed, a new dynamic recurrent scheme becomes locked into long term stability (some examples of RS networks are resource cycles, motor skills and habits). He envisioned the overall concrete growth process of recurrent schemes to be highly dynamic, convoluted, non-linear and genetic in form, so appropriately designated it “Emergent Probability” (EP). Although developed qualitatively, EP constitutes a complex dynamic system that is ripe for computer exploration. In this talk I will present first results from a MATLAB toy model for state space growth and evolution of EP as simulated by a scale-free, directed growing network (nodes as RS?s, links as conditions). The appearance of RS clusters and their interplay with each other, competition for scare resources, and dependence of clusters on the underlying ecological situation will be emphasized. Aspects of EP appear to have been reinvented as key elements in present day hypercycle, neuronal group and bioinformatics models, making EP a potential vantage point for unification between, and fertilization among, the disparate calculational approaches and interdisciplinary fields (as mentioned above). Lonergan’s stated global EP features extend beyond the properties usually attributed to complex genetic systems, so central questions must be addressed in the further study of Emergent Probability.
Professor Bretz of the Department of Physics University of Michigan, is presently performing computer network simulations of generalized developmental processes. The study is grounded in the heuristic model of human understanding and explanatory knowledge growth as presented by Bernard Lonergan (Insight, 1953), making it interdisciplinary in scope and significance. Professor Bretz’s directed, scale-free, evolving network simulations of generalized development, decline, and change reveal the onset and acceleration of complexity, the advancement from generic indeterminacy to ready routines, and the upwardly directed integration and dynamism inherent in developing systems.
Byrne, Patrick (2004) The dialogue between science and religion: what we have learned from each other. University of Scranton Press, 261 pp.
Byrne, Patrick (2003) Ecology, Economy And Redemption As Dynamic: The Contributions Of Jane Jacobs And Bernard Lonergan. World Views: Environment, Culture, Religion 7: 1-2 5-26. Both thinkers have argued that the same dynamic principles that govern the functioning of natural ecologies are also to be found when human social and economic systems function well, but are absent when human systems go wrong. Both have argued that the violation of principles that pertain to natural ecologies is destructive not only of the natural environment, but of communal and economic well-being as well.
Connor, James on Leadership and method. Woodstock Theological Center. How, therefore, does the “human” (whether community or individual) “work?” That is the central question that Lonergan addresses. He calls it “method.” And the deepest-level method he develops, he calls “transcendental” method, because it underlies all other methods (e.g., natural science, social science, humanities, theology, etc.). Lonergan is concerned to study the deepest-level operational structure or human method precisely because he wants to help the Church and Church leaders to live and serve as well as possible in the modern world.
Dalton, Anne Marie (1996)Thomas Berry’s Religious Ecology in the Light of Bernard Lonergan’s Theory of Emergent Probability. Ann Arbor, Michigan: University Microfilms International.
Dalton, Anne-Marie (1999) A theology for the earth : the contributions of Thomas Berry and Bernard Lonergan. University of Ottawa Press, 1999.
Haught, John () Nature and Purpose, The Cosmic Adventure, Nature and Propose in Religion-online.org.
Heelan, Patrick () Husserl, Lonergan, and Paradoxes of Measurement. Journal of Macrodynamic Analysis. 3 (2003): 76-96.
Marcum, James (2007) Holistic Rationality and a Complement Model for Natural Sciences and Christian Theology Interaction. Revista de Estudos da Religião – REVER. Año 7, pp. 59-82.
McKinney, Ronald H., S.J. “Beyond Objectivism and Relativism: Lonergan Versus Bohm.” The Modern Schoolman 64, no.2 (January, 1987): 97-110.
Novak, Michael (2004) Memories of Bernard Lonergan. Let me pause to point out here that neither Aquinas nor Lonergan was imagining that there is a two-tier world, nature below like the cake and grace on top of it like the icing, or anything like that. On the contrary, both imagined that there is in reality and history only one world, all of it conceived and created in, by, and through the Divine Word, Verbum, Logos, and all of it redeemed by Him. The theory of grace and nature is a theoretical construct, designed to make sense of human experience both among those, like Aristotle, who knew nothing of the Verbum, and those like St. Augustine, who did know and wrote especially well both about the fall of human beings into sin and their need for healing. Fallen man is like an athlete who breaks his ankle: It needs to heal before he walks again-and he is always in greater danger of reinjuring himself than he had been before he broke it. The theoretical construct of grace and nature should not be reified in such a way as to lead us to imagine two separate realities, nature here, grace “up there.” As Georges Bernanos wrote, and Yeats suggested, “Everything is grace,” and yet grace works in and through nature, which it penetrates as yeast penetrates dough.
Ogilvie, Matthew (2006) New Evolutionary theory and Catholic Theology. Australian EJournal of Theology.
Russell, Robert. Bridging Science and Religion: Why it Must be Done. The Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences.
Stichwortdatenbank – Keyword-Database A Third Collection Generalized Empirical Method. Scheme: attentive, intelligent, reasonable, responsible. A normative pattern of recurrent and related operations that yield ongoing and cumulative results in natural science, in hermeneutics, in history. Generalized empirical method envisages all data. The natural sciences confine themselves to the data of sense. Hermeneutic and historical studies turn mainly to data that are expressions of meaning. Clinical psychology finds in meanings the symptoms of conflicts between conscious and preconscious or unconscious activities. Generalized empirical method operates on a combination of both the data of sense and the data of consciousness: it does not treat of objects without taking into account the corresponding operations of the subject; it does not treat of the subject’s operations without taking into account the corresponding objects.
Teevan, Donna (2002) Albert Einstein and Bernard Lonergan on Empirical Method. Zygon, Vol 37, Nº 4, 873-890. I present Einstein’s thought on epistemology and the relationship between sense experience and theory. I then turn to Lonergan’s understanding of empirical method in the natural sciences, generalized empirical method and his treatment of Einstein’s work.