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UBC Theses and Dissertations

An exploration and expansion of Bernard Lonergan’s intentionalty [sic] analysis for educational philosophy Gaetz, Ivan


This study consists of an exploration and expansion of Bernard Lonergan's intentionality analysis into the field of educational philosophy. It contends that Lonergan's account of the structure and operations of human consciousness directed toward human experience, understanding, judgment and decision offers a mode of understanding a range of key topics in the field of secular education and educational philosophy. Moreover, the integrative nature of Lonergan's intentionality analysis provides a means of systematically ordering issues in educational philosophy related to human cognitive and existential development. Following a discussion of the key terms: education; philosophy; intentionality; knowledge; and consciousness; the first chapter contextualizes the study in reference to educational philosophy and to Lonergan Studies. Chapter two explores Lonergan's intentionality analysis as it occurs throughout his writings, but especially his principal philosophical text, Insight: A Study of Human Understanding. Lonergan's lectures on various topics in education and educational philosophy are discussed in chapter three, with the interpretive framework being his intentionality analysis. An expansion unfolds in chapter four where the structure and process of human intentionality are shown to inform educational issues related to the centrality and quality of human experience. These issues include the desire to know, the sense of wonder, the raising of questions, and the creative dimensions of imagination. Further issues emerge on the level of intelligence, including the notion of the self-correcting process of learning These dimensions of human intentionality then lead to an extensive account of the elements and processes of general human development. The expansion continues in chapter five concerning metaphysics and ethics. Educational topics pertinent to this dimension of his analysis include critical thinking, self-knowledge and humanness, human authenticity, wisdom as practical reasoning, the emergence of a worldview, certain social implications, and the ethical and moral ramifications of this account of intentionality. The study concludes with some criticisms and assessments, and finds, overall, in Lonergan's intentionality analysis a relatively systematic and comprehensive framework in which to understand and order key elements of educational philosophy.

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