II. Introduction

There is then a rock on which one can build.1CWL14, 19.

Journeyism reveals how academic institutions2The expression, ‘academic institutions’ denotes post-secondary levels of education. Subsequently, ‘academy’ and ‘university’ and ‘post-secondary’ are used interchangeably throughout the book. can create sustainable conditions for human dignity for everyone in the long-term. With many seemingly hopeless and discouraging challenges during these times, we reach out with optimism and encouragement.3There is our use of the expression “we.” We do not mean this in the old-fashioned sense as though the author(s) know what readers are thinking. It is just that we are two co-authors, and so we invite you, the reader, to join us in various observations and reflections.

Futurology and Global Possibility

Futurology is the type of inquiry that asks in a serious fashion what is to be done towards the long-term.4Benton et al., ICT, 196.

How can something so remote as the attainment of sustainable conditions for human dignity be possible?5A startling glimpse of how and when those conditions would ‘come about’ culminates in “The ‘Sum Effect’ of Intellectual Maturity for ‘a very livable life’” in Journeyism 26 and is visualized in Fig. 27.2. ‘Humanity’s Timeline.’. For a fresh take on the core meaning of human dignity, see Bernard Lonergan, “Respect for Human Dignity,” Shorter Papers, Collected Works of Bernard Lonergan, vol. 20, eds. Robert Croken, Robert M. Doran and H. Daniel Monsour (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2007), 121–127.  (Hereafter cited as CWL20.) The expression, ‘come about,’ will take on a fundamental significance in our later chapters. We are referring to a remote future possibility identified by Lonergan: “So it comes about that the extroverted subject visualizing extension and experiencing duration gives place to the subject orientated to the objective of the unrestricted desire to know and affirming beings differentiated by certain conjugate potencies, forms, and acts grounding certain laws and frequencies” CWL 3, 537. Remarkably, there exists a concrete way in which this can be accomplished: academic communities worldwide have the potential to collaborate effectively toward global progress.

We need to make a start, aligned with the hidden decency in all, so that the decency be sifted and lifted out of past conventions.6Philip McShane, Futurology Express (Vancouver: Axial Publishing), 12. (Hereafter cited as FE.)

Our “hidden decency,”7Its presence in you, drawn from personal experience, is the subject of two core exercises: Journeyism 9 and 10 and Journeyism 15 and 16. is the “rock on which one can build.”8CWL14, 19. We note the parallel between McShane’s view on core “hidden decency” and Lonergan’s view on core “human dignity.” See n. 5. It is the intelligent capacity-for-performance of your best self,9It will gradually become apparent that our native wonder, “orientated to the objective of the unrestricted desire to know,” is “open to a fresh perspective on the … solution to the problem of living that is the human being” ICT, 188. briefly identified by Aristotle as our native wonder:

All men [and women] by nature desire to know.10Aristotle, Metaphysics, trans. W. D. Ross (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1925; Internet Classics Archive, n.d.), bk. 1, http://classics.mit.edu/Aristotle/metaphysics1.1.html. (Hereafter cited as Aristotle, Metaphysics, bk. 1.)

Is your wondering a desire to understand, or to have the facts of some matter, or to reach a plan for a day, or for a life?

Your own thinking process, the desire identified by Aristotle, is the heart of what matters. To come to it, or at it, critically, is enormously difficult in any age, but it seems altogether more difficult at the beginning of this millennium.11ICT, 216. “Never has adequately differentiated consciousness been more difficult to achieve. Never has the need to speak effectively to undifferentiated consciousness been greaterCWL14, 99.

Might we have you wondering, “What is all the fuss about ‘native wonder’ and ‘your own thinking process’”? And by wondering about that here, now, is it not evident straight away that the expression, “desire to understand,” means more than casually skimming along for information?

Might you be wondering about global instability and its impact on your life and on future generations? Hold that thought, or significantly, that question. In these difficult times, we believe those concerns extend to many international scholars and scientists wondering how to go about “clearing the air for the heirs.”12Philip McShane, Profit: The Stupid View of President Donald Trump (Vancouver: Axial Publishing, 2016), 217. (Hereafter cited as Profit.)

There are windows to be opened and fresh air to be let in.13Bernard Lonergan, A Third Collection. Collected Works of Bernard Lonergan, vol. 16, eds. Robert M. Doran and John D. Dadosky (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2017), 98. (Hereafter cited as CWL16.)

The point is (and we hope you have started to puzzle over how) you can begin “clearing the air” by focusing on yourself in that state of wonder.14“We expect that this [focus] will become increasingly accessible to younger students as this [millennium] moves on. Our expectation is grounded in what [Philip] McShane calls The Childout Principle: When teaching children geometry, one is teaching children children. This is normative not merely for geometry, but for any topic … the repetition of ‘children’ is not a mistake … [and] the word geometry can be replaced with any topic, and children can be replaced with teenagers, adults, teachers, and so on … the principle intimates a task of teaching that goes forward in such a way as to introduce [all learners] to … their thinking selves” (Benton et al., ICT, i). This strategy has been available,15We are referring to the collective intellectual labour of Bernard Lonergan (1904–1984) and Philip McShane (1932–2020), whose achievement over the past seventy years has been widely overlooked by the academy. but neglected, for over half a century.16See “The Neglected Subject,” and “The Truncated Subject,” in Bernard Lonergan, The Subject (Milwaukee: Milwaukee University Press, 1968), 2–18. (Hereafter cited as The Subject.) Also, Bernard Lonergan, A Second Collection, Collected Works of Bernard Lonergan, vol. 13, eds. Robert M. Doran, and John D. Dadosky (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2016), 60–65. (Hereafter cited as CWL13.) It is important that we put our heads together to make a few elementary, but critical, discoveries about it, and eventually, begin to “sift” and “lift” that desire effectively, in opposition to

the dominant ethos of military-industrial-educational alliances of all colours with a mindless cluster of economic oversights, alliances that keep some of us hungry, some of us pampered, and all of us busy and ignorant.17McShane, FE, 114.

Futurology and A New Standard Model for the Academy

[T]he method of futurology [is] a cyclic collaboration of groups of people deeply interested in effectively restructuring humanity’s stumbling start.18McShane, Profit, 8.

Imagine academic communities, organized into focused ‘situation rooms’19Philip McShane elevates the symbol, ‘situation room,’ “to heights of future human achievement and aspiration…a powerful imaging of the future dynamics of humanity’s journeying” McShane, Profit, 91–92. whose collective purpose is to meet all manner of practical and cultural needs in neighbourhoods, towns and cities everywhere.

Imagine within each ‘situation room’ a strategic assembly of competent frontline scholars and scientists, creatively labouring in their respective fields, collaborating with each other as well as their peers around the globe.

In 1965, Canadian philosopher Bernard Lonergan discovered the concrete possibility of restructuring the academy based on a coherent division of labour.20See Lambert et al., Lonergan: His Life, 163. Implementation of his discovery has yet to find mainstream traction.21The absence of coherent restructuring can be discerned in today’s academic routines. Those routines are inadvertently “lost in some no man’s land between the world of theory and the world of common sense” Bernard Lonergan “Time and Meaning,” Philosophical and Theological Papers, 1958–1964, Collected Works of Bernard Lonergan, vol. 6, eds. Robert Croken, Frederick E. Crowe, and Robert M. Doran (University of Toronto Press, 1996), 121. (Hereafter cited as CWL6.) Consequently, “too many people felt it beneath them to direct their efforts to apparently trifling problems” CWL3, 27. The resulting ethos “[has] done not a little to make life unlivable” Bernard Lonergan, Topics in Education. Collected Works of Bernard Lonergan, vol. 10, eds. Robert M. Doran, Frederick Crowe (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1993), 232. (Hereafter cited as CWL10.)

It asks merely for creativity, for an interdisciplinary theory that at first will be denounced as absurd, then will be admitted to be true but obvious and insignificant, and perhaps finally to be regarded as so important that its adversaries will claim that they themselves discovered it.22Bernard Lonergan, Microeconomic Dynamics: An Essay in Circulation Analysis, Collected Works of Bernard Lonergan, vol. 15, eds. Lawrence, Frederick G., Patrick H. Byrne, and Charles C. Hefling, Jr.(Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1999), 106. (Hereafter cited as CWL15.)

Journeyism introduces key elements of this “effective science of the future, a globally-effective futurology,”23McShane, FE, 6. with “the eventual emergence of new standards of competence.”24Terrance Quinn Invitation to Generalized Empirical Method in Philosophy and Science (Singapore: World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., 2017), xxviii. (Hereafter cited as Quinn, GEMPS.)

The need for, and pressure towards, that division of labour will become evident as we move forward in the new millennium … it requires only that one be trapped into respectable performance, much as chemists after the 1860s were trapped into the Periodic Table.25Philip McShane, A Brief History of Tongue: From Big Bang to Coloured Wholes (Halifax: Axial Press, 1998), 115. (Hereafter cited as BHT.)

Futurology and A New Standard Model for the Economy

An economy is just part of ongoing human history. Within that process we are born and raised. By our common sense we find our place in it and work out for ourselves our sad or happy lives and thereby make sad or happy the lives of others.26CWL15, 93.

And yet,

there never was a serious economic science, a serious political economy, but in more recent times there has been an arrogant self-serving cover-up of its absence.27McShane, FE, 5.

The absence of a serious economic science, a serious political economy and its consequences has drawn the attention of youth worldwide as reported by The World Economic Forum, an international publication “committed to improving the state of the world.”28“The World Economic Forum is an independent international organization committed to improving the state of the world.” See Our Impact, World Economic Forum, www.weforum.org/our-impact.

In 2013, Telefónica in partnership with the Financial Times commissioned a survey of young people aged 18-30 across 27 countries in six regions. The survey … found, at the time of polling, the economy was the biggest concern for young people in North America, Europe and Asia. Meanwhile in the Middle East and Africa, the most pressing issue was terrorism, and in Latin America it was social inequality.29R, Hutt, “What do young people value?” World Economic Forum, January 2016, accessed 08-31-2017, https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2016/01/what-do-young-people-value/

That absence and its consequences continues to dominate our lives.30The effect of these conditions is further magnified in the public eye during a global catastrophe such as a pandemic. The World Health Organization (WHO) declared the 2019 outbreak of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV), officially named SARS- CoV-2, a global health emergency. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/cdcresponse/about-COVID-19.html. The United Nations publication, Sustainable Development Goals,

addressing the complex challenges facing young people today targets its goals: poverty, hunger, good health and well-being, quality education, gender equality, clean water and sanitation, affordable and clean energy, decent work and economic growth, industry innovation and infrastructure, reduced inequalities,31The United Nations’ goal of someway achieving “reduced inequalities,” as opposed to a concrete plan to overcoming them entirely, underscores the enduring effect of “long-term helplessness” to which we refer in the concluding quote. sustainable cities and communities, responsible consumption and production, climate action, life below water, life on land, peace, justice and strong institutions and partnerships for the goals.32Sustainable Development Goals, United Nations, accessed 09-10-2020, https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/blog/2019/02/world-youth-report.

Our initial response to that absence and its consequences is a companion book, Economics Actually,33T. Quinn and J. Benton, Economics Actually. Today and Tomorrow. Sustainable and Inclusive (Toronto: Island House Press, 2019) (Hereafter cited as EA.) an elementary two-part introduction to Lonergan’s other great discovery, the science of economics.34Bernard Lonergan, For a New Political Economy, ed. Philip McShane, Collected Works of Bernard Lonergan, vol. 21 (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1998). (Hereafter cited as CWL21.) His discovery meets the need for a new standard model in the economy.

All the same, a new standard model for the academy will be needed to furnish a foundation by which that economic science will be implemented responsibly “towards a fresh normative interpretation both of the flow of one’s own life and the flow of the economy.”35McShane, FE, 102.

[T]he issue [we] raise here is the global possibility of shifting solidly and effectively from long-term helplessness to a massively new control of meaning that will take control of the globe away from the tyrants and touts and tricksters and gun-toters that are too evidently in charge.36McShane, FE, 4.

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1 Comment

  1. hazzang825 on July 15, 2019 at 5:21 am

    This webpage is full of interesting things.
    I really do believe that it will bring change to the world.
    I always wondered about how I learn because I know that the world is changing and the scattered knowledge could be integrated into wisdom.
    Thank you for letting me see it clearer.

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