The philosophic thought of Bernard Lonergan often ran contrary to that of his contemporaries in the dominant analytical school. In Philosophical Encounters, Joseph Fitzpatrick delves behind the concepts and terms both Lonergan and the analytical school employed and shared in order to map out clearly where they agreed and where they differed, and indicates where fruitful possibilities exist for dialogue. Fitzpatrick's approach is unique as he sets up direct confrontations - or encounters - between representative authors from the analytical tradition and topics or themes from Lonergan's extensive philosophical corpus. The result is a spirited battle of ideas. There is also a surprising level of agreement, as with, for example, Lonergan and Ludwig Wittgenstein, where both depart from the philosophical pathway marked out by Descartes. Philosophical Encounters defends Lonergan from the kind of attacks typically made against his position and conveys something of the deep influences on Lonergan's mind that help to account for its distinctiveness.
Including a very helpful glossary of key terms, this book will be useful not only to those wishing to familiarize themselves with Lonergan's thought but also those wishing to develop an acquaintance with some of the leading lights of the analytical tradition, including Wittgenstein and Bertrand Russell.
Joseph Fitzpatrick is an independent education consultant and school inspector living in West Yorkshire, England.