A CRITICAL AP·PRAISAL OF BERNARD LONERGAN'S NOTION OF JUDGMENT AS A RESPONSE TO THE CRITICAL PROBLEM

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This project sets out to explore the core of the critical problem. The critical problem is
the epistemological question concerning the objectivity and subjectivity of human
knowing. The question raised is whether man is capable of cognitive selftranscendence,
i.e., to go beyond himself as a subject and to know the object as it is in
itself. The critical problem is mainly concerned with the extent, limits, value or
validity of knowledge. The study highlights the philosophical debates since ancient
Greece to modern times and the manner in which different perspectives have shaped
the debate. It particularly examines Lonergan's treatment of the problem. From the
study, it emerges that philosophers have emphasized either the subject or the object
leading to objectivism or subjectivism, extremes that deny the human mind the ability
to constructively know the truth.
The research seeks to propose a comprehensive solution in the exploration of the
nature of judgment as a response to the critical problem since it is in judgment that
knowledge comes to finality. For one to claim that knowledge is exclusively
subjective or objective or both objective and subjective requires that one arrives at a
judgment. The study therefore, attempts to explore the way/ in which an understanding
of judgment will possibly lead to a plausible solution from the theoretical perspective
of critical realism. In critical realism, the objective existence of reality is affirmed by
the need to rationally ground the existence of the object. This facilitates the
elucidation of the subject object relationship from a rational framework. The study
employs a descriptive, analytical, critical and evaluative method in explaining the
process of human consciousness and how depending on the approach one adopts,
he/she arrives at either subjectivity or objectivity of knowledge.
In the process, the study establishes that philosophers such as Immanuel Kant and
Franz Brentano who have extensively explored the nature of judgment fell short of
corning to a positive solution given their time and social-cultural environment.

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