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This paper presents a version of a defense of the epistemic significance of insight (as a kind of intuition) in the process of human knowing. The position of Bernard Lonergan (1904-1984) laid out in 'Insight: A Study of Human Understanding' (1957) is discussed. The relations between insight and the basic cognitional activities are analyzed. The analysis answers the question of the epistemic functions of insight in the process of acquiring knowledge. Insight accompanies all cognitional activities. In particular, it is essential in those activities that are crucial from the point of view of knowledge generation and evaluation. The way that insight functions as a component of central cognitional activities - for example in generalization and justification - allows us to argue that it is an essential and indispensable element of knowing. The paper consists of six sections: 1. Preliminary remarks; 2. The cognitional process as the object of study for cognitional theory; 3. The notion of insight and its properties; 4. The dynamic structure of knowing; 5. Functions of insight in the cognitional process - (a) the level of experience (b) the level of intelligence (c) the level of judgment. 6. Final remarks.
The paper introduces the work of B. F. Lonergan, a Canadian philosopher and theologian, who is almost unknown in Slovak philosophical context. The paper covers basic elements and sources, which are necessary for the research on Loneragan's work. Because the Lonergan's texts are new for our philosophical community, we are facing the problem of how to translate some of the key terms of his philosophy (e.g. insight). In its second part, the paper shows basic principles of the transcendental method in philosophy. There is a specific tradition that Lonergan is part of - transcendental Thomism (its representatives are among others Marechal, Muck, Coreth), which, accepting the classical principles of Thomistic philosophy, responses to Kantian philosophy. The analysis of success of the transcendental method in philosophy is valuable and helps us to understand the developments of modern philosophy.
The density of talent (creativity) in an ethnic group or population is calculated in various ways by scholars. Some of them estimate it to be 0.025% or 1-2-3-4-5-6-8-8.3% of the total population; others put it as high as 10-15-16-20-30-50%. All this means that research about creativity has not yet reached a consensus. According to the author, the density of creative persons in a given population does not reveal the assumed 'normal distribution' accepted by most scholars. The distribution of talent pursues a totally different distributional pattern, one discovered by Pareto, an asymmetric, logarithmic (or lognormal) distribution known today as the 'Zipf-Pareto principle' (or Zipf-law). It means that the ratio of potentially talented persons is constantly constituted by the square root, = 1/10th of the total population. Assuming that the number of the population or ethnic group is 100%, its 10%, i.e. mathematically speaking the square root or 'geometrical average' will therefore be the ratio of talented persons. In addition to this 10 per cent, there exists an even smaller group of 'super-creative' persons, equalling the square root of this former 10% group (3.16%). The existence of this smaller group is backed up by population genetics. In any case, in European societies authentic culture is acquired in an intelligent way by 10% of the total population, while the relevant information when compared to total information consists in the square root of that per cent. Moreover the symmetrical functioning of both cerebral hemispheres, a necessary and inevitable condition for the manifestation of talent, is present only on 10% of a given population. In addition the clear dominance of the right cerebral hemisphere (the centre of creativity, intuition, vision and emotional life) is also present in 10-12% of a given population.
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