Publication Date


Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Arvin Vos, Ronald Nash, Robert Roberts

Degree Program

Department of Philosophy & Religion

Degree Type

Master of Arts


A critical explication and comparison of the notion of judgment in the epistemologies of Immanuel Kant and Bernard J. F. Lonergan is developed with a view to exploring the nature and limits of human knowing. The study reveals that Kant is forced to ground his epistemology in immediate intuition and rigid, a priori concepts because he fails to distinguish between mere animal extroversion and rational inquiry, and because he overlooks the role of the virtually unconditioned. He therefore relegates to judgment a merely mechanical function limited in its scope exclusively to empirical employment. He is furthermore forced (because of his oversights) to the drastic distinction between phenomena and noumena, with all knowledge being restricted to phenomena. In contrast to Kant, Lonergan's epistemology is found to be far more promising. His explication of the virtually unconditioned as the sole grounds for judgment gives full rein to our desire to know and his critical distinction between mere extroversion and rational inquiry enables us to maintain a significant meaning to the notion of objectivity. Loneraan's account imposes no restrictive limits to the range of our knowing while yet being able to account for all its various dynamics and departments.


Arts and Humanities | Philosophy | Philosophy of Mind