Home > Course descriptions

Insight: structure of human knowledge

Fil 109Insight: structure of human knowledge

Class hours: 21

Credits (ECTS): 3

LM-OTSpecialization in Philosophy

Year: 1st–2nd

Term: 4th

Course held in Italian

In Insight, Bernard Lonergan invites the reader to explore his or her cognitional structure through self-appropriation. According to Lonergan, each person can discover for his or herself a unifying invariant within that structure that is the ground of a transcendental method that allows us to know the real. In this course, each participant will be invited to explore his or her cognitional structure with the purpose of conceiving and affirming the existence of such an invariant within oneself and in so doing lay the foundation of a metaphysics based on this transcendental method. The self-appropriating process is an empirical method that

  1. discovers in the diverse cognitional acts the source of human understanding;
  2. treats the cognitional acts as the content of the same acts;
  3. recognizes and confirms these acts in themselves;
  4. establishes transcendental method as a unifying source of all other methods used in human knowing;
  5. grasps a Trinitarian method implicit in transcendental method.

Bibliographical references:

  • LONERGAN B.J.F., Insight. Uno studio del comprendere umano, Roma 2007.
  • ID., Understanding and Being: An Introduction and Companion to Insight, New York 1980.
  • ID., Il Metodo in Teologia (First chapter), Roma 2001.
  • ID., Cognitional Structure, in Id., Collection 1, London 1968.
  • ID., The Ontological and Psychological Constitution of Christ, Toronto 2001.
  • CODA P., The unity of reciprocal love: the charism of Chiara Lubich and the theology of Klaus Hemmerle, in “International Journal of Philosophy and Theology”, Vol. 78 (2017/1-2): pp. 155-171.
  • CROWE F.E., Bernard J.F. Lonergan. Progresso e tappe del suo pensiero, Roma 1995.
  • MEYNELL H.A., Bernard Lonergan, Cinisello Balsamo (MI) 1994.
  • ID., An Introduction to the Philosophy of Bernard Lonergan, London 1976.
  • FITZPATRICK J., Bernard Lonergan. Educationist and philosopher, Boston 2002.
  • FINAMORE R. (Ed.), Lonergan. Realismo e metodo. La riflessione epistemologica di Bernard Lonergan, Roma 2014.
  • GILBERT P. – NATALINO S. (Edd.), Il teologo e la storia. Lonergan’s centenary (1904-2004), Roma 2006.
  • VOEGELIN E., The New Science of Politics, (Chicago, U. Press, 1954) quoting Hobbes, The Leviathan, Chap xxvi, 174.
  • ID., Science, Politics and Gnosticism, Chicago 1968.
  • ARISTOTELE, L’etica Nicomachea, Milano 2008.
  • AUGUSTINE, De Trinitate.

Professor Paul O’Hara

Before applying to Sophia



First of all, explore the courses of the various Master’s and Doctoral Degree programmes offered by Sophia University Institute  [continue]



Once a possible study path at Sophia has been identified, verify the application requirements and begin the enrolment process to receive feedback [continue]



Verify the academic fees to register for courses [continue]



Together with the Foundation “For Sophia”, the University provides financial aid and merit-based scholarships [continue]

Academic life

The Sophia University Institute is a centre for academic formation and research, where there is interaction between life and thought, as well as among the different cultures and disciplines, in a context with a strong relational structure. It is not a university in the classical sense of adjacent departments, but rather as a laboratory for interdisciplinary and intercultural experimentation. It thus provides a leading-edge experience on the frontier of excellence at the service of humanity and cultural development.


The Registrar’s Office provides administrative services for enrolment, course registration and certification of academic records [continue]


New students are welcomed in a familiar and stimulating environment, accompanied step by step by the staff and tutors of the academic community


Sophia is an academic community that combines life and study with students from all over the world, so students are offered the possibility of living on campus to share their experience with others [continue]


Sophia offers an extraordinary education and life experience that has already proven its worth in the professional and academic careers of former students [continue]