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DESIRE AND THE ORIGINS OF CULTURE: LONERGAN AND GIRARD IN CONVERSATION

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Abstract

This paper explores differing accounts of the nature of desire, found in the works of Bernard Lonergan and René Girard, and their implications for our understanding of the origins or socio-cultural order. Using Lonergan's distinction between natural and elicited desires it argues that Girard's account of desire as mimetic may account for elicited desire, but may not account for natural desire, in Lonergan's account, as desire for meaning, truth and goodness. It then considers the implications for this distinction in our understanding of our socio-cultural origins.

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