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NEWMAN'S PSYCHOLOGICAL DISCOVERY: THE ILLATIVE SENSE V. Newman's Logical and Epistemological Notions In order tobe sure of the meaning Newman attaches to his terms, we have made a careful study of his philosophical works and all lhose passages in his other books which throw light on his philosophical theories. Every text that could contribute to abetter understanding was noted down for ourselves . In this way a determination was made of the number and kind of notions to be dealt with. Because it will be rather difficult to explain his original terminology without comparing it with other philosophies, we often refer to definitions used in scholastic philosophy. This does not imply, however, that we intend to give criticisms while making our comparisons. 1. Introduction. The Notion of Philosophy Whenever Newman gives a definition one is struck by his broad-mindedness in the literal sense of the word. His genius enabled him to express the contents of his ideas in a few effective words, which represent a complete world of thought, an extensive landscape, showing itself unexpectedly at a turn ofourway;it is impossible to recognize every object; color and shade in the panorama but nevertheless it makes us admire and enjoy the things we see. This in particular is true of Newman' s notion of philosophy . In truth he makes no exception to the well-known definition: Philosophy is the knowledge of all things in their first causes. But he himself uses the term in a much wider sense. He calls it: system, exercised upon adequate knowledge, ' the science of sciences, 2 the habit of viewing the objects of sense, of throwing them into system, and uniting and 1. Un. Serm. p. 295. 2. Idea p. 51. 207 208THE ILLATIVE SENSE stamping them with one form,3 enlargement or expansion of mind, a wide and comprehensive view of things,4, the perfection or the virtue of the intellect, 5 intellectual culture, liberal knowledge,6 a mapping out of the Universe. 7 From these texts it is apparent that Newman does not deviate far from the common conception. For he considers system as the very soul of philosophy. 8 He holds that this enlargement of mind is not conceivable unless there is "a comparison of ideas with one another, a systematizing of them." For this he requires "a connected view of old and new, past and present, far and near", with "an insight into the influence of all these on one another (without which there is no whole, no center). " He considers the knowledge of the relative position of things to be the soul or formal element of philosophy and, on the other hand, points out the whole universe as its material object. All this implies or supposes the search for last causes in all things. In reading Newman's philosophical works and excerpted passages it will be useful and instructive to remember this. His broad view of philosophy explains how he came to call theology the philosophy of the supernatural world and science the philosophy of the natural. 10 It also shows that he does not agree with Comte although some of his statements, taken from the context, seem to insinuate the same doctrine, viz. philosophy is the science which defines the relations between other sciences. Newman's insisting on system and on uniting the objects of sense and stamping them into one form as the formal element of philosophy has not the exclusiveness implied by Comte' s definition. Where Newman speaks about philosophy in the traditional sense he often uses the term metaphysics. n He therefore says in his Grammar of Assent that it is not his business to determine exactly how it comes about that we can be certain. In attempting this he says, he should have been falling into metaphysics, but his aim was of a practical character; he wanted to confine himself to the truths of things and to the mind's certitude of that truth. 12 3. Ibid., p. 75. 4. Un. Semi. p. 282. 5. Idea p. 125. 6. Ibid., p. 112. 7. ¬°bid., p.113. 8. Un. Serin, p. 295. 9. Idea p. 134. 10. Ibid., p. 431. 11. Gramm, pp. 344...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1945-9718
Print ISSN
0080-5459
Pages
pp. 207-240
Launched on MUSE
2015-07-01
Open Access
No
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