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  • Philosophical Abstracts


What Newman Can Give Catholic Philosophers Today, JOHN F. CROSBY

In this article, the author explains various points of contact between Newman and the Catholic philosophical tradition. He begins with Newman's personalism as it is found in the Grammar of Assent, especially in the distinction between notional and real assent, and in the distinction between formal and informal inference. Then the author proceeds to Newman's personalism as it is found in his teaching on conscience and on doctrinal development. The author then considers Newman as protophenomenologist moral and intellectual virtue in The Idea of a University.

"Real" and "Notional" in Newman's Thought, KEITH BEAUMONT

Newman's constant preoccupation with "connectedness" leads him to explore and to insist upon the importance of the relationship between the "notional" and the "real," and therefore of that between theology and philosophy, on the one hand, and spirituality (in the sense of lived spiritual experience) and morality or ethics, on the other. This paper explores Newman's expression of these ideas, first in his sermons and theological writings, and finally in the more philosophical context of the Grammar of Assent.

The Heart in Newman's Thought, ROBERT E. WOOD

Newman's view of the heart corresponds with the recent Catechism of the Catholic Church. His motto, Cor ad cor loquitur, exhibits his central religious preoccupation. There are three factors involved in religious existence: intellectual apprehension, emotional realization, and moral action. The center, located in the heart, is typically considered secondary: clear conception and moral action are all that is required. For Newman, this is truncated religion, for [End Page 643] religion has its deepest root in the heart. Here is where he considers conscience. Like taste and common sense, it is an intellectual virtue; but unlike the former, it is always emotional. It is a privileged place of relation to God, the Supreme Judge. A peculiar set of emotional matters cluster around this relation. It plays in relation to the work of intellect as theology in relation to devotion. This exhibits an instance of the larger relation between notional and real assent. The latter deals with concrete matters and is a relation of "the whole person." Its aim is to realize what we already accept. That may occur organically through experience, but it can also be invoked meditatively in solitude. Imagination is the chief vehicle of that realization.

St. John Henry Newman, Cardinal Matthew of Aquasparta, and Bl. John Duns Scotus on Knowledge, Assent, Faith, and Non-Evident Truths, TIMOTHY B. NOONE

While working on various medieval philosophers, the author has noticed an affinity between their remarks on the reasonableness of accepting propositions that are not matters of proof and strict deduction and St. John Henry Newman's remarks that we accept unconditionally and rightly everyday ordinary propositions without calibrating them to demonstrable arguments. In particular, Cardinal Matthew of Aquasparta and Blessed John Duns Scotus both claim there is a sense in which assent to everyday propositions is tantamount to knowledge (scientia), even though there is no adequate argumentation or demonstrative reasoning compelling us to assent to such propositions. Newman's distinction between notional and real apprehension of propositions, notional and real assents, and his insistence on the existence of real assents to propositions that are not necessarily proved, or in some cases provable, seem at first glance a case parallel to that of the medieval philosophers mentioned.

Aesthetic Rationality: Notes on an Affinity between Newman and Scotus, WILLIAM. A FRANK

Despite Newman's negligible direct familiarity with the works and thought of John Duns Scotus, there has been recent discussion of affinities between the two along a range of philosophical approaches and sensibilities. These notes introduce the thesis that both Scotus and Newman share a disposition to appeal to aesthetic rationality when it comes to asserting certain basic truths critical to Christian understanding. Recent Scotus studies have demonstrated the deep and pervasive presence of the aesthetic dimension in Duns Scotus's thought. In the latter half of this paper, the author argues for the importance of aesthetic rationality in understanding Newman's illative sense, which is perhaps his most...


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