This is an inferential statement as opposed to "The car in front of the house is red," which is an assertion that can be assented to because it can stand on its own.
The second part further clarified assent by comparing it with inference. But superstition is held in check, Newman suggests, by the moral element in the act of faith, that is, holiness, obedience, and the sense of duty will safeguard faith from becoming mere superstition.
For instance, if one sees smoke, one may instantly infer the presence of fire. The key difference between assent and inference is that assent is unconditional and inference is conditional, i.
However, Newman maintained that in concrete life formal incontrovertible proof in favour of a decision is not possible—the best one can achieve is converging probabilities in favour of a conclusion. For Newman it is impossible to attain the concrete existential equivalent of logical certainty. In informal inference one reaches a conclusion by considering the accumulation of converging antecedent probabilities.
He wrote this book against the background of British Empiricism which restricted the strength and legitimacy of assent to the evidence presented for it.
For Newman, to make logic work, human thought has to be trimmed to very specific and narrow meanings such that logical statements then lose real world applicability. It is the faculty of the human mind that closes the logic-gap in concrete situations and thus allowing for assent.
Thus, to close that gap between converging probabilities and full assent, one needs the aid of the Illative Sense to attain certitude in specific situations. In using it one may become vulnerable to superstition and eccentricity.
Informal inference is akin to calculus. The Grammar is divided into two sections. Both parts deal with assent or belief. The second, entitled "Assent and Inference", addresses the issue of believing what cannot be absolutely proven. However, its real-world applicability is very limited in that its usefulness is circumscribed by its initial assumptions.
Newman was concerned with defending faith as a legitimate product of rational human activity—that assent is not contrary to human nature. There are three types of inferences: Natural inference is when the individual, in a simple and whole process, grasps the antecedent conditions and conclusions instantaneously.
The first part discussed the relationship between assent and apprehension—what level of intelligent appropriation of a teaching is necessary to believe in that teaching. This section ultimately turns on a distinction between apprehension and understanding.
Formal inference is logic in the deductive sense. For Newman, inference described a proposition that is intrinsically dependent on other propositions.
The first is entitled "Assent and Apprehension", which deals with believing what one does not understand. For example, one may not understand the doctrine of the Trinityi. For Newman, logic is indeed extremely useful especially in science and in society.
For instance, the statement, "Therefore, the car is red," is clearly dependent on antecedent propositions for its meaning and those propositions would need to be disclosed before one could meaningfully assent. Apprehension, according to Newman, is simply an "intelligent acceptance of the idea or of the fact which a proposition enunciates.
Newman recognised that there are dangers associated with using the Illative Sense.An Essay in Aid of A Grammar of Assent - Ebook written by John Henry Cardinal Newman. Read this book using Google Play Books app on your PC, android, iOS devices. Download for offline reading, highlight, bookmark or take notes while you read An Essay in Aid of A Grammar of Assent.
An Essay in Aid of A Grammar of Assent John Henry Cardinal Newman Introduction by Nicholas Lash. This classic of Christian apologetics seeks to persuade the skeptic that there are good reasons to believe in God even though it is impossible to understand the deity fully.
Ian T. Ker (ed.), John Henry Newman: An Essay in Aid of a Grammar of Assent. Contents. Close section Front Matter Editor's Introduction; Close section An Essay in Aid of A Grammar of Assent.
Dedication; Contents; Close section Part I Assent and apprehension. Chapter I Modes of holding and apprehending Propositions; Chapter II Assent.
John Henry Newman: An Essay in Aid of a Grammar of Assent Ian T. Ker (ed.) Publisher: The Letters and Diaries of John Henry Newman, Vol. A Grammar of Assent: January to December Eds Ian Ker and Thomas Gornall, S.J.
() The Letters and Diaries of John Henry Newman, Vol. 4: The Oxford Movement: July to December "Ian Ker has given us a valuable critical edition of An Essay in Aid of a Grammar of Assent."-- Modern Philology "This long-awaited critical edition is indispensable."--James Gaffney, Loyola University/5(11).
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