Communities of Informed Judgment: Newman's Illative Sense and Accounts of Rationality

By Martin, Michael C. | Anglican Theological Review, Winter 2006 | Go to article overview

Communities of Informed Judgment: Newman's Illative Sense and Accounts of Rationality


Martin, Michael C., Anglican Theological Review


Communities of Informed Judgment: Newman's Illative Sense and Accounts of Rationality. By Frederick D. Aquino. Washington, D.C.: Catholic University of America Press, 2004. x + 182 pp. $54.95 (cloth).

Frederick Aquino's Communities of Informed Judgment makes an important contribution to Newman studies and to the systematic theological investigation of belief formation by merging "Newman's account of the illative sense with insights from recent work in social and virtue epistemology" (p. 7).

Aquino first stipulates the limited ability of abstract rationality to explain religious belief and then seeks to show the greater potential of socially contextualized, phenomenological epistemology. By placing Newman's illative sense as a type of non-rule-governed judgment within this phenomenological epistemology, Aquino both acknowledges its inability to "furnish a common measure" for adjudicating competing truth claims and yet asserts its potential to ground a trustworthy belief-forming process.

Aquino shows Newman's Oxford University Sermons countered the then prevailing notions of reason which subjected religious belief to logical method, rational assessment of evidences, or exoteric critical evaluation. At the same time, Newman manages to avoid the irrationalist or fideist presentation of belief. Faith, for Newman, "is a presumptive form of reasoning" proceeding "more from probabilities than from demonstrative evidences" (p. 21). Here, Aquino reveals the importance of Newman's distinction between the implicit reasoning of the "spontaneous process by which people form beliefs" and the explicit reasoning "by which the mind recognizes and specifies grounds for Christian belief" (p. 35). Thus, theological reflection is distinct from and secondary to belief formation.

Explaining why Newman sees complex assent or the justification of belief as the "fulfillment of our epistemic duty" (p. 64), Aquino establishes the connection between personal judgment and the communities of informed judgment of the title: "Proper employment of the illative sense requires a social transmission of tested experience and of perfected modes of judgment" (p. 67). Describing how Newman's illative sense judges the convergence of cumulative probabilities leading to a certainty, reveals how this personal and conditional certainty "complicates the goal of achieving a common standard of justification" (p. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Communities of Informed Judgment: Newman's Illative Sense and Accounts of Rationality
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.