Academy,  1 (1869–70), 228–30.

[Review of An Essay in Aid of a Grammar of Assent, by John H Newman]

Mark Pattison




Religion, Philosophy, Hypothesis, Psychology

    Notes that John H Newman identifies a 'special sense' in the mind dealing with 'extra-logical judgement'. He 'erects it into a mental faculty, and gives it the name of the Illative Sense'. In this view the 'laws of mind are the expression not of mere structure, but of the will of Him who made it. He who speaks through our conscience to distinguish right from wrong, speaks through our Illative sense to distinguish truth from falsehood. We are bound to seek truth and look for certainty by modes of proof, which, when reduced to the shape of formal propositions, fail to satisfy the requisitions of science'. (228) The book, however, fails to show convincingly 'how the human intellect can warrant to itself its passage from phenomena of sense to a belief in the existence of supersensual essences' (230).

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