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preface || intro || 1 ||  2 || 3 || 4 || 5 || 6 || 7 || 8 || 9 || 10 || 11 || 12 || Conclusion

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My fundamental mentor and guide has been John Henry Newman's Grammar of Assent. I read that in my third year philosophy (at least the analytic parts) about five times and found solutions for my problems. I was not at all satisfied with the philosophy that was being taught and found Newman's presentation to be something that fitted in with the way I knew things. It was from that kernel that I went on to different authors. (1)

The major influence on Lonergan's thought during his early years was John Henry Newman, the nineteenth century convert to Roman Catholicism and the author of a number of classic works. Lonergan had read some of Newman's writings in his earlier years, but while at Heythrop he picked up Newman's Grammar of Assent. It is this book that on a number of occasions he mentioned he read five or six times.

What was Lonergan looking for in Newman during this time when he was "beginning to think for himself?" Someone whose presentation "fitted in with the way I knew things." The ultimate touchstone was his own self-knowledge.

I was looking for someone who had some common sense, and knew what he was talking about.  And what was Newman talking about?  About judgment as assent; about real apprehension and notional apprehension, notional assent and real assent.  He was answering the liberal view that all judgements are more or less probable but nothing is certain.  And he could give examples. (2)

In order to understand Newman and his influence on Lonergan, one has to realize both Newman's profoundly religious spirit and his profoundly intellectual desire to dialogue with the philosophical currents of his own age. As a young man Newman had read some of the anti-religious writers of the time, such as Tom Paine, David Hume and Voltaire. (3) Soon after, through the influence of a young English clergyman, Newman experienced a profound religious conversion, a conversion that had a strong intellectual component.

When I was fifteen, (in the autumn of 1816,) a great change of thought took place in me. I fell under the influence of a definite Creed, and received into my intellect impressions of dogma, which, through God's mercy, have never been effaced or obscured. (4)

In many ways this "first conversion" could be said to be the fundamental conversion in Newman's life, for it was from this that all else followed: his commitment to a serious religious and moral life, his movement from evangelicalism to High Church Anglicanism, the Oxford movement, his conversion to Catholicism and finally, all his activities and writings as a Catholic.

It is significant that the work that had the greatest influence on Lonergan, the Grammar of Assent, was published in 1870, that is, toward the end of Newman's life. It was the only book he wrote that was not written under the pressure of an immediate public challenge. And yet it was the book in which he addressed the underlying philosophical issue of the nineteenth century - one might also say, of the twentieth century. That issue, which percolates beneath the surface of all of his writings, is the defense of Christianity precisely as true against the prevailing rationalistic and skeptical philosophies of the time. When Newman was named a Cardinal by Pope Leo XIII in 1879, he summarized the major thrust of his life's work as a resistance to "the spirit of liberalism in religion" which he defined as:

the doctrine that there is no positive truth in religion, but that one creed is as good as another, and this is the teaching which is gaining substance and force daily. It is inconsistent with any recognition of any religion as true. It teaches that all are to be tolerated, but all are matters of opinion. (5)

But that defense of Christianity precisely as true, involved Newman in the perennial issue of determining "What is truth?" As a young man Newman had, like Lonergan himself, devoted a great deal of time to the study of Aristotelian logic. He had come under the influence of Richard Whately, who involved him in the writing of his textbook, Elements of Logic, which remained the standard text at Oxford until it was replaced by John Stuart Mill's text in the 1850's. Soon afterwards he began to read the Church Fathers and was deeply attracted to their Platonism. (6)

At the same time, it was the need to speak to the underlying philosophy of his own age that led Newman throughout his busy years to read the writings of such men as John Locke and John Stuart Mill. Although he was in fundamental opposition to modern liberalism in religion, he was sympathetic with some of the major aims of modern thought and indeed, as a Catholic, he was considered among the most liberal of men. (7)

Indeed, in his writings Newman evidenced an uncanny ability to enter into the minds and views of his opponents. Before refuting liberal views he always insisted on presenting them with their full force. He had read Voltaire, Locke, Hume and Gibbons as a teenager; he read John Stuart Mill when his texts became standard reading at Oxford. Always, he framed his thoughts in a manner to be understood by the people of his time. As Lonergan articulated one of his major debts to Newman:

Newman's remark that ten thousand difficulties do not make a doubt has served me in good stead. It encouraged me to look difficulties squarely in the eye, while not letting them interfere with my vocation or my faith. (8)

For Newman the core issue in the Grammar of Assent was the nature of the human mind. What does it mean to know? How can a coherent theory of human knowing be framed in such a way to cohere with the experiential emphases of Mill and Locke on the one hand, and with the experience of conscience and the assertion of Christian doctrine as true on the other? For Newman, in line with the general emphasis of English philosophy, the major focus was human experience, but for Newman it was a far richer notion of experience than that of the empiricist philosophers.

Certainly a major influence on Lonergan was Newman's very method.  For Newman was not a scholastic.  He was influenced by the Fathers of the Church and by modern English philosophy. Such philosophy was down-to-earth and practical; it focussed on sense experience and perception.  If its empiricist tendencies were to be refuted and transcended, it would have to be by someone who carefully analyzed our human mental processes.

For Newman the ultimate court of appeal for the knowledge of human mentality would be the mind's own knowledge of itself.  As he trenchantly expressed it "in these provinces of inquiry egotism is true modesty." (9) This necessary egotism at the foundation of mental and philosophical science points to the inevitabilities that we necessarily employ in our human operations, whether or not we advert to what we are doing. The following words must have rung a bell for the young Lonergan who was beginning to "think for himself."

I am what I am or I am nothing.  I cannot think, reflect, or judge about my being, without starting from the very point which I aim at concluding...I cannot avoid being sufficient for myself, for I cannot make myself anything else, and to change me is to destroy me.  If I do not use myself I have no other self to use...What I have to ascertain are the laws under which I live.  My first elementary lesson of duty is that of resignation to the laws of nature, whatever they are;  my first disobedience is to be impatient at what I am, and to indulge an ambitious aspiration after what I cannot be, to cherish a distrust of my powers, and to desire to change laws which are identical with myself. (10)

In spite of oppositions and conflicts among people on matters philosophical, ethical and religious, still a serious inquirer:

brings together his reasons and relies on them, because they are his own, and this is his primary evidence;  and he has a second ground of evidence, in the testimony of those who agree with him.  But his best evidence is the former, which is derived from his own thoughts; and it is that which the world has a right to demand of him; and therefore his true sobriety and modesty consists, not in claiming for his conclusions an acceptance or scientific approval which is not to be found anywhere, but in stating what are personally his grounds... (11)

From the point of view of Bernard Lonergan's life and work, it is interesting to note that one of the major break-throughs in Newman's own intellectual journey was the awareness of the distinction between various levels of human consciousness. Newman had been working on an analysis of mind for over thirty years.  It was "like tunnelling through the Alps" - though fittingly enough the "beginning of my success dates from 1866 - when in Switzerland." (12)

At last, when I was up at Glion over the lake of Geneva, it struck me 'You are wrong in beginning with certitude - certitude is only a kind of assent - you should begin with contrasting assent and inference.' (13)

This was the foundation for the Grammar of Assent. In this work Newman focuses on the unconditional character of the act of assent and distinguishes it from notional and real apprehension and formal and informal inference. (14) Newman analyzes these mental activities in the worlds of common sense and religion. Here we will present some of Lonergan's own writings from his school days in England and relate them to what he learned from Newman.



In recent years attention has begun to be focused on some early papers Lonergan wrote as a student at Heythrop in the journal, The Blandyke Papers.

`Publication' here means simply that the author, having had his article duly refereed, copied it by hand into a notebook which was left in the common room for perusal by the college `public.' (15)

In the first of these papers, "The Form of Mathematical Inference," of January, 1928, Lonergan's concern is the specific question of what in fact happens when we draw mathematical conclusions. It is obvious that, in spite of Newman's vindication of the whole human world of the "non-logical," Lonergan, like Newman, is very interested in determining what happens in the world of logical and mathematical thinking.

In this article the young Lonergan finds the scholastics "not very enlightening" in their view that in mathematical thinking there is a conceptual inference in which the predicate is understood to be necessarily an attribute of the subject, "exigitive de ratione subjecti." (16) Such a conceptual approach is based on universal concepts such as "triangularity as such."

In opposition to such "conceptual thinking," Lonergan's own analysis is factual and empirical. He adverts to what he calls a "universalization" on the level of sense. He invokes Aquinas' vis cogitativa as the faculty of such concrete apprehension. Thus, the solution to a geometric and mathematical problem involves a "generic image," a "phantasm," a "visualization," a "kenetic image," that can be manipulated and "gyrated" so that one "sees" the solution to the problem. Both axioms and inferences are "intuited" in the concrete. One senses here the pedagogical influence of Father O'Hara, his tutor in geometry.

In this article one of the common themes of Lonergan's later writings is sounded: the schematic image is more important for thought than is ordinarily believed. The truth of the particular is not a consequence of the truth of the general; rather, the general is grasped in the particular.

Something similar can be found in Newman. In an unpublished philosophical fragment on "the faculty of abstraction" Newman wrote:

Now, when we come to the subject of making abstractions or taking views or aspects itself which all men have to a certain point, and which in some men rises to genius, what account are we to give of it? Does it imply generalization or comparison? no, if we imply in these words the presence of a subject matter of "many" individuals: for did we see but one horse or dog, we could gain from it an idea of the sciences of physiology, anatomy, physical chemistry, etc., etc., in other words we could view it under the aspects of its life, organization, structure, vital action, etc., etc.. (17)

Elsewhere in his notes Newman says:

There is a universal which is not abstract, and an abstract which is not universal. (18)


The second of the Blandyke Papers was read by Lonergan before the "Philosophy and Literature Society" at Heythrop on February 26, 1928.

At Heythrop there was the "Phil and Lit Society" and in my second year I read a paper there on "The Form of Inference." (Later on it came out in Thought and in the first volume of Collection.) The hypothetical syllogism is the real thing; it relates propositions -- wow! The place was crowded and no one understood what on earth I was talking about. (19)

This second of his papers originally was entitled "The Syllogism." (20) In it Lonergan repeats some of the themes of the previous article: the emphasis on concreteness, the perceptual scheme, the visualization. He is opposed to any "mechanical" theory of syllogistic reasoning on the analogy of a slot machine: "put in a penny, pull the trigger, and the transition to box of matches is spontaneous, immediate and necessary." (21)

On the contrary, reason acts "only because of a reason," and consequently the form of syllogistic reasoning can most easily be seen in the hypothetical syllogism of the form:

If A, then B

But A

Therefore B.

In this simple form of syllogism, the middle term indicates both the "ratio ratiocinandi" and the "ratio essendi" of the attribute belonging to the subject. By this is meant that the reason for knowing something is rooted in the reason for a thing's own being.

The cause of the attribute belonging to the object in the real order, is the reason why the mind attributes the predicate to the subject in the act of inference. (22)

Lonergan's emphasis is very decidedly against the importance of universal concepts in the processes of thought. By "manhood" or "triangularity" one means, in all strictness, the more notable characteristics of a man or a triangle. No valid conclusions can mechanically be inferred from such universal concepts. On the other hand, there is the central importance of proper images, the proper perceptual schemes, etc., in order to grasp meaningful relationships. (23)

In this article Lonergan adds a note on predication, which he distinguishes between phenomenal and noumenal.

Predication [phenomenal] consists in saying that a thing-in-itself distinguished and denoted by the presence of certain phenomena also presents some other phenomenon. For example, "this flower is yellow:" "this flower" means "a thing-in-itself designated by means of the phenomena common to all flowers and by the gesture "this"; "is yellow" means that "this flower, the subject, has besides the phenomena indicated by its name, a further phenomenon indicated by the word "yellow." (24)

As far as noumenal predication, Lonergan concedes that phenomena cannot be conceived as independent of the thing-in-itself, but what it is "to be" the thing-in-itself "only God knows."

There is here a definite agnosticism with regard to "things in themselves," that, as J. M. Cameron has brought out, is found in Newman and is a definite strand in English empiricism, an empiricism first articulated by David Hume in the eighteenth century. According to this view - Cameron calls it the empiricist myth - the foundation upon which knowledge rests consists in impressions which rise from the senses and, as Hume states,

their ultimate cause is, in my opinion, perfectly inexplicable by human reason, and 'twill always be impossible to decide with certainty, whether they arise immediately from the object, or are produc'd by the creative power of the mind, or are deriv'd from the author of our being. (25)

Edward Sillem highlights this characteristic in Newman's thought:

At what period of his life he arrived at the doctrine which he held firmly in later life, namely, that the material world is a world of things or substances of which we can know nothing, because what we perceive of them are merely their sensible phenomena, it is difficult to say with any precision. One thing, however, is quite certain: he did not take his doctrine from Locke. (26)

How then did Lonergan deal with this issue? How had Newman dealt with it? It was at this point that the young Lonergan picked up off his shelf Newman's Grammar of Assent.


Newman's early influence on Lonergan can be seen most clearly in the third of the Blandyke Papers, "True Judgment and Science," which he gave before the "Phil and Lit Society" on February 3, 1929.

The next year I spoke on Newman and there were about six people there! The first fellow who spoke (he went after ordination to South Africa on the missions and died there quite young) said, "If it isn't a left-handed compliment, the talk was much better than I expected." (27)

This paper contains the most ample references to Newman in all of Lonergan's extant writings. In it Lonergan vindicates Newman's contention that we can know with certainty more than we can formally or scientifically prove. In other words, science and logic are not the ordinary human criteria for truth.

If true judgment may be consciously true, then science ceases to be the one measure of certitude. (28)

In logic the only certain conclusions are deductions from self-evident propositions. On the other hand, scientific hypotheses may have any degree of probability but cannot be certain, for absolute verification is logically impossible. Still, in many of the ordinary true judgments of life, absolute verification is possible. Here Lonergan refers to Newman's doctrine of "the illative sense."

The illative sense is just such an absolute verification. The mind in a given case may be able to determine the limit of converging probabilities, and so disregard as nugatory the nebulous possibilities which prevent an inference from being logically valid...In this action...the illative sense concludes a process which is too manifold in its data, too elusive in its procedure, too intimate in its discernment, for adequate analysis to be possible or for a criterion of the abstractly self-evident to be fair. Thus we know the truth and know we know it but prove it we cannot. (29)

Lonergan uses as his example his certainty that "there is a country called Tibet," just as Newman had used the example, "England is an island." Such ordinary judgments are rational, and can be certain, but they are not reducible to the rationality of deduction from self-evident principles.

Lonergan's adversaries in this article are not only the anti-religious rationalists who championed "science" as the one way to truth, but also the scholastics who championed a purely logical and conceptual approach to human understanding. Lonergan was familiar with the critical attacks on the Grammar of Assent on the part of scholastic philosophers. Thus, he had read the first major criticism by Fr. Thomas Harper in The Month of June, 1870. Harper had attacked the very conception of informal inference.

Either my inference is formally valid or it is not. If it be formally valid, it is ipso facto moulded by logical law; if it is not, it is no inference at all. (30)

On this view human reasoning could theoretically be reduced to a series of syllogisms which would have self-evident propositions for their ultimate premises. On the contrary, Lonergan quotes Newman:

Our reasoning ordinarily presents itself to our mind as a single act not a process or series of acts. We apprehend the antecedent and then the consequent, without explicit recognition of the medium connecting the two, as if by a sort of direct association of the first thought with the second. We proceed by a sort of instinctive perception from premise to conclusion...We perceive external objects and we remember past events without knowing how we do so, and in like manner we reason without effort and intention or any necessary consciousness of the path which the mind takes in passing from antecedent to conclusion. (31)

Newman's contention was that we should be satisfied with this account of judgment, because we cannot analyze all our grounds for making judgments. Such is the character of "the illative sense," which Newman called a solemn word for an ordinary thing. (32) Lonergan quotes approvingly the Grammar's assertion that the mind can know more than it can say in words.

Common sense, moral perception, genius, the great discoverers of principles do not reason. They have no arguments, no grounds, they see the truth but they do not know how they see it; it is as much a matter of experiment with them, as if they had to find a road to a distant mountain, which they see with the eye; and they get entangled, embarrassed, overthrown, in the superfluous endeavor. (33)

As opposed to the Cartesian principle of methodic doubt, of doubting everything that can be doubted, Lonergan states:

Instead of pronouncing all our assents as untrustworthy from a nervous fear of error, we take ourselves as we find ourselves, wrong perhaps in not a few opinions but for the most part right. By the digestion of these views and by the assimilation of new ones which come to us as the mind develops and experience increases, error is automatically purged away. (34)

He quotes Newman in the application of this principle to the world of religion:

This is the secret of the influence by which the Church draws to herself converts from such various and conflicting religions...it is by the light of those particular truths, contained respectively in the various religions of men...that we pick our way slowly perhaps but surely into the religion which God has given; taking our certitudes with us not to lose but to keep them more securely and to understand and love their objects more perfectly. (35)

Later in his life Lonergan would formalize this procedure under the rubric of "dialectic:" that is, develop positions that are true and reverse false positions by bringing out their contradictions with the invariant features of mind and reality. The whole process is basically positive: beginning from what we know and developing what we know in such a way as to dissolve the false beliefs we have picked up on the road of life.

In the present article Lonergan quotes from Newman for the first time what he will often refer to through the years in his analysis of belief.

Of the two I would rather maintain that we ought to begin with believing everything that is offered to our acceptance, than that it is our duty to doubt everything...We soon discover and discard what is contradictory to itself; and error having always some portion of truth in it, and the truth having a reality which error has not, we may expect that when there is an honest purpose and fair talents, we shall somehow make our way forward, the error falling off from the mind and truth developing and occupying it. (36)

Lonergan adds some notions on judgment:

To lay it down that truth cannot be known unless directly or deductively self-evident seems mistaken, not only because the illative sense does posit truth without self-evidence, but also because such a canon is at odds both with our mental constitution - for mind judges rather than syllogises - and with the evidence at our disposal which is far too manifold for us a priori to limit ourselves to the self-evident and burk the remainder. Again it is fallacious to urge that assent must be proportioned to evidence, for evidence is the mark of truth not the measure of assent, and truth once known is to be assented to unconditionally. (37)

He refers to Newman's assertion of the unconditional character of assent.

If assent and inference are each of them the acceptance of a proposition, but the special characteristic of inference is that it is conditional, it is natural to suppose that assent is unconditional. Again, if assent is the acceptance of truth, and truth is the proper object of the intellect, and no one can hold conditionally what by the same act he holds to be true, here too is a reason for saying that assent is an adhesion without reserve or doubt to the proposition to which it is given. (38)

Charles Hefling has commented on Newman's doctrine on assent:

There are any number of philosophers who either have failed to notice any distinction between meaning and truth, understanding and judgment, apprehension and assent; or else have denied that such a distinction exists. Newman, by contrast, would seem to be pushing, apparently on his own and perhaps without altogether knowing it, towards something he could not, in any case have learned from any modern thinker who preceded him: a significance, beyond the copulative, conveyed by is. Grant that is has such a further significance, correlative not with apprehension but with assent, and quite alot of the Grammar falls into place. (39)

But though assent is always unconditional, that is, it has the absolute character of truth, still it can differ according to the quality of the apprehension which precedes it. Accordingly, Lonergan goes on to present Newman's ideas on notional and real apprehension. He quotes Newman on the tendency of logicians to "starve" words of their life so that they become mere "notions:"

Words, which denote things, have innumerable implications;...but it is the very triumph of [the logician]...to have stripped them of all their connatural senses, to have drained them of that breadth and depth of associations which constitute their poetry, their rhetoric and their historical life, to have starved each term down till it has become the ghost of itself... (40)

He then presents his analysis of Newman's doctrine.

The distinction of real and notional apprehension I take to be one of degrees not of kind. The real is not of reality as it is in itself - such is had only by God - while the notional is not unreal in the sense that it is not representative, but only less real. It is the apprehension of a few definite aspects of a thing which is apprehended in all its aspects in real apprehension... Real apprehension may be described as impressional, that of one who enters onto the object by sympathy, intuition, unformulated interpretations, while notional apprehension stands over against the object, successively views its relations, analyses, formulates. (41)

Lonergan refers to Newman's assertion that in notional apprehension we regard things not as they are in themselves, but mainly as they stand in relation to each other. (42) On the other hand, real apprehension is concerned, not primarily with ideas, "the aspects of things," but with things themselves of which we have an "impressional" apprehension.

Lonergan then quotes Newman regarding the moral dimension of the search for truth.

Shall we say that there is no such thing as truth and error, but that anything is true to a man which he troweth? and not rather as the solution of a great mystery that truth there is, and attainable it is, but that its rays stream in upon us through the medium of our moral as well as our intellectual being; and that in consequence that perception of its first principles which is natural to us is enfeebled, obstructed, perverted, by the allurements of sense and the supremacy of self, and, on the other hand, quickened by aspirations after the supernatural. (43)

The issue of truth, then, in the life of the individual is the issue of wisdom.

The evolution of thought in which truth gains the upper hand and error is purged away, is to be accompanied and supplemented by a growth in the moral character. Not science so much as wisdom is to be the individual's aim... (44)

He summarizes the rationalism that the Grammar attacks as

the unconscious assumption made by post Aristotelian skeptics, who from a denial of a priori knowledge concluded the irrationality of certitude. Thus was implicitly set up the "pretentious axiom" that science is the criterion of certitude. (45)

It is precisely this axiom that Newman attacked on behalf of all the "real knowledge" available to the non-scientist, the common "person in the street."

There is a certain dramatic fitness that Newman, of whom Mark Pattison said "All the grand developments of human reason from Aristotle down to Hegel was a closed book to him," should point out to the rationalists that their superiority was based upon a mere assumption, that the "plain man" was not so much a puppet after all. It has been the contention that this assumption is contradicted by our natural procedure. Science anyway is but a luxury of a few, certitude a prerogative of man, and wisdom the obligatory complement of his being. To make science the criterion of certitude despite its limitations, is wantonly to tempt man (who, Newman somewhere says, does not wish to know the truth) to give up the quest for wisdom, to make it possible for him to be complacently agnostic in the high name of reason, when reason hardly countenances his criterion. He will deny the existence of God because the proofs do not convince him and then accept the first theory to hand to explain away the religions of the world (cf. Renan). (46)

In this developing judgment of the person under the influence of conscience, subjective and illegitimate influences are only per accidens, just as errors in sense perception are only per accidens. Lonergan defends Newman from the charge of subjectivism.

The same person both judges and wills; if you ask such a segregation of these two activities that all the world may be assured there has been no confusion of their functions, you ask too much: God made man differently and His Providence is the guarantee of nature. Finally the power of logic to correct subjective influence is easily over estimated. (47)

In his later years Lonergan will put it this way:

Objectivity is reached through the self-transcendence of the concrete existing subject, and the fundamental forms of self-transcendence are intellectual, moral and religious conversion. To attempt to ensure objectivity apart from self-transcendence only generates illusion. (48)

In a footnote to this quote Lonergan states that the basic statement on this issue is found in chapters eight and nine of Newman's Grammar of Assent, from which he quotes the famous line:

Logic makes but a sorry rhetoric with the multitude; first shoot round corners and you may not despair of converting by a syllogism. (49)

Many years later Lonergan will relate Newman's teaching on notional and real assent to his own theory of intellectual, moral and religious conversion. (50) In "True Judgment and Science" he quotes Henri Bremond whose Mystery of Newman he had evidently read:

I meet everywhere with nothing but demonstrations and demonstrators. Each of them promises to conduct their enquiry according to the rules, each parades the logical outfit of his time. It is not the miserable and passionate man - no it is the pure reason which speaks and it wishes to meet only with reason...But to the majority of those who have taken in hand the examination of any question, and who plume themselves on their exact and pure reasoning the truth could say: "You do not know how to demonstrate me and in any case you would find it very difficult to do, if you already did not very fortunately possess me." (51)

We should note that in "True Judgment and Science" there is a definite ambiguity in clearly articulating all the aspects of our human knowing. As we noted in the previous article on "The Syllogism," Lonergan picks up from Newman the empiricist strain. For example, he writes that real apprehension is "not of reality as it is in itself - such is had only by God," and he refers to Newman's words in the Grammar of Assent:

We are accustomed, indeed, and rightly, to speak of the Creator Himself as incomprehensible; and, indeed, He is so by an incommunicable attribute; but in a certain sense each of His creatures is incomprehensible to us also, in the sense that no one has a perfect understanding of them but He. We recognize and appropriate aspects of them, and logic is useful to us in registering these aspects and what they imply; but it does not give us to know even one individual being. (52)

What in this view saves our knowledge of objective reality is the ineradicable tendency inherent in, and natural to the mind, to spontaneously think of sensible things as existing objectively and on their own. (53) This tendency Newman vindicates in the second half of the Grammar of Assent under the doctrine of the illative sense, and he amplified it in specifying the unconditional character of the act of assent. In its defense the early Lonergan in "True Judgment and Science," wrote:

To sum up the argument, "nature does not fail us in necessaries," a criterion of evidence is necessary. Science, the syllogistic method, shows itself to be inadequate and unfair (i.e. not the natural criterion) in its preliminary clearing the field by methodic doubt or suspension of judgment, the confinement of attention to the abstractly self-evident, in its emptying out the content of our knowledge and its barren definitions of the things the full meaning of which we are only more or less aware. (54)

The only adequate criterion of truth is the mind itself in its fullest exercise:

The alternative criterion is the mind itself "far higher, wider, more subtle, than logical inference" which can use all our knowledge, evaluate evidence in the concrete, and remain in harmony with natural procedure, neither a priori doubting everything or accepting anything. (55)


In a letter he wrote to an older friend and fellow Jesuit, Henry Smeaton, in 1927, not long after he arrived at Heythrop, Lonergan remarked:

I am afraid I must lapse into philosophy. I have been stung with that monomania now and then but am little scholastic though as far as I know a good Catholic. Still modern logic is fair. The theory of knowledge is what is going to interest me most of all. I have read Aristotle his peri psuches and am of strong nominalist tendency. (56)

His "lapse" into philosophy finds him "little scholastic" though, he hopes, "a good Catholic." Reminiscent of Newman of whom it also could be said, he was "little scholastic?" Still, he is following up his study of Aristotelian logic with a study of the ancient philosopher's theory of mind.

In a letter to his provincial some years later Lonergan said, "I left Heythrop a votary of Newman's and a nominalist." (57) Many years later he related an incident that took place in 1930 as he was leaving Heythrop to finish his external degree in London. He was speaking to his superior, Fr. Bolland, about his future. He thought he might be slated to teach either mathematics or classics, the subjects he was doing in London - even though philosophy was at that time his "fine frenzy."

I was bidding Fr. Joseph Bolland farewell, listed for him the subjects I was doing at London, and asked him which was the one I should concentrate on.  He replied that I should keep in mind that superiors might want me to teach philosophy or theology.  I answered that there was no question of that since I was a nominalist.  He in turn said, "Oh! No one remains a nominalist very long." It was, in current parlance, a quite "cool" reply from a high member of the establishment... (58)

One senses in Lonergan's remarks about Fr. Bolland, indeed one of his "Suarezian" teachers, the presence of a man with practical wisdom.  Confronted by a creative and independent young man, the older man goes with him.  He does not try to refute.  He just shows him the paths his thought can follow, with a relaxed conviction that clarity will come. Lonergan goes on to say that his nominalism did disappear; but it might behoove us now to dwell on what Lonergan might have meant by his early nominalism.

From his several references to himself as a nominalist, it is obvious that Lonergan thought of the meaning of the term as quite evident. Traditionally nominalism had been ascribed to the medieval philosopher, William of Ockham, and his followers. Ockham's thesis was that, since only individual things really exist, universal concepts are only names ("flatus vocis") used to speak of individual things. Traditionally opposed to nominalism were various types of scholastic "realism" which vindicated the realistic character of universal concepts, and indeed, tended to build a whole philosophy around the importance of such concepts.

It was especially English empiricist philosophy that inherited the mantle of medieval nominalism. In the 18th century Thomas Hobbes emphasized the experiential character of human knowing in opposition to the "bewitchment" engendered by universal concepts. Such concepts only resulted from the process of association of various sensitive experiences. Later on, David Hume made it clear that if an idea was a picture formed by sensation or imagination, then it could be the picture only of something individual. In the middle of the 19th century the person who took up the nominalist banner was John Stuart Mill; and it was Mill who, as William Mathews has shown, had the greatest effect on the tradition of modern logic which so interested Lonergan. (59) It was Mill who prepared the way for the logic Lonergan studied in London.

Thus, nominalism was an accepted school of philosophical categorization during Lonergan's student days in Heythrop. It is mentioned in the various textbooks that he used. The categorization is always on the basis of the school's doctrine on universal ideas. Thus, Joseph's An Introduction to Logic presents three schools of thought on universal ideas: nominalism, realism and conceptualism. He quotes James Mill, the father of John Stuart Mill, as representative of the nominalist position. For James Mill it is obvious and certain that

men were led to class solely for the purpose of economizing in the use of names. Could the purposes of naming and discourse have been as conveniently managed by a name for every individual, the names of classes, and the idea of classification, would never have existed. But as the limits of the human memory did not enable men to retain beyond a very limited number of names; and even if it had, as it would have required a most inconvenient portion of time, to run over in discourse as many names of individuals, and of individual qualities, as there is occasion to refer to in discourse, it was necessary to have contrivances of abridgement; that is, to employ names which marked equally a number of individuals, with all their separate properties; and enabled us to speak of multitudes at once. (60)

According to the categories of one of the scholastic texts Lonergan was familiar with, Fr. Joyce's Principles of Logic, there are three main philosophical schools in relation to "the controversy on universals." He asks, what is this "human nature" which is one and yet stands in the same relation to every member of the class, - which though it is one, belongs at the same time to many members?

Various answers have been given to this question. We may hold (1) that this common nature is something real. Those who give this answer are termed Realists. We may say (2) that the common nature is merely a thought in the mind without objective counterpart in the real order. The adherents of this doctrine are known as Conceptualists. Or we may say (3) that the only common element is the name, given to a variety of objects because of some real or fancied resemblance. This view is that of the Nominalists.

In a footnote, Joyce notes:

Nominalism has been the traditional doctrine of the English sensationalist school from the days of Hobbes. It finds its most notable representative in Mill. (61)

Joyce goes on to espouse what he calls a "Moderate Realism" which maintains that the mind abstracts from things concepts of their natures and it is those natures which are truly found in all the individuals of a class. Opposed to such moderate realism is the "Exaggerated Realism" of a Plato who held the objective existence in the real order of universal natures. Joyce complains that English writers often attribute this view to the Scholastics.

Now in understanding what Lonergan might have meant by his early nominalism it is important to realize that Newman himself had been accused of nominalism - and Lonergan was aware of that. In "True Judgment and Science" Lonergan refers to an article written in the Dublin Review of October, 1905, by F. Aveling accusing Newman of nominalism. In that article Aveling speaks of the troubling feeling he had reading the Grammar of Assent, a feeling he finally attributes to the absence of a central staple of scholastic philosophy, the emphasis on universal concepts.

I need hardly remind my readers of the enormous importance which this theory of universals - "the most fundamental point in the whole range of metaphysics"- assumes in the scholastic system of philosophy. The position it holds is, in many ways, a quite unique one. It is not only one of the central pivots of the whole philosophy; it is also, to a very marked extent, the cause which occasioned the real rise and progress of scholasticism. (62)

Aveling states that Newman's emphasis on experience translates into sense experience and thus constitutes his philosophy as a "sensism." Consequently, without the scholastic emphasis on universal concepts which are mental and metaphysical abstractions of the forms of things, there is no intellectual knowledge and no argument for the immateriality and immortality of the human soul.

Incidentally, both Nominalism and Conceptualism reduce man to a species of glorified brute animal and destroy the force of the only possible arguments that a saner form of scholasticism had to urge in favour of the immateriality, and consequent immortality, of the human soul. (63)

Newman possessed a copy of one of Joseph Kleutgen's works, La Philosophie Scholastique and he had marked the first volume at a section noting the two extremes in solving the problem of universal concepts and had noted: "Formalism inconceivably absurd to the modern mind; i.e. Occam. Nominalism highly plausible." (64)

In any case, Lonergan was aware of the imputation that Newman was a nominalist, and ironically in the light of his own self-definition, in "True Judgment and Science" he defends Newman from that attribution.

That the distinction between notional and real apprehension has a foundation in fact is beyond doubt...It seems... to be one of degree and not coincident with the scholastic distinction of intellectual and possible apprehension inasmuch as its differentiae are quantity of content, direction of attention, and the presence or absences of a sense of reality or value. I am not aware of the impossibility [of] a distinction being made upon such grounds between different apprehensions of the same object. The imputation of nominalism may be thus explained away, especially as Newman was not a professional philosopher and intellectual apprehensions are a theory and not an experience. (65)

How then to understand Lonergan's early claim of nominalism? Perhaps we can understand Lonergan's early self-definition in the light of the following considerations:

1) His profound attraction to Newman and the latter's empirical method of philosophizing; and Newman was his "fundamental mentor."

2) His recognition of the importance of imagination in human understanding: the need for schematic images, etc..

3) Like Newman, his English philosophical tendency to phenomenalism.

4) His interest in understanding how words, terms, and language in general "work" in our human knowing. His interest in modern logic was an expression of this interest.

5) His conviction that the conceptual realism that was the prevalent scholastic theory of knowledge was an unreal account of human understanding.

As we noted, the prevailing scholasticism saw knowledge as basically the mental abstraction of universal concepts from things. A similar view of knowledge was presented in Lonergan's Suarezian philosophy textbooks. Later he would charcterize this type of realism as "naive." He would speak of it as "an incoherent realism, half animal and half human, that poses as a half-way house between materialism and idealism." (66) For the young Lonergan, if this was realism, then he was not a realist. He could only accept a theory of mind that involved the grasp of relationships in schematic patterns or images and, with Newman, the ability of the illative sense to make judgments that were not formally "logical." In addition, it should be noted that nominalism attributed a tremendous amount of weight to language, and of course, the analysis of language could be said to be the outstanding characteristic of twentieth century philosophy. Lonergan was on to this in the 1920's. If this emphasis meant being a nominalist, then he was a nominalist.

At about the time that Lonergan was reading Newman, the German Jesuit, Erich Przywara gave a very interesting interpretation of Newman's empiricist leanings in his essay, "St. Augustine and the Modern World." I do not know if Lonergan ever read this particular article, but a few years later Lonergan writes very positively of Przywara as a Catholic philosopher. (67) In his article Przywara points out three elements of the empiricist tradition. One is a stress on the visible world of sense. A second emphasis is on the importance of practice or action to the detriment of theory. And a third emphasis is on

the boundaries which confine the individual consciousness and render doubtful the existence of a world in itself common to all; this however, leads to that peculiar solipsism which may be regarded as the epistemological version of "my house is my castle." In this respect Berkeley is not the antithesis of Locke and Hume, but their inner and necessary fulfillment. (68)

Not only does Newman emphasize the priority of real apprehension over notional, but the latter "threatens to fade into a background of unsubstantial wraiths." Moreover, Newman's emphasis on "decision" in the Grammar of Assent merely continues an earlier emphasis - to the detriment of "theoretical" or "notional" inference. Finally,

that through the entire body of Newman's writings flow powerful currents whose source is Berkeley everyone knows who has felt the pendulum swing in his words whenever he speaks of the outer world. (69)

In one of his later writings Lonergan would note that Berkeley's "esse est percipi," the very existence of something is its being perceived, is the empiricist principle that moves easily into idealism. (70) Elsewhere he remarks on the concept of the "thing in itself" in Kant's idealism:

Because we have access only to objects sensibly presented, we are confined to a merely phenomenal world. 'Things themselves' become a merely limiting concept, a Grenzbegriff, by which we designate what we cannot know. (71)

Hence, there is in the early Lonergan, as we will note later in this essay, an example of some of that "oscillation" he would later describe between empiricism and idealism - before arriving at a critical realism.

On the other hand, there is in Newman, as in the early Lonergan, that which overcomes all these tendencies: and that is his "surrender" to the transcendent God present in conscience and in history. It seems to me that Lonergan's later thought more than vindicates the inherently "realistic" thrust of Newman's work, not just by appealing to his deep spirituality, but more concretely, by emphasizing Newman's doctrine of assent, by which we posit the real existence of things, and his doctrine of the illative sense, by which we grasp the fulfillment of the conditions for making such assents.

As Lonergan was later to note, Newman's language was a floating one; it was not systematic. Still, he was striving to express the facts of human consciousness in a way peculiar to modern culture. Newman helped to make possible Lonergan's later achievement. In one of his later writings Lonergan quotes Newman approvingly in his distinction between the creative genius whose language about newly discovered realities is not yet settled and others who complete the verbal clarification:

It is the second-rate men, though most useful in their place, who prove, reconcile, finish, and explain. (72)


Newman is not cited a great deal in Lonergan's later writings. It is rather, it seems, Newman's method that is important: the focus on the concrete, the interior, the facts of consciousness, as of primary importance, as distinct from what philosophers or scientists "say" about knowledge. This principle became in Lonergan's writings the notion of self-appropriation.  It is on the basis of our knowledge and appropriation of our own mental processes that we can come to express with accuracy who we are as human beings.

And this brings us to what is perhaps the central effect Newman had on Lonergan. In Newman Lonergan found someone who was highly respected, able to dialogue with those outside of the Church as well as with those within, a man of "imperial intellect," able to converse with the world at large, taking the world on its own terms; and still, a spiritual person and a faithful Catholic.

In his later years Lonergan would always speak of his philosophy professors at Heythrop as "extremely honest" in their presentations. (73) I always wondered why he would characterize his teachers in this way, until it occurred to me that by this he was indicating precisely what he received from them. Not their philosophy; but their honesty. They taught him to face issues squarely, and if in his particular case that meant a radical disagreement with the scholastic tradition he was given, so be it. He had to be honest.

Still, as he said in his early letter to Henry Smeaton, "I think I am a good Catholic."

It is perhaps significant that one of the first things Lonergan did when he was sent to study in Rome in 1933 was to write a 30,000 word essay on Newman which he gave to the American professor of the history of philosophy at the Gregorian, Fr. Leo W. Keeler, S.J., to critique. The essay in its entirety has since been lost, but the Lonergan archives in Toronto contain some fragments that might be from that lost essay. At least internally they seem to cohere with Lonergan's interests in the earyl 1930's. In these fragments there are several references to Newman, among which the following on the Grammar of Assent:

The essential morality of assent is the supreme contention of the Grammar of Assent. Assent is moral in its prerequisite of moral living, in its appeal to men of good will, in the seriousness with which it is to be regarded, in its reaction upon our views of what right morality is, in its being an actus humanus, in its norm -a real apprehension of human nature. We are to determine our assents not merely by the artificial standards of logic, a mere common measure of minds, but by the light that God gives us, by our judgment, by our good sense, by our phronesis, by the facts as we know them to be. The right assent is not according to rule but by the act of a living mind. It has no criterion, no guarentee external to itself. It is to be made with all due circumspection, with careful investigation and examination, as the nature of the case demands and circumstances permit. (74)

Lonergan uses Newman's own conversion to Catholicism to illustrate the relation between intellectual assent and actual moral and religious living.

The conversion of Newman offers a striking illustration of this problem of light and assent. For a considerable time before his actual conversion, Newman was intellectually satisfied of the truth of Catholicism; he did not yet assent; he feared that this light of his intellect was a false light that had come upon him in punishment for his sins; he did not assent but he prayed. The kindly light had indeed led him on, led him where he never expected to be brought; it led him to an extremity that terrified him; he wrestled, as Jacob with the angel.


1. Bernard Lonergan, "Reality, Myth, Symbol,"in Alan M. Olson (ed.) Myth, Symbol, and Reality (Notre Dame, Indiana: University of Notre Dame Press, 1980) 32-33. Lonergan had some previous familiarity with Newman: In Loyola he had read The Present Position of Catholics and in the juniorate The Idea of a University: cf. Caring About Meaning, 15. In his early paper, "True Judgment and Science," he refers to The Arians of the Fourth Century and The University Sermons.

2. Caring About Meaning, 14; cf. also 46.

3. "When I was fourteen, I read Paine's Tracts against the Old Testament, and found pleasure in thinking of the objections which were contained in them. Also, I read some of Hume's Essays; and perhaps that on Miracles... Also, I recollect copying out some French verses, perhaps Voltaire's, in denial of the immortality of the soul, and saying to myself something like 'How dreadful, but how plausible!'" John Henry Newman, Apologia pro vita sua (London: Longmans, Green, and Co., 1913) 3.

4. Ibid., 4.

5. John Henry Newman, "'Biglietto' Speech" (Rome: Libreria Spithover, 1879) 6-7. Cf. Katherine Parisi, Newman and Liberalism, doctoral thesis defended at Drew University, May 29, 1992. Cf. Newman's earlier statement on rationalism: "Rationalism is a certain abuse of Reason; that is, a use of it for purposes for which it never was intended, and is unfitted. To rationalize in matters of Revelation is to make our reason the standard and measure of the doctrine revealed...It is Rationalism to accept Revelation and then to explain it away; to speak of it as the Word of God, and to treat it as the word of man; to refuse to let its speak for itself...The Rationalist makes himself his own center, not his Maker; he does not go to God, but implies that God must come to him...Rationalism takes the words of Scripture as signs of Ideas; Faith of Things or Realities." Essays Critical and Historical I (London: Longmans, Green, & Co., 1895) 31-35.

6. Cf. Apologia pro vita sua, 26: "The broad philosophy of Clement and Origen carried me away; the philosophy, not the theological doctrine...Some portions of their teaching, magnificent in themselves, came like music to my inward ear, as if in response to ideas, which, with little external to encourage them, I had cherished so long." Elsewhere in the Apologia Newman mentions his own early temperament as being attracted to the world of the unseen, leading him to "rest in the thought of two and two only absolute and luminously self-evident beings, myself and my Creator." Ibid., 4.

7. Cf. Newman's "'Biglietto' Speech," 9: "And thirdly it must be borne in mind, that there is much in the liberalistic theory which is good and true; for example, not to say more, the precepts of justice, truthfulness, sobriety, self-command, benevolence, which, as I have already noted are among its avowed principles and the natural laws of society. It is not till we find that this array of principles is intended to supersede, to block out religion, that we pronounce it to be evil."

8. Second Collection, 263.

9. John Henry Newman, A Grammar of Assent (London: Longmans, Green, & Co., 1913) 384.

10. Ibid., 347.

11. Ibid., 385-386.

12. John Henry Newman, Letters and Diaries, Vol. 25: The Vatican Council (Oxford University Press) 35.

13. Ibid., 29.

14. For the unconditional character of the act of assent cf. the Grammar of Assent, 8; 13; 16; 35; 38; 75; 157; 172-174; 188-189; 259.

15. Notes to "The Form of Inference" in Collection, 256. Quotes from the Blandyke Papers are with the permission of the trustees of the Lonergan Research Institute, Toronto. The name comes from a village near Liège where the students had their weekly holiday in the years when English laws forced the Jesuit seminary across the English Channel. Cf. Crowe, Lonergan, 32.

16. "The Form of Mathematical Inference," 129.

17. Philosophical Notebook of John Henry Newman: Volume II, ed. Edward Sillem (Louvain: Nauwelaerts Pub. House, 1970) 13. To this quote Edward Sillem appends the editorial note: "The question is whether a universal is merely formed by induction from particulars. A Nominalist must reply in the affirmative. Newman replies in the negative. In principle a universal can be formed from one particular."

18. John Henry Newman, The Theological Papers of John Henry Newman on Faith and Certainty, eds. de Achaval and Holmes (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1976) 57.

19. Caring About Meaning, 13.

20. Cf. the editorial notes to "The Form of Inference" in Collection, 256-258.

21. "The Syllogism," 1.

22. Ibid., 6. Cf. H.W.B.Joseph, An Introduction to Logic, 305: "We have already, in discussing the modality of judgements, met with this distinction between the reason for a thing being so and so, and the reason for our knowing it to be so - between ratio essendi and ratio cognoscendi." Cf. also ibid., 205-206.

23. It is interesting to note that Newman, contrary to Mill in his System of Logic, makes a clear distinction between imagination and conception. He reflects on Mill's reflections on the definition of a circle: "'We cannot conceive a line without breadth; we can form no mental picture of such a line.' Does he not here confuse conception with imagination. We cannot imagine such a line - but there are many things which we conceive, or (whatever word we use,) which we hold before our intellect, which we cannot imagine. Abstract words imply conceptions which are not still imaginations. What would he call the operation by which we hold in the mind the idea of whiteness. Why is not length without breadth as good an idea or conception as whiteness? It is an abstraction from facts <phenomena>. Take again the notion of relation; e.g. paternity or friendship. This something which goes between two objects. It cannot exist without those objects and without a process in fact - but we can conceive it in itself, etc., it is like a line without breadth." "Papers of 1857 on Mill's Logic," Philosophical Papers on Faith and Certainty, 41. Elsewhere he notes: "Mill says, contrary to Whewell, that the ellipse is no fact in addition to the numerical observations in detail on which it is founded. But surely the relations of facts are facts; and therefore new facts above the facts. Hence...the ellipse which expresses the relation of the observations to each other is something new...Question. What Whewell and Mill call 'conception' p. 304, is the object of it the same as 'formal cause'?" Ibid., 43. Readers of Lonergan's writings will see in these notes concerns similar to those of Newman in the latter part of the nineteenth century.

24. "The Syllogism," 8.

25. David Hume, A Treatise of Human Nature (Oxford, 1896), 84; quoted in James M. Cameron, The Night Battle (1962), 225-226.

26. Edward Sillem, The Philosophical Notebook of John Henry Newman I, 187. The theme is sounded even in Newman's Apologia where he speaks of the doctrine of transubstantiation: "For myself, I cannot indeed prove it, I cannot tell how it is; but I say, "Why should it not be? What's to hinder it? What do I know of substance or matter? just as much as the greatest philosophers, and that is nothing at all;" - so much is this the case, that there is a rising school of philosophy now, which considers phenomena to constitute the whole of our knowledge in physics." Apologia pro vita sua, 240.

27. Caring About Meaning, 13. Two other shorter papers from 1929, largely logical in scope, were "Infinite Multitude" (February, 1929) and a letter on "Creation from Eternity" (Easter, 1929).

28. "True Judgment and Science," 1.

29. Ibid..

30. Thomas Harper, "Dr. Newman's Essay in the aid of a Grammar of Assent," The Month 12(1870) 599-611, 677-692; 13(1871) 31-58, 159-183.

31. Grammar of Assent, 259-260.

32. Cf. C. Stephen Dessain, "Cardinal Newman on the Theory and Practice of Knowledge: The Purpose of the Grammar of Assent," The Downside Review (1957) 11.

33. Ibid., 380. Newman concludes this quote with a line elsewhere quoted by Lonergan: "It is the second-rate men, though most useful in their place, who prove, reconcile, finish, and explain."

34. "True Judgment and Science," 2.

35. Ibid., 249.

36. Ibid., 377.

37. "True Judgment and Science," 3.

38. Ibid., 172.

39. Charles C. Hefling, "On Apprehension, Notional and Real," (paper presented at the Lonergan Workshop, Boston College, March 18-19, 1988) 7.

40. Grammar of Assent, 267.

41. "True Judgment and Science," 4.

42. Ibid., 31.

43. Ibid., 311.

44. "True Judgment and Science," 5.

45. Ibid., 6.

46. Ibid..

47. Ibid.. Lonergan refers to the Grammar of Assent, 412.

48. Method in Theology, 338.

49. Grammar of Assent, 94, quoted there from Newman's earlier writing, Discussions and Arguments on Various Subjects.

50. Cf. Method in Theology, 251, on having only a notional apprehension of conversion. Also, 169: "H. G. Gadamer has contended that one really grasps the meaning of a text only when one brings its implications to bear on contemporary living. This, of course, is paralleled by Reinhold Niebuhr's insistence that history is understood in the effort to change it. I have no intention of disputing such views, for they seem to me straight-forward applications of Newman's distinction between notional and real apprehension.

51. Henri Bremond, The Mystery of Newman (London: Williams and Norgate, 1907) 87. Ironically, in spite of Lonergan's apparent enthusiasm, Bremond is not always regarded as an authentic interpreter of Newman. Cf.Charles Stephen Dessain, "Newman's Philosophy and Theology," Victorian Prose (New York: Modern Language Association of America, 1973) 166-169.

52. Grammar of Assent, 283.

53. Sillem, Philosophical Notebook I, 188. This too, according to J. M. Cameron, is characteristic of empiricism: "Now it is equally characteristic of empiricism...that self-scrutiny should be held to disclose powerful and ordinarily irresistible impulses to believe certain hypotheses; and that the felt energy of these impulses should in all matters of practice overcome, and rightly overcome, the uncertainties that belong to these hypotheses so long as they are treated as making claims to be rationally demonstrable." Op. cit., 226.

54. "True Judgment and Science," 5.

55. Ibid..

56. Letter of June 20, 1927; quoted by permission of the trustees of the Lonergan Research Institute, Toronto.

57. Letter to Provincial, January 22, 1935. Quoted with permission of the Lonergan Research Institute, Toronto.

58. Second Collection, 263-264; also cf. transcripts by Nicholas Graham of discussions from the Lonergan Workshop at Boston College, June 14, 1978, where Lonergan says "in most places you would have been 'back-bogged' for saying you were a nominalist." Available at the Lonergan Research Institute, Toronto.

59. Unpublished article by William Matthews, "On Lonergan and John Stuart Mill."

60. James Mill, Analysis of the Human Mind I, London, 1869, 260; quoted in H. W. B. Joseph, An Introduction to Logic, 31.

61. George Hayward Joyce, Principles of Logic, London, 1920, 132-133.

62. F. Aveling, "Universals and the 'Illative Sense,'" Dublin Review 137 (October 1905) 255-256. (Lonergan spells the author's name "Areling.") Cf. also Aveling's reference to a review in The Tablet of March 25, 1899, regarding the Grammar of Assent: "In The Tablet a critic writes that the work in no way represents the current and immemorial teaching of Catholic philosophical schools."

63. Ibid., 263.

64. Cf. Edward Sillem, The Philosophical Notebook of John Henry Newman I, 240. Cf. also The Theological Papers of John Henry Newman on Faith and Certainty, 56: "A very difficult question arises whether the subject of ideas comes directly into the province of Logic. Or, in other words, whether names of terms stand for ideas or for things. It will be said that ideas and things go together, and therefore the question is unimportant - but there is the case in which there is, or is imagined, an idea without a thing, that is, the case of Universals - Accordingly those then on the side of Things against Ideas, say that there are not universal ideas; and a controversy ensues which is nothing else than a portion of the old scholastic controversy, between the Nominalists, Realists and Conceptionists." Of this controversy Newman says: "It is usual with Catholic writers to take the part of Universals - and in consequence to take the part of Ideas against Things. My own long habit has been the same - and it is difficult for me for that reason to do otherwise, but I confess the onus probandi is with those who maintain Universals, and it is difficult to prove their necessity - and taking that question away, it certainly does seem more simple and natural to say the words stand for things."

65. "True Judgment and Science," 5.

66. Insight, 22 (xxviii).

67. Cf. Lonergan's letter to his provincial of January 22, 1935.

68. Przywara, Erich, "St. Augustine and the Modern World," A Monument to St. Augustine (New York: Meridian Books, 1957; first edition 1930) 281. Cf. Newman's distinction, in a letter to his sister in May, 1834, between matter and its sensible phenomena: "To what extent Berkeley denied the existence of the external world I am not aware; nor do I mean to go so far myself (far from it) as to deny the existence of matter, though I should deny that what we saw was more than accidents of it, and say that space perhaps is but a condition of the objects of sense, not a reality."

69. Przywara, A Monument to St. Augustine, 282.

70. A Second Collection, 219.

71. Ibid., 242. Cf. unpublished Method in Theology notes from 1962, 37. Available at the Lonergan Research Institute, Toronto.

72. Grammar of Assent, 374. Lonergan adds that Newman writes "not without a touch of exaggeration." Verbum, 17.

73. Cf. for example, Second Collection, 263. The same remark can be found elsewhere.

74. Page 36 of the fragments of what may be the lost essay on assent. Lonergan Research Institute, Toronto.



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