Real Apprehension in Newman's An Essay in Aid of a Grammar of Assent

In An Essay in Aid of a Grammar of Assent, John Henry Newman articulates his fundamental philosophical orientation by giving priority to real apprehension over notional apprehension. He distinguishes between the two by saying that notional apprehension hasto do with things internal to the mind and admits of exactness and clarity whereas real apprehension has to do with things external to the mind and does not admit of the same degree of clarity and exactness. I argue that the connection between “inside the mind” and “clarity and exactness” lies in the constructive activity underlying notional thinking. Real apprehension, on the other hand, involves a given apprehension of unity, mainly, the concrete unity of intelligent life, which includes but cannot be reduced to the constructive activity of notional thinking. Thus, I argue, Newman’s realism undercuts any form of modern transcendentalism and evinces a form of classical human realism
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DOI 10.5840/ipq200545446
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