Newman Studies Journal 17 (2):41-58 (2020)

Logan Paul Gage
Franciscan University of Steubenville
In this article, we argue that John Henry Newman was right to think that our passional nature can play a legitimate epistemic role. First, we unpack the standard objection to Newman’s understanding of the relationship between our passional nature and the evidential basis of faith. Second, we argue that the standard objection to Newman operates with a narrow definition of evidence. After challenging this notion, we then offer a broader and more humane understanding of evidence. Third, we survey recent scholarship arguing that emotions, a key aspect of our passional nature, are cognitive. In this light, they plausibly have a proper epistemic role. Fourth, we defend Newman’s reliance on the passional nature in epistemic matters by showing how reasonable it is in light of this recent work on evidence and the nature of emotions. Newman’s insistence that the formation of a right state of heart and mind is crucial for epistemic success is far from untenable.
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DOI 10.1353/nsj.2020.0019
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Objectless Emotions.Roger Lamb - 1987 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 48 (September):107-117.

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