In other words, the Illative sense that we are about to try to explain is a faculty of our intellect, which brings us to the truth without explicit investigation, through a process in which we go from the antecedent to theconsequent unconsciously.
The Illative Sense that Card. Newman explains is not supposed to determine how Certitude (Certitude being here understood as a quality of propositions that is an active recognition of the truth) is achieved but rather it is sufficient for him that such certitude is felt. He wants to treat the subject in a de facto esse manner, aiming only at the truth of things and tothe minds certitude of that truth.
Newman denominates the Illative Sense a Faculty, not in the scholastic sense of an independent power of the soul, so much as of a talent honed and cultivated with the aid of multiple powers over time. It is in this context that experience is crucial for fulfilling our intellectual nature, and why, False certitudes can stem from insufficient training.
This senseis not about how people use their rational powers but how they perfect them.
The central question of this work isIs there any criterion of the accuracy of an inference, such as may be our warrant that certitude is rightly elicited, in favor of the proposition inferred, since our warrant cant be scientifically proof?
The answer for this difficult task lays according toCardinal Newman in the Ratiocinative Faculty or in the Illative Sense as Cardinal Newman calls it.
Also Cardinal Newman once said that the human mind embraces (in the rational realm) more than it can master, phrase with which he clearly pointed out the great importance of subconscious reasoning, he said thatIt is the mass and variety of experiences in the course of life which really bring thejudgment to perfection and make it sure in its decisions and paraphrasing in order not to be too long in this quote he said that when reasoning about many things man acts and this decisions leave an impressions in his mind such that he cant formulate as how he when through it, this decisions which are part of our daily life we do them non consciously. In those instances in which decisions areimportant the subconscious reasoning is what really counts in practical emergencies.
The Nature of the Illative Sense.
The power of judging and concluding, when it is perfection, is call the Illative Sense, which Cardinal Newman explains by illustrating it with parallel faculties such as the Phronesis of Aristotle which is a result of Cardinal Newmans intensive study of Aristotles Rhetoric,Poetics and Nichomachean Ethics.
Although our mind acts through judgment, taste, matter of intercourse, etc. what remains at the center of it all is the individual upon whose responsibility is lay. For example Aristotle came up with the treatise on Ethics giving phronesis, which guides the mind in matters of conduct, to control mans behaving in circumstances. What Card. Newmanpoints out very well is that even though we have got all these rules and standards, such principles do not give us an explanation as to how to behave in concrete circumstances.
What decides what path is to be followed, for example in the ethical field of decision, is in the mind of the individual that is the rule for himself in the cases of duty and law. This rule comes from a habit maturedby practice and experience which gives us the capacity to do what is ought to be done in a determine occasion, It is an act of hic et nunc, for a specific individual. It is not a hypothetical decision, but rather a real one in the full sense.
This mental rule is elastic to each individual. It is such as Aristotles Phronesis from which morality forms its own rules. Cardinal Newman...