Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://hdl.handle.net/1959.11/6509
Title: Newman's Epistemology of Religious Belief: His Approach to the Justification of Belief in the Existence of God
Contributor(s): Huang, Yawei (author); Forrest, Peter  (supervisor); Lynch, Anthony  (supervisor)orcid 
Conferred Date: 2007
Copyright Date: 2005
Open Access: Yes
Handle Link: https://hdl.handle.net/1959.11/6509
Abstract: Newman's epistemology of religious belief generates a great philosophical interest due to its relevance to contemporary discussion of the epistemology of religious belief, especially, its relevance to reformed epistemology. In this thesis, I attempt to re-examine Newman's epistemology of religious belief, especially his argument from conscience to belief in God, and try to bring out its significance to the contemporary discussion on the epistemology of religious belief and to show the advantages of Newman's approach over the reformed epistemologists' approach through an analytical and comparative study. There are three main parts in this thesis: (1) The sources of Newman's philosophical ideas. In this part, I argue that Newman's philosophical ideas were greatly influenced by Thomas Reid, exhibiting the close similarities between them with respect to their views on perception, the foundation of knowledge, the role of probable reasoning, their antisceptical approaches and naturalized epistemology; (2) Newman's approach to the justification of belief in God is based on the phenomenon of conscience. In this part, I first clarify Newman's conception of conscience, then analyse his approach as involving two arguments: (a) an argument from the analogy of conscience with perception; (b) an inference to the best explanation of the phenomena of conscience. I argue that even if the argument as an analogy is not promising the argument as an inference to the best explanation is successful; and (3) A comparison between Newman's approach to the justification of belief in God and that of the reformed epistemologists. In this part, I examine Plantinga's approach and exhibit some close similarities between his approach and Newman's. I also show that Newman's approach to the justification of belief in God has advantages over Plantinga's.
Publication Type: Thesis Doctoral
Rights Statement: Copyright 2005 - Yawei Huang
HERDC Category Description: T2 Thesis - Doctorate by Research
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