Volume 7, Issue 2, Fall 2010
John Henry Newman and Andrew Martin Fairbairn
Philosophical Scepticism and the Efficacy of Reason in The Contemporary Review Exchange
This essay examines the contrasting conceptualizations of reason in the thought of John Henry Newman and Andrew Martin Fairbairn in their articles published in The Contemporary Review in 1885. This essay articulates both Fairbairn’s charge of philosophical scepticism against Newman as well as Newman’s defense of his position and concomitantly details Fairbairn’s and Newman’s competing notions of the efficacy of reason to provide reliable knowledge of God. The positions of Fairbairn and Newman remain two of the most important perspectives on the role of reason in the acquisition of knowledge about God in nineteenth- and twentieth-century Christian theology.