Disc. 7, continued

Newman continues to quote Davison who agrees that a Liberal Education will prepare someone to later carry out a particular profession but a person’s capacity to learn should not be limited at an early age and reduced to learning one particular pursuit. Davison explains that youth must develop good judgment: “Of the intellectual powers, the judgment is that which takes the foremost lead in life. How to form it to the two habits it ought to possess, of exactness and vigour, is the problem.”

For Davison an obstacle to acquiring good judgment is the limitation of education to one pursuit alone. Judgment develops by comparison and discrimination:  “For if there be a single intelligible point on this head, it is that a man who has been trained to think upon one subject or for one subject only, will never be a good judge even in that one: whereas the enlargement of his circle gives him increased knowledge and power in a rapidly increasing ratio.”

By the power of judgment, Davison here does not refer to the capacity to avoid mistakes, but to the “master-principle of business, literature, and talent, which gives him strength in any subject he chooses to grapple with, and enables him to seize the strong point in it.”

Newman, like Davison, holds that the mind exercises and develops its faculty of judgment by studying religion, ethics, history, classical literature and fine arts.

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