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Reid, Kant and the philosophy of mind

Philosophical Quarterly 52 (209):495-510 (2002)
I suggest a possible rehabilitation of Reid's philosophy of mind by a constructive use of Kant's criticisms of the common sense tradition. Kant offers two criticisms, explicitly claiming that common sense philosophy is ill directed methodologically, and implicitly rejecting Reid's view that there is direct epistemological access by introspection to the ontology of mind. Putting the two views together reveals a tension between epistemology and ontology, but the problem which Kant finds in Reid also infects his own system, as his weaker ontological claims are undermined to such an extent by the necessary reintroduction of self-consciousness that the justification he seeks for reason fails to be reached epistemologically. Plausible solutions to these parallel tensions imply that both Reid and Kant have a pre-systematic concept of mind, and may lead to the conclusion that Reid's method is more economical in the elaboration of an ontology for the philosophy of mind
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