David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Journal of Scottish Philosophy 6 (1):71-90 (2008)
According to Reid, opinions that contradict the principles of common sense are not only false but also absurd. Nature has given us an emotion that reveals the absurdity of an opinion: the emotion of ridicule. An appeal to ridicule in philosophical arguments may easily be discounted as a logical fallacy in the same manner as an appeal to the common consent of people. This essay traces the origins of Reid's defense of ridicule in the works of Addison, Hutcheson, Shaftesbury and Campbell. Reid rejected a non-epistemic view of the sense of ridicule. According to Reid, ridicule includes both a feeling and a particular act of judgment based on the principles of common sense
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