David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Philosophers' Imprint 8 (3):1-14 (2008)
Thomas Reid is often misread as defending common sense, if at all, only by relying on illicit premises about God or our natural faculties. On these theological or reliabilist misreadings, Reid makes common sense assertions where he cannot give arguments. This paper attempts to untangle Reid's defense of common sense by distinguishing four arguments: (a) the argument from madness, (b) the argument from natural faculties, (c) the argument from impotence, and (d) the argument from practical commitment. Of these, (a) and (c) do rely on problematic premises that are no more secure than claims of common sense itself. Yet (b) and (d) do not. This conclusion can be established directly by considering the arguments informally, but one might still worry that there is an implicit premise in them. In order to address this concern, I reconstruct the arguments in the framework of subjective Bayesianism. The worry becomes this: Do the arguments rely on specific values for the prior probability of some premises? Reid's appeals to our prior cognitive and practical commitments do not. Rather than relying on specific probability assignments, they draw on things that are part of the Bayesian framework itself, such as the nature of observation and the connection between belief and action. Contra the theological or reliabilist readings, the defense of common sense does not require indefensible premises.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Etienne Brun-Rovet (2002). Reid, Kant and the Philosophy of Mind. Philosophical Quarterly 52 (209):495-510.
Benjamin W. Redekop (2002). Thomas Reid and the Problem of Induction: From Common Experience to Common Sense. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 33 (1):35-57.
Carson Strong (2008). Justifying Group-Specific Common Morality. Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 29 (1):1-15.
David Thomas (1978). Sociology and Common Sense. Inquiry 21 (1-4):1 – 32.
Thomas Reid (1997). Thomas Reid, an Inquiry Into the Human Mind: On the Principles of Common Sense. Pennsylvania State University Press.
Michael De Medeiros (2010). Common Sense. Weigl Publishers.
Noah Marcelino Lemos (2004). Common Sense: A Contemporary Defense. Cambridge University Press.
Michael Pakaluk (2002). A Defence of Scottish Common Sense. Philosophical Quarterly 52 (209):564-581.
Brian Grant (2001). The Virtues of Common Sense. Philosophy 76 (2):191-209.
Giovanni B. Grandi (2008). Reid on Ridicule and Common Sense. Journal of Scottish Philosophy 6 (1):71-90.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads63 ( #30,278 of 1,692,213 )
Recent downloads (6 months)4 ( #59,665 of 1,692,213 )
How can I increase my downloads?