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Summary

Thomas Reid (1710-1796) was a Scottish philosopher and key figure in the Scottish Common Sense School. He taught at Kings College Aberdeen before succeeding Adam Smith as Professor of Moral Philosophy at the University of Glasgow in 1764.  Reid is primarily known for the epistemological theory he develops in response to the perceived failings of the 'way of ideas', the position associated with the likes of Descartes, Locke, Berkeley and Hume that claims that the immediate objects of perception are private mental items. Reid takes Hume as demonstrating that such a perceptual theory leads to a complete scepticism. As an alternative to this, Reid offers a direct realist account of perception and argues that all first principles of common sense stand on an equal footing – there is no reason to favour perception or reason over testimony or the belief in an external world, for example.  One other aspect of Reid's Common Sense theory that continues to exert significant influence is his contra-casual account of human agency.

Key works Reid's three major works represent two periods in his intellectual life: his first important work, An Inquiry into the Human Mind on the Principles of Common Sense (Thomas 1764) was written during his time at Aberdeen; his Essays on the Intellectual Powers of Man (Reid 1785) and Essays on the Active Powers of Man (Reid 1788) reflect his work at Glasgow. All three works were included in Sir William Hamilton’s The Works of Thomas Reid (Reid 1846), though this has been superseded by the Edinburgh Edition of Thomas Reid, a projected 10 volume series published by Edinburgh University Press and Pennsylvania State University Press. The Edinburgh edition of the Inquiry, Reid 1997, is edited by Derek R. Brookes, the Intellectual Powers, Reid 1865, by Derek R. Brookes and Knud Haakonssen, and the Active Powers, Reid 2010, by Knud Haakonssen and James A. Harris.
Introductions Keith 1989 is the only introductory text on Reid available at the present time, with an emphasis on Reid's epistemology. Wolterstorff 2004 provides an alternative, highly accessible discussion of his epistemological concerns. The papers in Cuneo & van Woudenberg 2004 cover a wider range of core themes from Reid’s writings, including his moral and aesthetic theories. Yaffe & Nichols 2009 is the best online overview.
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  1. REID, T. -Essays on the Intellectual Powers of Man. [REVIEW]R. I. Aaron - 1943 - Mind 52:283.
  2. The Philosophical Orations of Thomas Reid Delivered at Graduation Ceremonies in King's College, Aberdeen, 1753, 1756, 1759, 1762. [REVIEW]Todd L. Adams - 1991 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 29 (3):499-500.
  3. Keith Lehrer, Thomas Reid. [REVIEW]Todd L. Adams - 1991 - Review of Metaphysics 44 (3):645-646.
  4. Thomas Reid. [REVIEW]Todd L. Adams - 1991 - Review of Metaphysics 44 (3):645-646.
  5. Understanding Thomas Reid.Garrett Allen - 2012 - Stance 5:55-62.
    Thomas Reid offers a powerful challenge to Hume and his skeptical system. In “Thomas Reid on Epistemic Principles,” William Alston gives an explanation of that challenge and concludes in favor of a Reidian-inspired thesis. I argue, however, that Alston’s thesis is a diluted version of Reid’s radical position, one that Reid’s principles cannot accommodate. Thus, I conclude that, because Alston’s position is not available, we are left with Reid’s radical thesis, with which we are rightly uncomfortable.
  6. Thomas Reid on Epistemic Principles.William P. Alston - 1985 - History of Philosophy Quarterly 2 (4):435 - 452.
  7. Thomas Reid.Maria Alvarez - 2010 - In Timothy O'Connor & Constantine Sandis (eds.), A Companion to the Philosophy of Action. Wiley-Blackwell.
  8. The Geometry of Visibles.R. B. Angell - 1974 - Noûs 8 (2):87-117.
  9. Thomas Reid: An Inquiry Into the Human Mind on Principles of Common Sense, Edinburgh Edition. [REVIEW]M. Angles & A. Broadie - 1998 - Reid Studies 1 (2):69-70.
  10. Thomas Reid and the Justification of Induction.Peter Anstey - 1995 - History of Philosophy Quarterly 12 (1):77-93.
  11. Thomas Reid and the Critique on the Doctrine of Ideas.E. Arosio - 2001 - Giornale Critico Della Filosofia Italiana 21 (1):117-136.
  12. Reid, Hardness and Developmental Psychology.Adam Weiler Gur Arye - 2014 - Journal of Scottish Philosophy 12 (2):145-162.
    I suggest two main ways of interpreting Reid's analysis of the perception of the quality of hardness: Reid endorses two distinct concepts of hardness. The distinction between the two lies in a profoundly different relation between the sensation of hardness and the concept of hardness in each of them. The first concept, which I term as a “sensation-laden concept”, is “the quality that arises in us the sensation of hardness.” The second concept, which I call a “non-sensational concept”, is “the (...)
  13. Is Berkeley's Theory of Ideas A Variant of Locke's?Teppei Baba - 2008 - Proceedings of the Xxii World Congress of Philosophy 16:9-15.
    I try to show that Berkeley's theory of ideas is not a variant of Locke's. We can find such an interpretation of Berkeley in Thomas Reid. So, we could call this interpretation a 'traditional interpretation'. This traditional interpretation has an influence still now, for example, Tomida interprets Berkeley in this line (Tomida2002). We will see that this traditional interpretation gives a serious problem to Berkeley (section 1). And I am going to present an argument against this traditional interpretation (section 2).
  14. Thomas Reid: Ethics, Aesthetics and the Anatomy of the Self. [REVIEW]Marc Baer - 2000 - Review of Metaphysics 53 (4):926-927.
  15. An Inquiry Into the Human Mind on the Principles of Common Sense.Marc Baer - 1999 - Review of Metaphysics 52 (3):720-721.
  16. Thomas Reid on the Animate Creation. [REVIEW]Marc Baer - 1998 - Review of Metaphysics 52 (1):166-169.
  17. Thomas Reid: Critical Interpretations.Stephen Francis Barker & Tom L. Beauchamp (eds.) - 1976 - University City Science Center.
  18. Thomas Reid on Causation and Scientific Explanation.Manuel Barrantes & Juan Manuel Durán - 2016 - Journal of Scottish Philosophy 14 (1):51-67.
    We argue that there is no tension between Reid's description of science and his claim that science is based on the principles of common sense. For Reid, science is rooted in common sense since it is based on the idea that fixed laws govern nature. This, however, does not contradict his view that the scientific notions of causation and explanation are fundamentally different from their common sense counterparts. After discussing these points, we dispute with Cobb's and Benbaji's interpretations of Reid's (...)
  19. Thomas Reid's Inquiry. [REVIEW]Baruch A. Brody - 1976 - Journal of Philosophy 73 (1):25-27.
  20. Thomas Reid's Metaprinciple.Philip De Bary - 2000 - American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 74 (3):373-383.
  21. Reid on Ethics – Sabine Roeser. [REVIEW]Peter Baumann - 2011 - Philosophical Quarterly 61 (245):856-859.
  22. On the Subtleties of Reidian Pragmatism: A Reply to Magnus.Peter Baumann - 2004 - Journal of Scottish Philosophy 2 (1):73-77.
    In this paper I respond to P.D. Magnus’ critique of an earlier paper of mine on Thomas Reid’s theory of common sense. In the earlier paper (The Scottish Pragmatist? The Dilemma of Common Sense and the Pragmatist Way Out, Reid Studies 2, 1999, 47-57) I argued that Reid faces a dilemma between dogmatism and scepticism but that there are also hints in his work towards a pragmatist way out of the problem. P.D. Magnus, in a response to this paper (Reid’s (...)
  23. The Scottish Pragmatist? The Dilemma of Common Sense and the Pragmatist Way Out.Peter Baumann - 1999 - Reid Studies 2 (2):47-58.
    One of the great attractions of Thomas Reid's account of knowledge is that he attempted to avoid the alternative between skepticism and dogmatism. This attempt, however, faces serious problems. It is argued here that there is a pragmatist way out of the problems, and that there are even hints to this solution in Reid's writings.
  24. Russell's Indebtedness to Reid.Ronald Beanblossom - 1978 - The Monist 61 (2):192-204.
  25. Thomas Reid: Context, Influence, Significance. [REVIEW]Ronald E. Beanblossom - 2006 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 44 (1):126-128.
    Ronald E. Beanblossom - Thomas Reid: Context, Influence, Significance - Journal of the History of Philosophy 44:1 Journal of the History of Philosophy 44.1 126-128 Joseph Houston, editor. Thomas Reid: Context, Influence, Significance. Edinburgh: Dunedin Academic Press, 2004. Pp. 192. Cloth, $45.00. The impetus for this volume was a 1996 conference at Glasgow University marking the bicentennial of Reid's death. Topics addressed range from Reid's refutation of skepticism to M.A. Stewart's "Sources for Reid's Views on Personal Identity." Stewart is at (...)
  26. Review of Derek R. Brookes: Thomas Reid; Essays on the Intellectual Powers of Man; Review of Paul Wood: The Correspondence of Thomas Reid. [REVIEW]Ronald E. Beanblossom - 2004 - Journal of Scottish Philosophy 2 (1):83-87.
  27. James and Reid.Ronald E. Beanblossom - 2000 - American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 74 (3):471-490.
  28. James and Reid: Meliorism Vs. Metaphysics.Ronald E. Beanblossom - 2000 - American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 74 (3):471-490.
  29. Reid and Hume: On the Nature of Belief.Ronald E. Beanblossom - 1998 - Reid Studies 1 (2):17-32.
  30. Kant's Quarrel with Reid: The Role of Metaphysics.Ronald E. Beanblossom - 1988 - History of Philosophy Quarterly 5 (1):53 - 62.
  31. In Defense of Thomas Reid's Use of 'Suggestion'.Ronald E. Beanblossom - 1975 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 1:19-24.
    Thomas Reid, the eighteenth century Scottish philosopher, was concerned with the proper use of ordinary language. P. G. Winch would have us believe that in spite of Reid's concern for observing the ordinary meaning of terms, Reid did not know the ordinary meaning of 'suggest'. Not knowing this ordinary meaning, Reid allegedly changed it in violation of his own criteria. Against this view I argue (1) Reid uses 'suggest' in a technical sense and gives reasons for doing so; (2) contrary (...)
  32. The Use of Metaphor and Analogy in Thomas Reid's Epistemology.Ronald Edwin Beanblossom - 1971 - Dissertation, The University of Rochester
  33. Remarks on the Geometry of Visibles.Gordon Belot - 2003 - Philosophical Quarterly 53 (213):581–586.
    An explication is offered of Reid’s claim (discussed recently by Yaffe and others) that the geometry of the visual field is spherical geometry. It is shown that the sphere is the only surface whose geometry coincides, in a certain strong sense, with the geometry of visibles.
  34. Reid's Direct Approach to Perception.Aaron Ben-Zeev - 1986 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 17 (1):99-114.
  35. Is Thomas Reid a Direct Realist About Perception?Hagit Benbaji - 2007 - European Journal of Philosophy 17 (1):1-29.
    The controversy over the interpretative issue2014is Thomas Reid a perceptual direct realist?2014has recently had channelled into it a host of imaginative ideas about what direct perception truly means. Paradoxically enough, it is the apparent contradiction at the heart of his view of perception which keeps teasing us to review our concepts: time and again, Reid stresses that the very idea of any mental intermediaries implies scepticism, yet, nevertheless insists that sensations are signs of objects. But if sensory signs are not (...)
  36. Reid on Causation and Action.Hagit Benbaji - 2003 - Journal of Scottish Philosophy 1 (1):1-19.
  37. Reid's View of Aesthetic and Secondary Qualities.Hagit Benbaji - 1999 - Reid Studies 2:31-46.
  38. Reidian Externalism.Michael Bergmann - 2008 - In Vincent Hendricks (ed.), New Waves in Epistemology. Palgrave-Macmillan.
    What distinguishes Reidian externalism from other versions of epistemic externalism about justification is its proper functionalism and its commonsensism, both of which are inspired by the 18th century Scottish philosopher Thomas Reid. Its proper functionalism is a particular analysis of justification; its commonsensism is a certain thesis about what we are noninferentially justified in believing.
  39. The Scottish Philosophy of Common Sense. [REVIEW]Richard J. Bernstein - 1961 - Review of Metaphysics 15 (2):342-343.
  40. Thomas Reid on Practical Ethics: Being Lectures and Papers on Natural Religion, Self-Government, Natural Jurisprudence, and the Law of Nations. [REVIEW]Christopher J. Berry - 1992 - Utilitas 4 (2):331-333.
  41. Some Remarks on Reid on Primary and Secondary Qualities.Steffen Borge - 2007 - Acta Analytica 22 (1):74-84.
    John Locke’s distinction between primary and secondary qualities of objects has meet resistance. In this paper I bypass the traditional critiques of the distinction and instead concentrate on two specific counterexamples to the distinction: Killer yellow and the puzzle of multiple dispositions. One can accommodate these puzzles, I argue, by adopting Thomas Reid’s version of the primary/secondary quality distinction, where the distinction is founded upon conceptual grounds. The primary/secondary quality distinction is epistemic rather than metaphysical. A consequence of Reid’s primary/ (...)
  42. Thomas Reid's Account of Sensation as a Natural Principle of Belief.Philip Bourdillon - 1975 - Philosophical Studies 27 (1):19 - 36.
  43. La perception Des mouvements Par le moyen Des sensations tactiles Des yeux.B. Bourdon - 1900 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 50:1 - 17.
  44. "La Filosofia di Tommaso Reid," by Michele Federico Sciacca. [REVIEW]Vernon J. Bourke - 1965 - Modern Schoolman 42 (2):226-226.
  45. Reid and the Philosophy of Common Sense.Arthur Boutwood - 1895 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 1:154-171.
  46. Reid and the Philosophy of Common Sense.Arthur Boutwood - 1894 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 3 (1):154 - 171.
  47. Introduction: Scottish Philosophy in the Nineteenth-Century Atlantic World.Bow Charles Bradford - 2013 - History of European Ideas 39 (5):605-612.
    Summary The Introduction contextualises the development of Thomas Reid's Common Sense philosophy as the foundation for what would be known as the Scottish School of Common Sense. This introductory discussion of Reid's philosophical system bridges his thought in the Scottish Enlightenment with the special issue's focus of Scottish philosophy in the nineteenth-century Atlantic World.
  48. John W. Yolton., Thinking Matter: Materialism in Eighteenth-Century Britain and Perceptual Acquaintance From Descartes to Reid. [REVIEW]Harry M. Bracken - 1989 - International Studies in Philosophy 21 (1):128-129.
  49. Thomas Reid's Inquiry--The Geometry of Visibles and the Case for Realism, by Norman Daniels. [REVIEW]Wolfgang Breidert - 1976 - Isis 67 (3):485-486.
  50. Was an Reid Zu Loben: Über Die Philosophie von Thomas Reid.Franz Brentano - 1975 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 1:1-18.
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