Scottish Common Sense Philosophy: Sources and Origins

Thoemmes Press (2000)
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Abstract

The Scottish Common Sense School of philosophy emerged during the Scottish Enlightenment of the second half of the eighteenth century. The School’s principal proponents were Thomas Reid, James Oswald, James Beattie and Dugald Stewart. They believed that we are all naturally implanted with an array of common sense intuitions and these intuitions are in fact the foundation of truth. Their approach dominated philosophical thought in Great Britain and the United States until the mid nineteenth century. In recent years philosophers have renewed their appreciation of the notion of common sense. In particular, discussions of common sense intuitions are integral to contemporary epistemological foundationalism. Scottish Common Sense Philosophy: Sources and Origins is a 5-volume collection of writings by and about philosophers in the eighteenth-century Scottish Common Sense School. The writings by Thomas Reid and Dugald Stewart are readily available in recent editions and facsimile reprints so this series focuses on less accessible and less well-known items. Oswald’s Appeal appears here in print for the first time in any form since 1772. Volume 2 is the first reset printing of Beattie’s Essay in over 100 years, and is the only edition to contain annotations that trace the major changes that he made to the text. Almost all of the responses in volumes 3 and 4 appear here in print for the first time since their original publication. These include reviews, pamphlets and excerpts from books. Also included is previously unpublished discussion of Beattie’s Essay by Dugald Stewart. The final volume is a bibliography of around 80 Scottish philosophers from the early eighteenth century to the close of the nineteenth century. Unlike the 1932 bibliography of Scottish philosophers offered by T. E. Jessop, which selectively presents only the philosophical writings by the various Scottish philosophers, this volume attempts to catalogue all of the writings by these philosophers in all of their editions.

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