The Monist 70 (4):465-482 (1987)

A spate of recent articles on Thomas Reid’s aesthetic theory constitutes a valuable commentary on both Reid’s own theory and on eighteenth-century aesthetics. However, while these articles provide a generally sympatheic introduction to Reid’s position, they are primarily expository in nature and uncritical in tone. I shall therefore address the plausibility of both Reid’s general aesthetic theory and the arguments advanced for the theory. I contend that his theory, however much an improvement over those offered by his contemporaries, is fatally flawed by internal confusion and inconsistency; he cannot justify his claim that beauty and sublimity are objective qualities of objects. My analysis focuses on Reid’s mature statement on aesthetics, the essay “Of Taste” found at the end of the Essays on the Intellectual Powers of Man.
Keywords Analytic Philosophy  Contemporary Philosophy  General Interest  Philosophy of Mind  Philosophy of Science
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ISBN(s) 0026-9662
DOI 10.5840/monist198770430
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Lehrer on Reid on General Conceptions.Roger Gallie - 1993 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 1 (2):125 – 138.
Thomas Reid's Aesthetic Realism.Roger Pouivet - 2005 - Journal of Scottish Philosophy 3 (1):35-45.

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