Thomas Reid and non-euclidean geometry

Reid Studies 5 (2):54-64 (2002)
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Abstract

In the chapter “The Geometry of Visibles” in his ‘Inquiry into the Human Mind’, Thomas Reid constructs a special space, develops a special geometry for that space, and offers a natural model for this geometry. In doing so, Reid “discovers” non-Euclidean Geometry sixty years before the mathematicians. This paper examines this “discovery” and the philosophical motivations underlying it. By reviewing Reid’s ideas on visible space and confronting him with Kant and Berkeley, I hope, moreover, to resolve an alleged impasse in Reid’s philosophy concerning the contradictory characteristics of Reid’s tangible and visible space.

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Amit Hagar
Indiana University, Bloomington

Citations of this work

Thomas Reid’s geometry of visibles and the parallel postulate.Giovanni B. Grandi - 2005 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 36 (1):79-103.
Contemporary Arguments for a Geometry of Visual Experience.Phillip John Meadows - 2009 - European Journal of Philosophy 19 (3):408-430.

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