Thomas Reid was a philosopher who founded the Scottish school of 'common sense'. Much of Reid's work is a critique of his contemporary, David Hume, whose empiricism he rejects. In this work, written after Reid's appointment to a professorship at the university of Glasgow, and published in 1785, he turns his attention to ideas about perception, memory, conception, abstraction, judgement, reasoning and taste. He examines the work of his predecessors and contemporaries, arguing that 'when we find philosophers maintaining that there (...) is no heat in the fire, nor colour in the rainbow … we may be apt to think the whole to be only a dream of fanciful men, who have entangled themselves in cobwebs spun out of their own brain'. Written by one of the Scottish Enlightenment's most important thinkers, this work brings to life the intellectual debates of the time. (shrink)
Thomas Reid, the Scottish natural and moral philosopher, was one of the founding members of the Aberdeen Philosophical Society and a significant figure in the Scottish Enlightenment. Reid believed that common sense should form the foundation of all philosophical inquiry. He criticised the sceptical philosophy propagated by his fellow Scot David Hume and the Anglo-Irish bishop George Berkeley, who asserted that the external world did not exist outside the human mind. Reid was also critical of the theory of ideas propagated (...) by Locke and Descartes, arguing that it was incompatible with physical and experiential facts. For Reid, our senses demonstrate that the external world must exist, and this work is organised in chapters examining each of the senses in turn. The book, based on his lectures, was first published in 1764 when Reid was a regent professor at King's College, Aberdeen, and was reissued in 1818. (shrink)
The Scottish philosopher Thomas Reid first published Essays on Active Powers of Man in 1788 while he was Professor of Philosophy at King's College, Aberdeen. The work contains a set of essays on active power, the will, principles of action, the liberty of moral agents, and morals. Reid was a key figure in the Scottish Enlightenment and one of the founders of the 'common sense' school of philosophy. In Active Powers Reid gives his fullest exploration of sensus communis as the (...) basis of all philosophical inquiry. He uses common sense realism to argue for the existence of a stable external world, the existence of other minds, and to offer a powerful challenge to versions of the Theory of Ideas advocated by Hume and Locke . This is a key work of the Scottish Enlightenment that made important contributions to fundamental debates about the basis of philosophical inquiry. (shrink)
Thomas Reid , the Scottish natural and moral philosopher, was one of the founding members of the Aberdeen Philosophical Society and a significant figure in the Scottish Enlightenment. Reid believed that common sense should form the foundation of all philosophical inquiry. He criticised the sceptical philosophy propagated by his fellow Scot David Hume and the Anglo-Irish bishop George Berkeley, who asserted that the external world did not exist outside the human mind. Reid was also critical of the theory of ideas (...) propagated by Locke and Descartes, arguing that it was incompatible with physical and experiential facts. For Reid, our senses demonstrate that the external world must exist, and this work is organised in chapters examining each of the senses in turn. The book, based on his lectures, was first published in 1764 when Reid was a regent professor at King's College, Aberdeen, and was reissued in 1818. (shrink)
" This collection proves otherwise, for the letters illuminate virtually every aspect of Reid's life and career and, in some instances, provide us with invaluable evidence about activities otherwise undocumented in his manuscripts or ...
Thomas Reid saw the three subjects of logic, rhetoric, and the fine arts as closely cohering aspects of one endeavor that he called the culture of the mind. This was a topic on which Reid lectured for many years in Glasgow, and this volume presents as near a reconstruction of these lectures as is now possible. Though virtually unknown today, this material in fact relates closely to Reid's published works and in particular to the late Essays on the Intellectual Powers (...) of Man and Essays on the Active Powers of Man. When composing these works, Reid drew primarily on his lectures on "pneumatology," which presented a theory of the mental powers, broadly conceived. These lectures were basic to the course on the culture of the mind that explained the cultivation of the mental powers. Although the Essays also included some elements from the material on the culture of the mind, the bulk of the latter was left in manuscript form, and Alexander Broadie's edition restores this important extension of Reid's overall work. In addition, this volume continues the attractive combination of manuscript material and published work, in this case Reid's important and well-known essay on Aristotle's logic. This text was corrupted in earlier editions of Reid's works and is now restored to the state in which Reid left it. This volume underscores Reid's great and growing significance, viewed both as a historical figure and as a philosopher. At the same time, it is of great interdisciplinary importance. While the material emerges directly from the core of Reid's philosophy, as now understood, it will appeal widely to people in literary, cultural, historical, and communications studies. In this regard, the present volume is a true fruit of the Scottish Enlightenment. (shrink)
The Scottish Philosophy of Common Sense originated as a protest against the philosophy of the greatest Scottish philosopher. Hume's sceptical conclusions did not excite as much opposition as might have been expected. But in Scotland especially there was a good deal of spoken criticism which was never written; and some who would have liked to denounce Hume's doctrines in print were restrained by the salutary reflection that if they were challenged to give reasons for their criticism they would find it (...) uncommonly difficult to do so. Hume's scepticism was disliked, but it was difficult to see how it could be adequately met.At this point Thomas Reid stepped into the field. He was the only man of his time who really understood the genesis of Hume's scepticism and succeeded in locating its sources. At first sight it would seem that this discovery required no peculiar perspicuity. It would seem that nobody could help seeing that Hume's sceptical conclusions were based on Locke's premises, and that Hume could never be successfully opposed by any critic who accepted Locke's assumptions. But this is precisely one of those obvious things that is noticed by nobody. And in fact Reid was the first man to see it clearly. It thus became his duty to question the assumptions on which all his own early thought had been based. The result of this reflection was the conclusion that, since the "ideal theory" of Locke and Berkeley logically led to Hume's scepticism, and since scepticism was intolerable, that theory would have to be amended, or, if necessary, abandoned.This volume contains works by Thomas Reid, Adam Ferguson, James Beattie, and Dugald Stewart. (shrink)
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Seule œuvre de philosophie morale que Thomas Reid ait publiée, les Essais sur les pouvoirs actifs de l’homme avaient été conçus à l’origine comme une seconde partie de l’exposé final de sa pensée. Ces essais viennent ainsi compléter les Essais sur les pouvoirs intellectuels de l’homme et témoignent de la même inspiration – une inspiration bien loin de se limiter à la simple « philosophie du sens commun » qu’on a voulu y voir.Dans ce texte d’une limpidité exemplaire, le philosophe (...) ecossais se présente comme le défenseur d’une conception de la liberté humaine traditionnelle mais solidement argumentée. Reid y développe en effet toute une série d’arguments contre les formes modernes de déterminisme et en faveur de l’objectivité des distinctions morales. S’appuyant sur une psychologie morale naturaliste qui s’inscrit dans l’esprit des Lumières, Reid construit ici une véritable anthropologie, que la philosophie de l’action contemporaine redécouvre avec grand intérêt. (shrink)