Chapter

From Change to Power

Gideon Yaffe

in Manifest Activity

Published in print March 2004 | ISBN: 9780199268559
Published online August 2004 | e-ISBN: 9780191601415 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/019926855X.003.0004
From Change to Power

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The conclusion Reid reaches through the arguments discussed in chs. 1 and 2, if true, expresses a teleological conception of changes that result from the exercise of power; the conclusion shows that every event that is brought about through the exercise of a power is directed towards an end, or serves a purpose. This chapter examines Reid's further claim that, in fact, every event – every change in the nature of the world – is the product of the exercise of power; thus, all change is necessarily end‐directed. Reid's discussion of both Hobbes's and Hume's views regarding the question of whether or not change ubiquitously flows from power is examined. Although Reid takes the claim that all events flow from the exertion of power to be believed naturally and non‐inferentially, it is argued that his teleological conception of such changes nonetheless commits him to the acceptance of an argument not unlike Hobbes's for the claim that all events flow from the exercise of active power.

Keywords: change; event; Hobbes; power; purpose; Reid; Teleology

Chapter.  9027 words. 

Subjects: History of Western Philosophy

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