Article

Thomas Reid

Terence Cueno

in Philosophy

ISBN: 9780195396577
Published online July 2011 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/obo/9780195396577-0101
Thomas Reid

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Along with his contemporaries Francis Hutcheson, David Hume, and Adam Smith, Thomas Reid (b. 1710–d. 1796) was one of the giants of the Scottish Enlightenment. While all these philosophers made important contributions in different areas, Reid alone was a genuine polymath. He had expertise in a wide range of areas, including mathematics, chemistry, astronomy, physics, rhetoric, and more standard philosophical areas, such as epistemology, action theory, and ethics. For better or worse, it is because Reid emphasized the methodological importance of appeals to common sense that he is known as the father of common sense philosophy. For roughly one hundred years after his death, the “commonsense school” (as it was sometimes called) was extremely influential, especially in America and France. But this influence proved to be relatively short lived, as Reid eventually fell out of the philosophical canon with the rise of Kantianism and pragmatism. However, in the last thirty-five years there has been a resurgence of interest in Reid’s work. Consequently, there is now a growing body of such literature. This article focuses primarily on the secondary literature on Reid written within this period of resurgence.

Article.  6157 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy ; Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art ; Epistemology ; Feminist Philosophy ; History of Western Philosophy ; Metaphysics ; Moral Philosophy ; Non-Western Philosophy ; Philosophy of Language ; Philosophy of Law ; Philosophy of Mathematics and Logic ; Philosophy of Mind ; Philosophy of Religion ; Philosophy of Science ; Social and Political Philosophy

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