Article

Reid's Response to the Skeptic

James Van Cleve

in The Oxford Handbook of Skepticism

Published in print September 2008 | ISBN: 9780195183214
Published online September 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780198614128 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780195183214.003.0014

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Philosophy

Reid's Response to the Skeptic

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This article describes philosopher Thomas Reid's view against skepticism. According to Reid, a major source of skepticism about the external world is the theory of ideas or the view that the direct or immediate objects of perceptual acquaintance are not objects in the external world but only ideas, images, or representations in the perceiver's own mind. In his Essays on the Intellectual Powers of Man Reid portrays the theory of ideas as engendering epistemological skepticism and in In An Inquiry into the Human Mind he portrays the theory of ideas as engendering a different kind of skepticism that we might call semantic skepticism as opposed to epistemological skepticism, or skepticism about understanding as opposed to skepticism about knowledge.

Keywords: Thomas Reid; skepticism; theory of ideas; external world; epistemological skepticism; Essays on the Intellectual Powers of Man; In An Inquiry into the Human Mind; semantic skepticism

Article.  12273 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy ; History of Western Philosophy ; Epistemology

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