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Thomas Reid's Inquiry and Essays [Paperback]

Thomas Reid
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Book Description

December 1, 1983 0915145855 978-0915145850
Reid's previously published writings are substantial, both in quantity and quality. This edition attempts to make these writings more readily available in a single volume. Based upon Hamilton's definitive two volume 6th edition, this edition is suitable for both students and scholars. Beanblossom and Lehrer have included a wide range of topics addressed by Reid. These topics include Reid's views on the role of common sense, scepticism, the theory of ideas, perception, memory and identity, as well as his views on moral liberty, duties, and principles. Historical as well as topical considerations guided the selection process. Thus, Reid's responses to Descartes, Locke, Berkeley, and Hume are included. Through the resulting selections Reid's influence and impact upon subsequent philosophers is manifested.

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Thomas Reid's Inquiry and Essays + Hume: An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding + Discourse on Method and Meditations on First Philosophy, 4th Ed.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 429 pages
  • Publisher: Hackett Pub Co (December 1, 1983)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0915145855
  • ISBN-13: 978-0915145850
  • Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #581,840 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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3.8 out of 5 stars
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Warning! Abridged! October 27, 2007
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The editor says, "The present edition is an attempt to 'let Reid speak for himself.'" Yet he deletes the first two sections of Reid's primary essay and begins with the third! And he continues this practice throughout the work. Unacceptable. Get the whole story in an unabridged edition - Reid is worth reading.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Abridged, but good February 13, 2012
I agree with other reviewers that this is a good antidote from the philosophers from this time period you usually hear about. It is abridged, but it gives a good summary of Reid's philosophy and has been useful for my own research.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The answer to Hume June 21, 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Every serious thinker or serious about thinkers should read Thomas Reid and acquire some of this common sense. While Reid's providential god outfits us for life in this world we now know about evolution and have no need for the one bad idea in all of Red's work. It really doesn't matter since hi providential god doesn't intrude enough to mar the otherwise invaluable insight Reid supplies, page and page. Get this book so we can start to put Hume back into his right place (on top of his hobbyhorse--you need to read the book to understand what this means).
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How To Reid Moore February 13, 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is an abridged version of both major works of Thomas Reid. Thomas Reid is a grossly underrated philosopher. While he was more popular than Hume in his day, you rarely hear of him now. He's never mentioned in most histories of western philosophy, and its very hard to find complete editions of his work. Nor is he taught in most philosophy classes. Yet, this philosopher is a great read for those who find the abstract rationalism of Descartes and Spinoza off-putting, or find epistemological skepticism or any of the various forms of idealism unsettling.

Reid has gotten a little credit though. His Common Sense Philosophy influenced Charles Peirce, and G.E. Moore. In fact, for those interested in G.E. Moore, I would recommend an essay by John Greco called "How to Reid Moore". It looks at the philosophy of G.E. moore through the lens of Reid's philosophy.

This abridged version gets the main points of Reid's philosophy down, and can be thought of a quick overview of a man who's philosophy you may never otherwise get a chance to Reid (puns!).

Also Recommended: The Enlightenment Reader from the Viking Portable Library, Philosophical Writings of Peirce.
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12 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Monotonous Litany of First Principles October 12, 2005
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Reid is the perfect antidote to Descartes, Berkeley, and Hume. He is also progenitor of ordinary language philosophy and ordinary common sense. The sensible world is restored as a first principle; something that cannot be proven, but all must concede exists. And all perception is veridical. The Inquiry captures all the nuances of the five senses as we ordinarily have come to know them. Ditto, reason, which is the focus of the first Essay. Yes, reason can lead one into infinite regress, especially when it comes to causes and effects, but we necessarily rely on some element of reason (conception, imagination, judgment) to give us bearings in the world. The final Essay is on morality. It is the least interesting, if only because Reid appeals to the "Author of our being" to establish first principles of right and wrong. Even so, humans are endowed naturally with a moral sense so that many of the appeals to God could just as easily be appeals to our endowment by human nature. But the number of his first principles is inordinate.

One of the problems with Reid's entire approach is the number of his first principles. I stopped counting after forty. Somehow that many first principles defeats the whole notion of first principle. Even if I agree with Reid that Descartes' starting point, the thinking self, is the wrong first principle, at least Descartes starts with one first principle and deduces others. Likewise, Berkeley and Hume, one to an idealist conclusion, one to a sceptical conclusion. Reid's approach is manifestly opposite. Since he insists so much of what we are consists of numerous first principles, soon the whole notion of "first principle" loses its meaning.
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