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Ideas of Thomas Reid, by Text

[British, 1710 - 1796, Born at Aberdeen. Professor at the University of Glasgow.]

1764 An Enquiry
6.24 p.18 We treat testimony with a natural trade off of belief and caution [Fricker,M]
1785 Essays on Intellectual Powers 5: Abstraction
p.157 Real identity admits of no degrees
3 p.239 First we notice and name attributes ('abstracting'); then we notice that subjects share them ('generalising')
3 p.242 No one thinks two sheets possess a single whiteness, but all agree they are both white
6 p.244 Only individuals exist
6 p.245 Universals are not objects of sense and cannot be imagined - but can be conceived
6 p.247 We must first conceive things before we can consider them
1785 Essays on Intellectual Powers 4: Conception
1 p.223 Objects have an essential constitution, producing its qualities, which we are too ignorant to define
1 p.223 A word's meaning is the thing conceived, as fixed by linguistic experts
1 p.225 Reference is by name, or a term-plus-circumstance, or ostensively, or by description
IV.III p.182 Impossibilites are easily conceived in mathematics and geometry [Molnar]
1785 Essays on Intellectual Powers 2: Senses
p.19 Reid is seen as the main direct realist of the eighteenth century [Robinson,H]
05 p.165 Accepting the existence of anything presupposes the notion of existence
10 p.170 Truths are self-evident to sensible persons who understand them clearly without prejudice
17 p.184 Primary qualities are the object of mathematics
17 p.185 Secondary qualities conjure up, and are confused with, the sensations which produce them
18 p.187 It is unclear whether a toothache is in the mind or in the tooth, but the word has a single meaning
19 p.192 Only mature minds can distinguish the qualities of a body
20 p.199 People dislike believing without evidence, and try to avoid it
20 p.201 If non-rational evidence reaches us, it is reason which then makes use of it
II.16 p.59 Sensation is not committed to any external object, but perception is
1785 Essays on Intellectual Powers 6: Judgement
1 p.257 If you can't distinguish the features of a complex object, your notion of it would be a muddle
4 p.259 In obscure matters the few must lead the many, but the many usually lead in common sense
4 p.261 An ad hominem argument is good, if it is shown that the man's principles are inconsistent
4 p.265 The structure of languages reveals a uniformity in basic human opinions
5 p.266 The existence of tensed verbs shows that not all truths are necessary truths
5 p.267 If someone denies that he is thinking when he is conscious of it, we can only laugh
5 p.267 Consciousness is an indefinable and unique operation
5 p.271 The theory of ideas, popular with philosophers, means past existence has to be proved
5 p.273 The existence of ideas is no more obvious than the existence of external objects
5 p.273 We are only aware of other beings through our senses; without that, we are alone in the universe
6 p.285 There are axioms of taste - such as a general consensus about a beautiful face
1785 Essays on Intellectual Powers 3: Memory
1 p.207 We all trust our distinct memories (but not our distinct imaginings)
1 p.208 Without memory we could have no concept of duration
III.Ch 4 p.107 I can hardly care about rational consequence if it wasn't me conceiving the antecedent
III.Ch 4 p.108 Identity is familiar to common sense, but very hard to define
III.Ch 4 p.108 Continuity is needed for existence, otherwise we would say a thing existed after it ceased to exist
III.Ch 4 p.109 Thoughts change continually, but the self doesn't
III.Ch 4 p.110 Memory reveals my past identity - but so does testimony of other witnesses
III.Ch 4 p.111 A person is a unity, and doesn't come in degrees
III.Ch 4 p.111 The identity of a thief is only known by similarity, but memory gives certainty in our own case
III.Ch 4 p.112 Personal identity is the basis of all rights, obligations and responsibility
III.Ch 4 p.112 We treat slowly changing things as identical for the sake of economy in language
III.Ch 6 p.114 If consciousness is transferable 20 persons can be 1; forgetting implies 1 can be 20
III.Ch 6 p.114 Boy same as young man, young man same as old man, old man not boy, if forgotten!
III.Ch 6 p.116 If a stolen horse is identified by similitude, its identity is not therefore merely similitude
III.Ch 6 p.116 If consciousness is personal identity, it is continually changing
III.Ch 6 p.116 Identity can only be affirmed of things which have a continued existence
1785 Essays on Intellectual Powers 1: Preliminary
1 p.129 The ambiguity of words impedes the advancement of knowledge
1 p.143 Only philosophers treat ideas as objects
2 p.151 Similar effects come from similar causes, and causes are only what are sufficient for the effects
2 p.156 Many truths seem obvious, and point to universal agreement - which is what we find
1788 Essays on Active Powers 1: Active power
p.62 Reid said that agent causation is a unique type of causation [Stout,R]
p.186 Day and night are constantly conjoined, but they don't cause one another [Crane]
1 p.199 Powers are quite distinct and simple, and so cannot be defined
1 p.300 Consciousness is the power of mind to know itself, and minds are grounded in powers
1 p.302 It is obvious that there could not be a power without a subject which possesses it
5 p.306 Our own nature attributes free determinations to our own will
5 p.306 Regular events don't imply a cause, without an innate conviction of universal causation
6 p.309 Thinkers say that matter has intrinsic powers, but is also passive and acted upon
6 p.312 Scientists don't know the cause of magnetism, and only discover its regulations
6 p.313 Laws are rules for effects, but these need a cause; rules of navigation don't navigate
1788 Essays on Active Powers 4: Liberty of Agents
1 p.324 A willed action needs reasonable understanding of what is to be done
2 p.334 We all know that mere priority or constant conjunction do not have to imply causation
4 p.335 A motive is merely an idea, like advice, and not a force for action
5 p.335 The principle of the law of nature is that matter is passive, and is acted upon
5 p.336 We are morally free, because we experience it, we are accountable, and we pursue projects
8 p.351 The first motion or effect cannot be produced necessarily, so the First Cause must be a free agent
1788 Essays on Active Powers 3: Princs of action
5 p.315 To be virtuous, we must care about duty
5 p.315 Every worthy man has a principle of honour, and knows what is honourable
5 p.319 If an attempted poisoning results in benefits, we still judge the agent a poisoner
6 p.321 We shouldn't do to others what would be a wrong to us in similar circumstances