Ideas of Thomas Reid, by Theme

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

green numbers give full details    |    back to list of philosophers    |     expand these ideas
9. Objects / E. Objects over Time / 1. Objects over Time
Continuity is needed for existence, otherwise we would say a thing existed after it ceased to exist
9. Objects / E. Objects over Time / 13. No Identity over Time
We treat slowly changing things as identical for the sake of economy in language
9. Objects / F. Identity among Objects / 1. Concept of Identity
Real identity admits of no degrees
Identity is familiar to common sense, but very hard to define
Identity can only be affirmed of things which have a continued existence
10. Modality / D. Knowledge of Modality / 4. Conceivable as Possible / b. Conceivable but impossible
Impossibilites are easily conceived in mathematics and geometry [Molnar]
12. Knowledge Sources / B. Perception / 1. Perception
Sensation is not committed to any external object, but perception is
12. Knowledge Sources / E. Direct Knowledge / 1. Common Sense
Reid is seen as the main direct realist of the eighteenth century [Robinson,H]
13. Knowledge Criteria / C. External Justification / 7. Testimony
We treat testimony with a natural trade off of belief and caution [Fricker,M]
15. Nature of Minds / A. Nature of Mind / 5. Unity of Mind
A person is a unity, and doesn't come in degrees
16. Persons / A. Concept of a Person / 2. Persons as Responsible
Personal identity is the basis of all rights, obligations and responsibility
16. Persons / A. Concept of a Person / 3. Persons as Reasoners
I can hardly care about rational consequence if it wasn't me conceiving the antecedent
16. Persons / D. Continuity of the Self / 2. Mental Continuity / a. Memory is Self
The identity of a thief is only known by similarity, but memory gives certainty in our own case
16. Persons / D. Continuity of the Self / 2. Mental Continuity / c. Inadequacy of mental continuity
Memory reveals my past identity - but so does testimony of other witnesses
Boy same as young man, young man same as old man, old man not boy, if forgotten!
If consciousness is transferable 20 persons can be 1; forgetting implies 1 can be 20
If a stolen horse is identified by similitude, its identity is not therefore merely similitude
If consciousness is personal identity, it is continually changing
16. Persons / D. Continuity of the Self / 7. Self and Thinking
Thoughts change continually, but the self doesn't
20. Action / B. Preliminaries of Action / 2. Willed Action / c. Agent causation
Reid said that agent causation is a unique type of causation [Stout,R]
26. Natural Theory / C. Causation / 9. General Causation / a. Constant conjunction
Day and night are constantly conjoined, but they don't cause one another [Crane]