more from Thomas Reid

Single Idea 23666

[catalogued under 8. Modes of Existence / C. Powers and Dispositions / 3. Powers as Derived]

Full Idea

It is evident that a power is a quality, and cannot exist without a subject to which it belongs. That power may exist without any being or subject to which that power may be attributed, is an absurdity, shocking to every man of common understanding.

Gist of Idea

It is obvious that there could not be a power without a subject which possesses it


Thomas Reid (Essays on Active Powers 1: Active power [1788], 1)

Book Reference

Reid,Thomas: 'Inquiry and Essays', ed/tr. Beanblossom /K.Lehrer [Hackett 1983], p.302

A Reaction

This is understandble in the 18th C, when free-floating powers were inconceivable, but now that we have fields and plasmas and whatnot, we can't rule out pure powers as basic. However, I incline to agree with Reid. Matter is active.