more from Thomas Reid

Single Idea 23670

[catalogued under 26. Natural Theory / D. Laws of Nature / 1. Laws of Nature]

Full Idea

A Newtonian philosopher …confesses his ignorance of the true cause of magnetic motion, and thinks that his business, as a philosopher, is only to find from experiment the laws by which it is regulated in all cases.

Gist of Idea

Scientists don't know the cause of magnetism, and only discover its regulations


Thomas Reid (Essays on Active Powers 1: Active power [1788], 6)

Book Reference

Reid,Thomas: 'Inquiry and Essays', ed/tr. Beanblossom /K.Lehrer [Hackett 1983], p.312

A Reaction

Since there is a 'true cause', that implies that the laws don't actively 'regulate' the magnetism, but only describe its regularity, which I think is the correct view of laws.