StudentShare solutions
Triangle menu

Thomas Reid's Position on Common Sense - Essay Example

Nobody downloaded yet

Extract of sample
Thomas Reid's Position on Common Sense

This was thought to condition human experience and make possible knowledge of moral, religious, and scientific kind. The first thinkers were Herbert of Cherbury, as well as Rene Descartes; other British representatives were Henry Lee, Claude Buffier, Henry Home, G. Leibniz, and many more (Redekop, 2009, p.407). Thomas Reid is considered a founder of the Scottish School of Common Sense, whose ideas influenced several generations of philosophers well throughout the 19th and 20th centuries. Rejecting the Theory of ideas, he claimed that it was “sensus communis” (the term Reid used to describe the “common sense”) that should be perceived as a solid basis of the philosophical quest. Reid’s main arguments on common sense revolved around his reaction to the ideas by Hume and Berkeley. Hume believed that a person can never comprehend what the world which is external for him/her consists of, since human knowledge is restricted by the ideas that are present in human mind. Berkeley, in his turn, maintained that the external world is just ideas inherent in human mind. Both Berkeley and Hume asserted that a mental phenomenon exists as perceptions of certain mental objects (Yaffe & Nichols, 2009, [online]). Contrary to these philosophers, Reid asserted that the foundations of common sense provide a justification to human belief in the existence of an external world. Reid provided response to the arguments by Hume, both naturalistic and skeptical by devising a set of common sense principles. He saw them as the basis of rational perception of the world and rational thought. To illustrate, any person who commits oneself to a philosophical argument must unconditionally presuppose particular beliefs. The examples are I am speaking to a real person, or the external world does exist under the laws which remain unchanged. Along these claims, more presuppositions can be found, which are all positive, meaningful, and reality-based. In this context, it is worth mentioning that Reid does not see the belief in these principles’ rightness as something rational. Instead, he asserts that it is reason that demands that the aforementioned principles act as prerequisites and that it is human mind that inherently produces them. Thus, the question of sanity arises here, which Reid believes leans back on his understanding of the common sense functioning. In relation to this, Reid writes, “For, before men can reason together, they must agree in first principles; and it is impossible to reason with a man who has no principles in common with you.” (Reid, 1846, p.230). Reid also believed that qualities are to be in “(...) Something that is figured, colored, hard or soft, that moves or resists. It is not to these qualities, but to that which is the subject of them, that we give the name body. If any man should think fit to deny that these things are qualities, or that they require any subject, I leave him to enjoy his opinion as a man who denies first principles, and is not fit to be reasoned with.” (Reid, 1785, p.766) While Reid’s position on common sense can be well understood through analyzing his criticism of Hume, I would like to briefly outline his ideas regarding Hume’s understanding of knowledge. As it has already been mentioned, Hume along with Descartes, Locke, and Berkeley developed the ideal theory of human mind, which Reid refuted by offering the positive idea of mind instead. The grounding argument against the theory by Hume is ...Show more


Running Head: THOMAS REID’S POSITION ON COMMON SENSE Thomas Reid’s Position on Common Sense [Name] [University] The Common Sense Philosophy emerged back in the 17th and 18th centuries as a response to the challenges that were posed by philosophical scepticism and then science…
Author : svolkman
Thomas Reids Position on Common Sense essay example
Read Text Preview
Save Your Time for More Important Things
Let us write or edit the essay on your topic
"Thomas Reid's Position on Common Sense"
with a personal 20% discount.
Grab the best paper

Check these samples - they also fit your topic

Thomas Paine: Common Sense
In Of the Origin and Design of Government in General, the unknown author makes clear about the sharp distinction between society and government. In doing this, he is able to criticize the latter without criticizing the former. In fact, Paine generally views the government in a negative fashion: “restraining our vices.” As we shall see, Paine has a reason why he distinguishes these two entities (i.e., government and society).
2 pages (500 words) Essay
Thomas Payne's 'Common Sense vs. James Chalmer's Plain Truth
A theory that currently holds sway among many is that it is the story of rule by the people versus a tiny handful of power brokers. Throughout the centuries the balance of power has decidedly been with the latter camp. Democracies existed in ancient Greece and Rome, but they were swept away by the rise of emperors and senates controlled by the wealthy.
4 pages (1000 words) Essay
Role of the Individual in Henry David Thoreau's Civil Disobedience, and Thomas Paine's Common Sense
This quid pro quo arrangement (or something for something) is the delicate balance between individual rights and the intrinsic interests of the larger society. This is quite a contentious issue because governments sometimes abuse the powers given to them, and this abnormal situation happens in the best of circumstances, even in a democracy.
4 pages (1000 words) Essay
Common Sense by Thomas Paine
He was the first man to use the term “Independence” in his writing in response to the conflict that occurred on April 19, 1775. In 1776, he documented a pamphlet referred as “Common Sense” that prompted the discussions on liberty and freedom, which inspired the ancestors to secede from England.
3 pages (750 words) Essay
Thomas Paine's theory (in Common Sense)
He first reflects the government and religious standings of the society. He then proceeds to scrutinize the particular happenings at the colonial situation. His first analysis begins with dissimilarity between the society and government. According to Paine, a society refers to everything that is good and constructive and joins people together in pursuits of their accomplishments.
5 pages (1250 words) Essay
Common Sense 1776 by Thomas Paine
The vision of human nature that Paine had was that a society in its every state should be a blessing but the government even at its best state is evil. Paine believed that government birth all evil like loss of innocence lives.
5 pages (1250 words) Essay
Common sense
It was written at the outset of the Revolution and inspired the colonists to reinforce their resolve to become independent. Historian Gordon S. Wood (2002) described Common Sense as, “the
5 pages (1250 words) Essay
Thomas Paine's 'Common Sense'
To help illustrate this argument for American independence, Paine imagines a situation where a bunch of people are stranded together on a desolate island. After a short time, these people begin to get along with one another; however, they need
2 pages (500 words) Essay
Common Sense
At the time such independence was being raised a matter of contention on indecisive grounds, “Common Sense” in particular became popular in its argumentative content which favored the American colonists who had long sought freedom from the
2 pages (500 words) Essay
Common Sense
ch Revolution can very well be blamed on Paine’s ‘Rights of Man’ while ‘The Age of Reason’ ignites in us the capability to base our morality and belief in terms of reason and rationality. Out of sight, out of mind this quote greatly explains why Paine is basically
5 pages (1250 words) Essay
Hire a pro to write
a paper under your requirements!
Win a special DISCOUNT!
Put in your e-mail and click the button with your lucky finger
Your email
Comments (0)
Click to create a comment
Contact Us