Thomas Reid's Theory of Perception

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Thomas Reid's Theory of Perception

Thomas Reid's Theory of Perception

  • Author : Ryan Nichols
  • ISBN : 0191534978
  • Category : Philosophy
  • Publisher : Clarendon Press
  • Pages : 320
  • Release Date : 2007-01-11

The thesis that the mind cannot directly apprehend features of the physical world - what Reid calls the Way of Ideas - is a staple of Early Modern philosophical tradition. This commitment to the direct awareness of, and only of, mental representations unifies the otherwise divergent philosophical systems of Rationalists and Empiricists. Thomas Reid battles against this thesis on many fronts, in particular over the nature of perception. Ryan Nichols lays the groundwork for Reid's theory of perception by developing Reid's unheralded argument against a representational theory of thought, which Nichols applies to his discussion of the intentionality of perceptual states and Reid's appeal to 'signs'. Reid's efforts to preserve common sense epistemic commitments also lead him to adopt unique theories about our concepts of primary and secondary qualities, and about original and acquired perceptions. About the latter pair, Nichols argues that most perceptual beliefs depend for their justification upon inferences. The Way of Ideas holds that sensations are objects of awareness and that our senses are not robustly unified. Nichols develops Reid's counter-proposals by examining his discussion of the evolutionary purpose of sensations, and the nature of our awareness of sensations, as well as his intriguing affirmative answer to Molyneux's questions. Nichols brings to the writing of this book a consummate knowledge of Reid's texts, published and unpublished, and a keen appreciation for Reid's responses to his predecessors. He frequently reconstructs arguments in premise/conclusion form, thereby clarifying disputes that have frustrated previous Reid scholarship. This clarification, his lively examples, and his plainspoken style make this book especially readable. Reid's theory of perception is by far the most important feature of Reid's philosophical system, and Nichols offers what will be, for a long time to come, the definitive analysis of this theory.

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This book bears witness to the current reawakening of interest in Reid's philosophy. It first examines Reid's negative attack on the Way of Ideas, and finds him to be a devastating critic of his predecessors. Turning to the p ...

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Thomas Reid (1710-96) was a contemporary of both David Hume and Immanuel Kant, and a central figure in the Scottish School of Common Sense. Until recently, his work has been largely neglected, and often misunderstood. Like Ka ...

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This volume offers a fresh view of the work of Thomas Reid, a leading figure in the history of eighteenth-century philosophy. A team of leading experts in the field explore the significance of Reid's thought in his time and o ...

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Experts from wine tasters to radiologists to bird watchers have all undergone perceptual learning-long-term changes in perception that result from practice or experience. Philosophers have been discussing such cases for centu ...

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This book bears witness to the current reawakening of interest in Reid's philosophy. It first examines Reid's negative attack on the Way of Ideas, and finds him to be a devastating critic of his predecessors. Turning to the p ...

GET BOOK

This volume offers a fresh view of the work of Thomas Reid, a leading figure in the history of eighteenth-century philosophy. A team of leading experts in the field explore the significance of Reid's thought in his time and o ...

GET BOOK

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Thomas Reid (1710-1796) is the foremost exponent of the Scottish 'common sense' school of philosophy. Educated at Marischal College in Aberdeen, Reid subsequently taught at King's College, and was a founder of the Aberdeen Ph ...

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Thomas Reid (1710-1796) is the foremost exponent of the Scottish 'common sense' school of philosophy. Educated at Marischal College in Aberdeen, Reid subsequently taught at King's College, and was a founder of the Aberdeen Ph ...

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James Van Cleve here shows why Thomas Reid (1710-96) deserves a place alongside the other canonical figures of modern philosophy. He expounds Reid's positions and arguments on a wide range of topics, taking interpretive stand ...

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