A Defence of Scottish Common Sense
Article first published online: 7 JAN 2003
The Editors of The Philosophical Quarterly, 2002.
The Philosophical Quarterly
Volume 52, Issue 209, pages 564–581, October 2002
How to Cite
Pakaluk, M. (2002), A Defence of Scottish Common Sense. The Philosophical Quarterly, 52: 564–581. doi: 10.1111/1467-9213.00286
- Issue published online: 7 JAN 2003
- Article first published online: 7 JAN 2003
I provide a reading of Reid as an ‘encyclopaedist’, in Alasdair MacIntyre's sense, that is, as a scientist who conceives of himself as part of a broader scientific community, and who aims to make a contribution through work in a particular field. Reid's field is pneumatology. On this conception, Reid's recourse to ‘common sense’ is of a piece with the postulation, by any scientist, of a natural endowment for members of the same ostensible kind. Reid should therefore be understood as rejecting the classical tradition of epistemology and any conception of epistemology as first philosophy. His view resembles, rather, the modern position of ‘natural epistemology’, though admittedly, on account of his doctrine of active power, he is not committed to ‘naturalism’ in the contemporary sense.