Preaching as Testimony
The Magnificent Conman of Cairo

Thomas Reid: Inquiry & Essays

Inquiry and EssaysInquiry and Essays by Thomas Reid
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I first read Thomas Reid in preparation for my general exams and then completed this collection when I was done with the major work on my dissertation and reading philosophy not related to it. Now I returned to it as my now almost decade long project of reading back through the philosophical canon chronologically. I had forgotten how clearly, concisely, and with such common sense he responds to, or even takes down, key theories in modern philosophy. I felt the same about Reid that I did two decades ago, that many of his ideas are more fully developed in later thinkers, including the American Pragmatists. He remains one of those secondary figures in our tradition, but worth reacquainting myself with him.

One funny reading experience--finding myself laughing outloud at a good joke he made, only to turn to the back of the book and see that twenty years ago I had indexed that page as "a good joke." I guess it made me laugh out loud both times. Here's the joke: "It seemed very natural to think, that the 'Treatise of Human Nature required an author, and a very ingenious one too; but now we learn that it is only a set of ideas which came together and arranged themselves by certain associations and attractions." Yeah, only philosophers are going to cackle to that.

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