Ideas of Thomas Reid, by Theme

[British, 1710 - 1796, Born at Aberdeen. Professor at the University of Glasgow.]

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9. Objects / E. Objects over Time / 1. Objects over Time
Continuity is needed for existence, otherwise we would say a thing existed after it ceased to exist
9. Objects / E. Objects over Time / 13. No Identity over Time
Commonsense says a thing can have identity at different times, but a logical definition of this seems impossible
We consider objects to retain identity when they slightly change because language cannot afford a new name each time
9. Objects / F. Identity among Objects / 1. Concept of Identity
Identity can only be affirmed of things which have a continued existence
Real identity admits of no degrees
9. Objects / F. Identity among Objects / 7. Indiscernible Objects
We identify a stolen horse by its similarity to the original, but that doesn't mean that identity IS similarity
10. Modality / D. Knowledge of Modality / 4. Conceivable as Possible / b. Conceivable but impossible
Impossibilites are easily conceived in mathematics and geometry
11. Knowledge Aims / C. Knowing Reality / 1. Perceptual Realism / b. Direct realism
Reid is seen as the main direct realist of the eighteenth century
12. Knowledge Sources / B. Perception / 1. Perception
Sensation is not committed to any external object, but perception is
15. Nature of Minds / A. Nature of Mind / 5. Unity of Mind
A person is a unity, and doesn't come in degrees
16. Persons / A. Concept of a Person / 2. Persons as Responsible
Personal identity is the basis of all rights, obligations and responsibility
16. Persons / A. Concept of a Person / 3. Persons as Reasoners
Reasoning requires personal identity, to unite the steps in an argument
16. Persons / D. Continuity of the Self / 2. Mental Continuity / a. Memory is Self
We judge others' identity on appearance, and our own on memory
Continuous memory as the criterion produces paradoxes (e.g. an old general is and isn't his boyhood self))
We accept other evidence than memory (e.g. testimony) that we performed acts in the past
16. Persons / D. Continuity of the Self / 2. Mental Continuity / c. Inadequacy of mental continuity
If consciousness is personal identity, it is continually changing
16. Persons / D. Continuity of the Self / 7. Self and Thinking
Thoughts change continually, but the self doesn't
20. Action / B. Preliminaries of Action / 2. Willed Action / c. Agent causation
Reid said that agent causation is a unique type of causation
26. Natural Theory / C. Causation / 9. General Causation / a. Constant conjunction
Day and night are constantly conjoined, but they don't cause one another