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
We treat slowly changing things as identical for the sake of economy in language
9. Objects / F. Identity among Objects / 1. Concept of Identity
Real identity admits of no degrees
Identity is familiar to common sense, but very hard to define
Identity can only be affirmed of things which have a continued existence
10. Modality / D. Knowledge of Modality / 4. Conceivable as Possible / b. Conceivable but impossible
Impossibilites are easily conceived in mathematics and geometry [Molnar]
11. Knowledge Aims / C. Knowing Reality / 1. Perceptual Realism / b. Direct realism
Reid is seen as the main direct realist of the eighteenth century [Robinson,H]
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
I can hardly care about rational consequence if it wasn't me conceiving the antecedent
16. Persons / D. Continuity of the Self / 2. Mental Continuity / a. Memory is Self
The identity of a thief is only known by similarity, but memory gives certainty in our own case
16. Persons / D. Continuity of the Self / 2. Mental Continuity / c. Inadequacy of mental continuity
If consciousness is transferable 20 persons can be 1; forgetting implies 1 can be 20
If a stolen horse is identified by similitude, its identity is not therefore merely similitude
If consciousness is personal identity, it is continually changing
Memory reveals my past identity - but so does testimony of other witnesses
Boy same as young man, young man same as old man, old man not boy, if forgotten!
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 [Stout,R]
26. Natural Theory / C. Causation / 9. General Causation / a. Constant conjunction
Day and night are constantly conjoined, but they don't cause one another [Crane]