Thomas Reid and the Problem of Secondary Qualities

Thomas Reid and the Problem of Secondary Qualities

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Description

Defends Reid's Common Sense philosophy against the claim that perception does not allow us to experience the physical world With a new reading of Thomas Reid on primary and secondary qualities, Christopher A. Shrock illuminates the Common Sense theory of perception. Shrock follow's Reid's lead in defending common sense philosophy against the problem of secondary qualities, which claims that our perceptions are only experiences in our brains, and don't let us know about the world around us. At the same time, Schrock maintains a healthy optimism about science and reason.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 192 pages
  • 156 x 234 x 17.78mm | 358.34g
  • Edinburgh, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 2 B/W illustrations 2 B/W tables
  • 1474417841
  • 9781474417846

Back cover copy

'Shrock uses Reid's ideas to defend direct realism against a serious objection - that the things we perceive have secondary qualities, such as colours and tastes, but these cannot be qualities of external things. Clearly and engagingly written, this book is exemplary both as exposition and interpretation of Reid and as philosophical problem solving.' James Van Cleve, University of Southern California How Thomas Reid saves Common Sense Realism from the Problem of Secondary Qualities Common Sense disposes us to think that in perception we connect with the physical world around us. Philosophers call this view of perception Direct Realism. Contrary to this, the Problem of Secondary Qualities relegates colours, smells, sounds, tastes and heat to the subjective or mental realm because science offers no objective, physical place for them. From there, the Problem extends its reach, suggesting that we never perceive physical objects or their properties, at least not directly. Despite Common Sense's urgings, perceptual length, shape, weight and everything we seem to sense exists only in the mind. The hero of this work is Thomas Reid, the father of Common Sense philosophy. With a new reading of Reid on primary and secondary qualities, Christopher A. Shrock illuminates his theory of perception. He follows Reid's lead in defending Common Sense against the Problem of Secondary Qualities, while maintaining a healthy optimism about science and reason. Along the way Shrock engages a historically wide range of thinkers, from early moderns to the present. Christopher A. Shrock is Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences at Ohio Valley University Cover image: Rev. Thomas Reid (detail), Sir Henry Raeburn, 1796 (c) The Hunterian, University of Glasgow 2017 Cover design: [EUP logo] edinburghuniversitypress.com ISBN 978-1-4744-1784-6 Barcode
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Review quote

'Although the past years have seen the publication of monographs on almost every aspect of Thomas Reid's philosophy, his theory of primary and secondary qualities has not been treated in book length. Christopher Shrock closes this gap in the literature ... It is easily the most comprehensive treatment of Thomas Reid's theory of primary and secondary qualities currently available. The offered interpretation of Reid's view is convincing and, in my opinion, superior to those of Shrock's predecessors ... The book is intended as a historically adequate study of Reid's views on secondary qualities, but it also follows a genuinely systematic interest. I found the blend of these two tenets very convincing and a pleasure to read ... I wholeheartedly recommend it to every scholar interested in secondary qualities in the eighteenth century or Thomas Reid's theory of perception.' -- Hannes Ole Matthiessen, Humboldt-Universitat zu Berlin, Journal of Scottish Philosophy.
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About Christopher Shrock

Christopher A. Shrock is Dean of Students and Professor of Humanities at the Oklahoma School of Science and Mathematics, where he teaches history, math and the philosophy of science.
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