By Thomas Reid, D. D. Todd
Thomas Reid, modern and philosophical foe of David Hume, was once the manager determine within the workforce of philosophers constituting the Scottish college of good judgment. among 1753 and 1762, Reid added 4 "Philosophical Orations" at commencement ceremonies at King’s university, Aberdeen. this is often the 1st English translation of these Latin orations, which demonstrate Reid’s philosophical evaluations in the course of his formative years.Reid’s impression was once powerful in the United States till the center of the nineteenth century. Thomas Jefferson was once a convert to the common sense philosophy of Reid and his tuition, and for the 1st dozen educational generations after the innovative conflict, American scholars have been steeped within the considered Reid and his affiliates. therefore Reid profoundly inspired American political, literary, and philosophical tradition. His philosophy served as a cornerstone of yankee schooling.
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Extra resources for The philosophical orations of Thomas Reid: delivered at graduation ceremonies in King's College, Aberdeen, 1753, 1756, 1759, 1762
When Reid tells us that (1) "all futile questions and disputes must be removed from philosophy," either he is being quite trivial or he is begging important questions. And when he says that (2) ''the philosopher will think that no knowledge, wisdom, or art that is useful to the human race is alien to himself," which he says is "a law closely akin to the first,"23 he is again either begging questions or, depending on how this vague "law" is interpreted, uttering a paltry truth or a blatant falsehood.
With the exception of Oration III, the Orations are too brief to be summarized usefully; indeed, they are summaries. Instead, I shall comment briefly on various matters raised in or by the Orations. Orations I and II Oration I is very sketchy and quite extraordinarily crude. This might be because Reid took charge of the pupils of Alexander Rait during their third year of instruction and so, perhaps, had less to say than he might have, had he been fully in charge of his pupils for the usual period.
3), "the philosopher is forbidden to play the role of the poet or to invade the sacred privileges of the bards,"26 does not merit being called a law, but at least it verges on the heuristic. It sums up Reid's frequently expressed abhorrence of the resort by philosophers to fanciful conjectures and hypotheses (in Reid's pejorative sense) when faced with difficulties. 27 In practice, however, Reid, like other philosophers, is sometimes prepared to resort to imaginative thought-experiments to clarify a concept or make a point.