Essays on the Active Powers of Man
REID Thomas (1788)
£2000.00 [First Edition]
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First Edition. 4to. vii, [i], 493, pp. Contemporary tree calf (neatly rebacked, retaining the original spine). with a "Restored by Aquarius London" label inside front cover. Edinburgh: for John Bell, and G.G.G. and G.J. Robinson, London,
Reid followed Smith and Hutcheson at the chair of moral philosophy at Glasgow. In this work, with its central theme of the Philosophy of Common Sense, Reid distinguished himself from both his predecessors; from Hutcheson's claim that a moral sense and benevolent action were equatable, and from Smith who seemed to Reid to ally sympathy and moral relations too closely. However, Reid's true opponent was Hume. Reid's assertion that morality was a rational form of duty (in this case to God) was in direct contradistinction to Hume's reduction of morals to the whims of human nature. In this both prepared the ground for the later debate between Dugald Stewart and Francis Jeffrey.
Provenance: Light booksellers pencil notes.
Stock Code: 54018