Henry Home, Thomas Reid, and Scottish Philosophy of Common Sense

24 August, 2023

Vasilyev V.
Вестник Московского университета. Серия 7: Философия. 47 (3). 2023. С. 3-19.

The article is about an influence of Henry Home on Thomas Reid's philosophy that could help to clarify the origins of the Scottish school of common sense philosophy. The author explains Reid's theory of direct perception, which is rightly considered as the foundation of his philosophy, compares it with similar ideas of Home, discusses different approaches to explaining their similarities in literature, and concludes that the question of their relationship and of the influence of Home on Reid is not resolved yet. As a first step in solving it, the author compares the text of the chapter “On the Authority of Our Senses” in Home's “Essays on the Principles of Morality and Natural Religion” with the contents of Reid's manuscript on the same topic, written by him after the “Essays”, but before his “Inquiry into the Human Mind on the Principles of Common Sense”. This comparison allows to conclude that Reid was well aware of the contents of Home's “Essays”, which, in turn, makes it possible to discuss the topic of Home's influence on Reid in detail and draw conclusions concerning its parameters. While this influence was quite important, Home is not to be considered as a founder of common sense philosophy.