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Scottish Philosophy

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Pages: 82

Book format: An electronic version of a printed book that can be read on a computer or handheld device designed specifically for this purpose.

Publisher: Date:8/4/2009 - General Books LLC

By: Andrew Seth Pringle-Pattison

Excerpt from book: io6 LECTURE IV. REID AND KANT. In the preceding Lecture, two points were signalised in which a parallel might be drawn between Eeid's work and the work of Kant. It remains for us to see how far, having regard to other aspects of Keid's philosophy, we are justified in maintaining a comparison between the two men. We may best begin by considering Eeid's account of the principles which he declares to be essential to the very existence of knowledge. As regards the nomenclature which he adopts, it may be admitted, at the outset, that the name " Principles of Common Sense " is unfortunate on account of its misleading associations—associations which have been strengthened rather than weakened by the unguarded utterances of itschampions. The term is misleading, because it confounds philosophy and life. No doubt the end of a true philosophy is to justify ordinary knowledge and practice — that is, to state and harmonise the principles on which they rest. So far as a philosophy fails to do this—so far as it abolishes distinctions and principles that are actually present in life—we must agree with Keid that such a system is "at war with the common-sense of mankind." We must conclude that it is an inadequate, one-sided, and therefore fallacious, system. But though philosophy is thus ultimately to be judged by its accordance with life, the two must always remain essentially separate. They move on different planes. Life, whether knowing or doing, is a direct process. It is the primary fact—the object under examination. Philosophy is reflection upon life — a process wholly secondary and indirect. They differ as any process differs from the theory of the process. We may do without philosophy, if we will: but we cannot make common-sense, in the ordinary acceptation of the term, take its...  

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