Manifest Activity: Thomas Reid's Theory of Action (Paperback)Gideon Yaffe (author)
For Reid, contrary to the view of many of his predecessors, it is simply manifest that we are active with respect to our behaviours; it is manifest, he thinks, that our actions are not merely remote products of forces that lie outside of our control. Reid holds, instead, that actions are all and only those events that spring from active power, and he produces insightful and imaginative arguments for the claim that only a creature with a mind is capable of having active power. He believes that only human beings, and creatures 'above us', are capable of directing events towards ends, of endowing them with purpose or direction, the distinctive feature of action. However, he also holds that all events, and not merely human actions, are products of active power, power possessed either by human beings or by God. This collection of theses leads Reid to the view that human behaviour and the progress of nature are both essentially teleological. Patterns in nature are the products of laws of which God is the author; patterns in human conduct are the products of character and the laws that individuals set for themselves.
Manifest Activity examines Reid's arguments for this view and the view's implications for the nature of character, motivation, and the special kind of causation involved in the production of human behaviour. Yaffe's assessment will greatly profit anyone working on current theories of action and free will, as well as historians of ideas.
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Weight: 250 g
Dimensions: 215 x 138 x 10 mm
Review from previous edition Thomas Reid is widely regarded as having made important contributions to philosophy in three broad areas--the philosophy of perception, epistemology, and the theory of human action. Of Reid's contributions to philosophy, the third has been the least explored and, thus, it is especially welcome to have Gideon Yaffe's book-length treatment of Reid's theory of action. Yaffe's book is, in my estimation, excellent: it is deftly and concisely argued, resourceful, and offers a charitable interpretation of Reid's position . . . the book repays close study, and scholars in both early modern philosophy and contemporary action theory will have much to learn from it. - Terence Cuneo, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews
No one interested in the philosophy of action could fail to be intrigued by Yaffe's study of Reid. - James A. Harris, TLS
You may also be interested in...
Would you like to proceed to the App store to download the Waterstones App?