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By S. Roeser

This is often the first edited assortment to compile vintage items and new paintings by means of prime students of Thomas Reid. The members discover key components of Reid's ethical idea in an organised and thematic manner, providing a balanced and extensive ranging quantity.

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I am conscious of a pain in my neck. The consciousness of the pain implies, that is, is necessarily accompanied by conception, conviction and immediate knowledge of the pain. Consciousness of a mental operation is necessarily accompanied by conception and immediate knowledge. The conceptions, convictions and the knowledge originate from the faculty of consciousness. Similarly, conscience or the moral faculty originates the moral judgment necessarily accompanied by moral affections and moral feelings.

It would amount to saying, as he says of secondary qualities, that the conception is merely of some quality, we know not what, that gives rise to certain feelings in us. But Reid says that our moral conceptions are not obscure but rather clear and distinct like those of primary qualities. What he means is reflected in the account offered of the principles of morals, the first principles. Reid affirms that these are necessary truths about morals. We have a clear and distinct conception of right and wrong because of the necessary first principles concerning right and wrong recognized by the moral faculty, even if those principles do not suffice to define the moral conceptions.

Like many contemporary scholars, Reid holds that emotions can be rational and serve a function. The third part of this book discusses Reid’s ideas about moral agency. The contributions by René van Woudenberg and Douglas McDermid provide for detailed analyses of Reid’s arguments for agent-causation and against determinism. Gideon Yaffe presents a novel reconstruction of Reid’s objection against Locke’s theory of personal identity by including Reid’s ideas about making moral judgments about, and ascribing responsibility to, people.

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