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Common Sense School

DOI: 10.4324/9780415249126-DB017-2
Version: v2,  Published online: 2016
Retrieved July 23, 2024, from

Article Summary

The school of common sense philosophy originated in the mid-1730s in Aberdeen in the circle of clergymen and academics associated with Thomas Reid. During the 1750s and 1760s the details of the philosophy of common sense were developed by Reid, Alexander Gerard and George Campbell, largely in response to the irreligious implications of Hume’s writings. Their ideas subsequently served as the starting point for the different formulations of common sense philosophy published by James Beattie and James Oswald. Beattie, Oswald and Reid were widely attacked in the 1770s and 1780s for their appeals to common sense, most notably by Joseph Priestley and Immanuel Kant. These attacks prompted Dugald Stewart to reformulate the appeal to common sense principles in the 1790s. However, Stewart’s version of common sense philosophy found little support in Scotland and the school effectively disappeared with his death in 1828.

Citing this article:
Wood, Paul. Common Sense School, 2016, doi:10.4324/9780415249126-DB017-2. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Taylor and Francis,
Copyright © 1998-2024 Routledge.

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