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Essays on the Intellectual Powers of Man

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Submitted By elguero81
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No. 1 of Essays on the Intellectual Powers of Man Thomas Reid

Copyright ©2010–2015 All rights reserved. Jonathan Bennett
[Brackets] enclose editorial explanations. Small ·dots· enclose material that has been added, but can be read as though it were part of the original text. Occasional •bullets, and also indenting of passages that are not quotations,

are meant as aids to grasping the structure of a sentence or a thought. Every four-point ellipsis. . . . indicates the omission of a brief passage that seems to present more difficulty than it is worth. Longer omissions are reported between brackets in normal-sized type. First launched: April 2006 Last amended: May 2008

Preface Chapter 1: Explaining the meanings of some words Chapter 2: Principles that I take for granted Chapter 3: Hypotheses Chapter 4: Analogy Chapter 5: The right way to get knowledge of the operations of the mind Chapter 6: The difficulty of attending to the operations of our own minds 1 4 17 21 25 27 29


Thomas Reid

Chapter 7: Classifying the powers of the mind Chapter 8: Social operations of mind

32 35


Thomas Reid


Human knowledge falls into two parts, one relating to body (material things), the other relating to mind (intellectual things). The whole system of bodies in the universe, of which we know only a very small part, can be called ‘the material world’; the whole system of minds, from the infinite creator right down to the lowest creature endowed with thought, can be called ‘the intellectual world’. These are the two great kingdoms of Nature that come to our attention; and every art, every science, and every human thought is engaged with one or other of them or with things pertaining to them—the boldest flight of imagination can’t take us outside them. Even within them there are many things—concerning...

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