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Grant number like: FA-56253-11

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James Lewis Van Cleve
University of Southern California (Los Angeles, CA 90089-0012)

Fellowships for University Teachers
Research Programs

$42,000 (approved)
$42,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
8/1/2011 – 5/31/2012

Problems from Reid (A Book about the Scottish Philosopher Thomas Reid)

I am applying for a fellowship to complete a book on the thought of the Scottish philosopher Thomas Reid (1710-1796). A contemporary and critic of David Hume, Reid is known for his opposition to skepticism and the "way of ideas," the assumption that what is immediately present to the mind is never an external thing, but only an internal representation. His contributions to epistemology and to the theory of action have increasingly attracted attention in American philosophy for the last two decades. My book will expound and evaluate Reid's theory of perception, including his alternative to the "way of ideas" and his solutions to several long-standing puzzles about vision, his system of first principles and his anti-skeptical theory of knowledge, his theory of action, and his contention that morals are the province of reason rather than sentiment.