This is Thomas Reid's greatest work. It covers far more philosophical ground than the earlier, more popular Inquiry. The Intellectual Powers and its companion volume, Essays on the Active Powers of Man, constitute the fullest, most original presentation of the philosophy of Common Sense. In the process, Reid provides acutely critical discussions of an impressive array of thinkers but especially of David Hume. In Reid's eyes, Hume had driven a deep tendency in modern philosophy to its ultimate conclusions by creating a phantom-world of so-called 'ideas' that sprang from objects of observation; the self was a conglomeration of perceived ideas; and the will as the source of action was nothing but the balance of passionate impulses.
About the Author
Knud Haakonssen is Professor of Intellectual History at the University of St Andrews and a Long-term Fellow at the Max Weber Center for Advanced Cultural and Social Studies, University of Erfurt. His books include The Science of a Legislator (Cambridge University Press, 1981), Natural Law and Moral Philosophy (Cambridge University Press, 1996), and editions of Hume, Hutcheson, Reid and Smith. He is General Editor of the Edinburgh Edition of Thomas Reid.