Η έννοια του υποκειμένου στη φιλοσοφία του Thomas Reid
Γλυκοφρύδη-Λεοντσίνη , Αθανασία
Thomas Reid, the founder of the Scottish philosophy of common sense, is recognized today as one of the most important Scottish philosophers of the eighteenth century whose thought offered an alternative to Humean skepticism, Kantian idealism and Cartesian rationalism. Central issues in his theory of sensation and perception as well as in his theory on personal identity are connected with his criticism of the modern theory of ideas and especially with a refutation of David Hume's philosophical skepticism considered as the logic outcome of Berkeley's subjectivity and of various other trends that dominated philosophy since Descartes. Combining a significant response to the skeptical and idealist views of his days with a robust realism about mind and the world, Reid constructed a theory of human mind and its epistemic operations in a very different way from the usual eighteenth century epistemological theories, arguing that knowledge deriving from the mental process is based on first principles, the so-called common sense beliefs that are common in all languages. Wishing to rid the field of philosophy of skepticism and uncertainty concerning the possibility of knowledge, Reid formulated a theory of direct perception, by distinguishing sensation from perception and by stressing the importance of judgment, suggestion and belief in every act of perception. Reid presupposes that the mind is endowed with a number of powers and faculties through which it explains features of the mental life as well as futures of the external world. In his theory of perception he discusses the importance of the intentionality of our mental states that accounts for the fact that our perceptions are directed at objects and shows that the Self is in every mental action aware of intentional objects mind-dependent as well as of physical objects mind-independent. Reid is referring to the existence of a Self equipped with mental functions but also to the existence of mental situations that we are aware of. By distinguishing between subject and object, between thought and the subject of thought, act and agent, Reid points out that the word «Self» denotes the subject that possesses various mental experiences, stresses the active character of the mind and attempts to connect the intellect with consciousness and to define personal identity by distinguishing between «incomplete identity» and «perfect identity». According to him, the «Self», by having innate and acquired capacities, perceives and at the same time conceives the external world and restructures it via consciousness' mental conditions, formulating thus a relation through which the Self immediately recognizes, through reason and the senses, the function of the consciousness as well as the objects of the material world.