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THOMAS REID, D.D. F.R.S.
LATE PROFESSOR OF MORAL PHILOSOPHY IN TIIE UNIVERSITY OF GLASGOW,
ACCOUNT OF HIS LIFE AND WRITINGS,
BY DUGALD STEWART, F.R.S.
IN THREE VOLUMES.
PUBLISHED BY E. DUYCKINCK, COLLINS AND HANNAY,
AND E. BLISS AND E. WHITE.
J. & J. Harper, Printers.
“ If mind,” says the author of A Brief Retrospect of the Eighteenth Century,“ be our better part ; if its powers and activity be all important, as every one must acknowledge them to be; and if some correct understanding of these powers be intimately connected with our improvement, comfort, and usefulness; then to despise metaphysics is to despise one of the noblest objects of human inquiry, and to display a most unworthy ignorance of the comparative worth of those studies which invite our attention."
The verity of this remark must be admitted, even by those who are not favoured with much metaphysical acumen, and we could wish that it might be felt by all who pretend to possess some skill in ratiocination.
The same learned writer considers Dr. REID as standing at the head of those metaphysical philosophers, who adorned the last century. We accord with him in this sentiment, because Reid had the sagacity to detect the errors of Locke, and has succeeded in the attempt of developing more clearly than any other writer, the powers and operations of the human mind.
The Essays on the Intellectual Powers of Man, were a great acquisition, not only to the literary, but also to the religious world; for we think with the author of the RETROSPECT, that
while ample justice is done to Mr. Locke's genius ; while the splendid service which he rendered to the philosophy of mind is readily acknowledged; and while his intentions are allowed to have been unexceptionably pure ; yet it may
be doubted, whether his writings have not done more to promote a spirit of skepticism than those of any other individual since his time. This effect has been produced, not only by some of his doctrines, but also by the general spirit of his philoso
phy." We add, that in no country are the errors of Locke, at the present day, more generally espoused than in America ; and we apprehend the reason to be this, that the writings of Reid and Stewart are rarely to be found in the same library, which contains the Essay on the Human Understanding.
Entertaining a firm persuasion that a correct edition of Reid's Works will be of essential benefit to their country, the Editors have been induced to furnish a copy for the press, which will be introduced by Stewart's Account of the Life and Writings of his venerable father in the philosophy of the human mind. A better preliminary dissertation to the whole work the public cannot reasonably desire. This will be followed by A brief Account of Aristotle's Logic, which was written by Dr. Reid, at the request of Lord Kaims, and first published in the third volume of his “Sketches of the History of Man." ARISTOTLE, the celebrated philosopher of STAGIRA, the instructer of ALEXANDER the Great, died about 323 years before Christ. He was the founder of that system of Logic which prevailed for two thousand years ; and from which most of the treatises on this subject have had their origin. It must, therefore, gratify the learned to have, in connexion with Reid's other works, a faithful account of the Stagyrite's science of reasoning. The exhibition which our author has made will satisfy curiosity, and his labours, in removing the rubbish of antiquity, will present his new temple of Reason to the observer, in all its native magnificence.
The Inquiry into the Human Mind may be considered as the front view, and the Essays on the Intellectual and Active Powers as the principal, internal apartments, of his sublime edifice.
TO THE FIRST VOLUME.