Intelligent Design

Bill Dembski offers an introduction to Thomas Reid’s Lectures on Natural Theology

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Lectures on Natural Theology by [Thomas Reid, James A. Barham, Jake Akins]

He writes to say,

An excellent new edition of Thomas Reid’s Lectures on Natural Theology has just been released, edited by my two good friends James Barham and Jake Akins. The editors draw valuable connections between Reid’s lectures and the current understanding of intelligent design.

The Introduction is here:

Reid’s work has undergone a stunning revival of interest since the 1970s, after more than a century and half of neglect—a revival which has only accelerated in the first two decades of the twenty-first century.[2] Reid is stereotypically presented as the philosopher of “common sense,” and as someone principally concerned with epistemological issues. It is of course true that he held that our commonsense view of the world—the way things appear to us pretheoretically—ought always to be the ultimate touchstone of our philosophical theorizing. It is also true that he can be considered a forerunner of such influential twentieth-century thinkers as the British analytical philosopher G.E. Moore (1873–1958) and the American comparative psychologist and proponent of “direct realism,” James J. Gibson (1904–1979).

However, it is not true that the commonsense methodology, or even epistemological concerns more generally, exhaust the interest that Reid holds for contemporary philosophy. In fact, one of his greatest attractions for many thinkers today is the breadth of his interests, extending from logic, metaphysics, and “pneumatology” (philosophy of mind) to the philosophy of nature, ethics, and the philosophy of human society. Reid’s background in divinity supplied him with a deep familiarity with the classical (ancient and scholastic) philosophical tradition, which endowed him with an appreciation for the metaphysical aspect of the modern “way of ideas” that was not always apparent in his predecessors Locke and Hume.

Bill Dembski, “Thomas Reid Lectures on Natural Theology — New Edition” at billdembski.com

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