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Manifest Activity – Thomas Reid's Theory of Action - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Manifest Activity: Thomas Reid's Theory of Action

Gideon Yaffe


Manifest Activity examines Thomas Reid's efforts to provide answers to a host of traditional philosophical questions concerning the nature of the will, the powers of human beings, motivation, and the relation between human action and natural change. The concept of ‘active power’ stands at the centre of Reid's philosophy of action. He holds that actions are all and only the events of which some creature is the ‘efficient cause’, and he thinks a creature is the efficient cause of an event just in case it has the power to bring that event about and exerts it. Reid's conception both of human actio ... More

Keywords: action, agency, cause, change, event, Free Will, Hobbes, Hume, Intention, Laws of Nature, Liberty, Morality, motivation, natural world, Possibility, power, Reid, Teleology, Volition, will

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2004 Print ISBN-13: 9780199268559
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2004 DOI:10.1093/019926855X.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Gideon Yaffe, author
Department of Philosophy University of Southern California
Author Webpage