Scottish School

Scottish School


(also philosophy of common sense), a school of philosophy that developed and flourished from the 1760’s to 1780’s in the universities of Scotland. The Scottish school was founded by T. Reid, and its leading representatives were J. Oswald, J. Beattie, and D. Stewart. It was formed in response to the skepticism of D. Hume, and it rejected the philosophy of G. Berkeley.

According to the Scottish school, truths incontrovertible by common sense are founded on direct intuitive certainty, which is inherent in the very nature of human beings and is of divine origin. In essence, the philosophy of common sense reinforced generally accepted convictions and prejudices, making them the foundation of science, ethics, and religion. Asserting that faith constituted the foundation of philosophy, the Scottish school advanced arguments, based on direct knowledge, in favor of the existence of god, the soul, and the purposefulness of all that existed.

Using similar arguments, the school defended the material world from attack by subjective idealism, skepticism, and agnosticism and refuted the phenomenalistic theory of perceptions (ideas). According to the Scottish school, a fundamental law of cognition is the certainty that the material world exists independently of consciousness. Of basic importance for the members of the school, however, was the recognition that religious truths are self-evident and the acceptance of irrefutable moral laws rooted in “moral feeling.” Proceeding from these beliefs, the members of the school fought against the sensualism of J. Locke and the materialism of D. Hartley, J. Priestley, and, subsequently, D. Diderot. For their part the materialists, especially Priestley, sharply criticized the Scottish school. The most active proponent of the philosophy of common sense in the USA was J. McCosh; in France the Scottish school influenced the thought of P. Royer-Collard.


Istoriia filosofii, vol. 2. Moscow, 1941. Pages 269–73.
McCosh, J. The Scottish Philosophy, Biographical Expository. London, 1875.
Pringle-Pattison, A. S. Scottish Philosophy. Edinburgh, 1884.
Laurie, H. Scottish Philosophy in Its National Development. Glasgow, 1902.
Harrison, F. The Philosophy of Common Sense. London, 1907.
Grave, S. A. The Scottish Philosophy of Common Sense. Oxford, 1960.
The Story of Scottish Philosophy. Edited by D. S. Robinson. [New York] 1961.


References in periodicals archive ?
It really is time the focus was squarely on school education, given that various measurements have shown Scottish school education's standards to have declined over the last decade and more.
Summary: More than 29,000 Scottish school pupils had their exam results texted to them a day early by mistake.
An executive summary is followed by chapters covering the strengths of Scottish school education; how Scottish student performance ranks in international measures of student competency; the achievement gap in Scottish schools; participation of young people in post-compulsory education and training, and the destinations of school leavers more broadly; recent curriculum reform efforts; and recommendations for the future.
A gun alert was sparked at a Scottish school just days after the start of the Dunblane massacre inquiry.
SENIOR boys at a leading Scottish school have been branded "sexist bullies" by school inspectors.
DAVID Cameron's plans for a snap EU referendum this summer look like being scuppered by the Scottish school holidays.
An education in a Scottish school or university opens the door to the world for a student from China.
Boyle toured a Scottish school promoting the scheme, answering questions from pupils, who asked her why she was giving up chocolate.
Pupils get creative CITY secondary pupils are urged to enter the Scottish School Media Awards.
Children at a Scottish school where half spoke Gaelic took part in the study.
I have already written emails to them querying how it can be pounds 350 the week before the Scottish school holidays and pounds 750 for that week.

Full browser ?