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Thomas ReidThe new book Thomas Reid on Society and Politics: Papers and Lectures, co-edited by UVic Faculty member Paul Wood, provides an in-depth look at the societal and political views of thinker and philosopher Thomas Reid (1710-1796) through the exploration of primary source documents.  This insightful annotated text is recommended for anyone interested in history or philosophy.

About the Book

Thomas Reid published almost nothing on politics, but his manuscripts show that he was deeply concerned with social, political, and economic issues throughout his career. Collected together here for the first time, Reid’s Glasgow lecture notes and his papers to learned societies in Aberdeen and Glasgow show that he was an acute commentator on contemporary politics and that he used his philosophy to formulate solutions to some of the practical political and economic problems of his day.

This volume explores Reid’s eclectic system of political economy, which had considerable affinities with the work of Sir James Steuart. It provides an important contemporary template for comparison with Adam Smith, Reid’s predecessor in the Glasgow chair of moral philosophy. It shows the continuing influence and transformation of long-standing paradigms within Anglo-Scottish thought. It includes a contextualizing and critical introduction. All of the manuscripts are fully annotated with explanatory and textual notes.

About the EditorsPaul Wood 2

Paul Wood has published widely on the Scottish Enlightenment and particularly extensively on the work of Thomas Reid. He has a degree in Philosophy from the University of Western Ontario and a M. Phil in History and Philosophy of Science from University College London.  He completed his Ph.D at the University of Leeds with a doctoral thesis on Thomas Reid. He then taught at Queen’s University, where he was also a Canada Research Fellow, before moving to the University of Victoria in 1991. In 1996 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society.

Knud Haakonssen is Professor of Intellectual History at the University of St Andrews and a Long-term Fellow at the Max Weber Center for Advanced Cultural and Social Studies, University of Erfurt. His books include The Science of a Legislator (Cambridge University Press, 1981), Natural Law and Moral Philosophy (Cambridge University Press, 1996), and editions of Hume, Hutcheson, Reid and Smith. He is General Editor of the Edinburgh Edition of Thomas Reid.

Praise for the Book

“The book is a model of its kind; and I am confident that philosophers and historians who pore over Haakonssen and Wood’s extended commentary on the manuscripts collected between this book’s covers will learn a great deal that is worth knowing about the life, times, and mind of Thomas Reid.” – Douglas McDermid, Trent University, Journal of Scottish Philosophy