When American universities taught common sense

When Lord Acton visited Harvard in 1853, he found that the philosophy of the college was common sense.  Acton wrote that by "the third year Reid becomes a text-book."  The Reid whose philosophy became the focus of the junior year of study at Harvard was Thomas Reid, the author of An Inquiry into the Human Mind on the Principles of Common Sense (1764) and the founder of the philosophy of common sense realism.  Harvard students who wanted to continue studying philosophy were offered the opportunity to study the works of Dugald Stewart and other thinkers in the tradition Reid had founded.  Dugald Stewart (1753–1828) was the most influential philosopher of common sense realism after Reid.  He was admired by Thomas Jefferson, and he had a considerable influence in America.  Another common sense philosopher who exerted a significant intellectual influence on American thought in the nineteenth century was James...(Read Full Post)
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