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As a professor of moral science, Adam Smith defended
Hutcheson's notion of a
moral sense and proposed the application of
Hume's naturalism to the emerging discipline of political economy.
His results are often regarded as the classic statement of the theoretical foundations for modern capitalism.
Richard Price expressed many similar concerns.
But William Paley, on the other hand, rejected the
intuitionistic approach of his contemporaries.
Paley grounded morality as a rational consequence of natural theology based on the
teleological argument for the existence of god.
Mary Wollstonecraft defended the principles of the French revolution and argued that women were no less rational and therefore as deserving of educational and economic opportunity as men.
Scottish professor Thomas Reid believed that Hume's
skepticism demonstrated the abject failure of its representationalist origins.
On Reid's view, we should reject the entire "way of ideas" and adopt the straightforward
realism of common sense.
Sense perception, then, is a direct relation between the perceiver and an existing external object; apparent cases of illusion must be resolved by appeal to the distinction between
primary and secondary qualities.
Although it is now little remembered, Reid's thought was greatly influential in Britain and the United States for more than a century.
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