An investigation of the question of human agency and freedom in Thomas Reid's philosophy of action
In philosophy the 'free will question' viz., "do we have free will by which we can freely perform an action of our own?" has been the cause and interest of one of the oldest debates of philosophy. The historical background of the 'free will debate' and of its participants can be traced back to the philosophy of Hellenistic (era) that covers the Peripatetic, Epicurean and Stoics schools. Then, it is extended from the Medieval tradition (St. Augustine, St. Thomas Aquinas and so on) through the Modern (era) philosophy (the Cartesian, the Empiricists and the Common Sense Schools) to the Contemporary philosophy of action. Almost all philosophers of these schools have either directly or indirectly been involved in the debate. Today what we have inherited from this debate, which still continues, is three main doctrines. These are: 'libertarianism', 'determinism', 'compatibilism' (or 'soft determinism'). In fact all these doctrines give rise to the idea that today "there is no single philosophical problem that is the problem of free will. There are rather a great many philosophical problems about free will." (01). This thesis, in the historical frame that has been given above, shall undertake the evaluation of the free will question in "Thomas Reid's (1710-1796) philosophy of action' in the eighteenth century 'Scottish School of Common Sense'. Thus it aims to show the dimensions of Reid's contributions to the free will debate as regards his 'approach', 'method', 'suggestions', 'solutions', 'originality' and his 'influence' on other philosophers.