Common Sense Realism

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Common Sense Realism is a philosophy that originated in the ideas of Scottish philosophers Thomas Reid, Adam Ferguson and Dugald Stewart during the 18th century Scottish Enlightenment.

It swept American intellectual circles in the 19th century. It was strongest at Princeton Seminary, and greatly influenced conservative religious thought, especially of Fundamentalists like John Gresham Machen (1881-1937)

Further reading

  • Ahlstrom, Sydney E. "The Scottish Philosophy and American Theology," Church History, Vol. 24, No. 3 (Sep., 1955), pp. 257–272 in JSTOR
  • Marsden, George M. Fundamentalism and American Culture (2006) excerpt and text search

Primary sources

  • Selections from the Scottish Philosophy of Common Sense, ed. by G.A. Johnston (1915) online, essays by Thomas Reid, Adam Ferguson, James Beattie, and Dugald Stewart