In Elisabetta Arosio & Michel Malherbe (eds.), Philosophie française et philosophie écossaise, 1750-1850. Paris: Vrin. pp. 39-51 (2007)

Daniel Schulthess
Université de Neuchâtel
The article focuses on the relationship between the psychology of Maine de Biran and the work of Thomas Reid. Maine de Biran confronts especially with the Inquiry of Reid, by adopting some central aspects of it but by criticizing and radicalizing it. Continuity is to be found in the distinction, adopted by Maine de Biran, that Reid makes between sensations and perceptions, the latter being the basis of judgements of externality. But according to Maine de Biran Reid’s analysis of the notions of externality and the self is insufficient. These notions are complementary concepts and originate in the “original fact” of the duality of effort and resistance: by actively moving our bodies, our sense of touch comes up against the resistance of external objects. Effort and resistance base the experiences of “Self” and “Not-Self”.
Keywords Maine de Biran  Thomas Reid  Psychology  Sensations and Perceptions  Judgements of Externality  Effort and Resistance
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