Published online by Cambridge University Press: 01 January 2020
This paper explains the nature and role of common sense in Reid and uses the exposition to answer some of Reid's critics. The key to defending Reid is to distinguish between two kinds of priority that common sense beliefs are supposed to enjoy. Common sense beliefs enjoy epistemological priority in that they constitute a foundation for knowledge; i.e. they have evidential status without being grounded in further evidence themselves. Common sense beliefs enjoy methodological priority in that they constrain philosophical theory: they serve as pre-theoretical commitments that philosophical theories ought to respect in the absence of good reasons for rejecting them.