In Knowledge and Truth (1923) Reid critically reviewed the whole 'New Realist' theory of knowledge, which had begun with G.E.Moore (Metz, p. 538), to present his own variation of the realist doctrine that in knowledge the mind apprehends something that is 'given'. Reid stressed that knowledge is not a mere passive mirroring of reality but a dynamic activity by which we achieve contact with the objectively real. He defined truth as knowledge which is the apprehension of reality, or a part of it, as it really is. Besides theoretical experience Reid briefly considered aesthetic experience.
This prepared the way for A Study in Aesthetics (1931), a work largely concerned with the special problems in aesthetic, such as the relation between art and truth, art and morality, and the 'kinds' of beauty. Reid's approach implied a treatment of aesthetic as an autonomous philosophical science, not simply as a branch of the theory of perception. In subsequent works, Reid also considered moral experience and religious experience.
In Ways of Knowledge and Experience (1961) Reid surveyed all these various modes of experience synoptically, placing them on a single 'map'. That this mapping had explicit connections to curriculum planning reflected Reid's involvement in the philosophy of education. As first occupant of the Chair in the Philosophy of Education at London, Reid played an important role in establishing the philosophy of education as a special subject taught in British universities.
Sources: Metz; WW.
German. b: 23 December 1883, Mainz, Germany. d: 16 November 1917, killed in action at Diksmuide, Flanders. Cat: Phenomenologist. Ints: Philosophy of law; social philosophy; epistemology; ethics; logic; philosophy of mathematics; philosophy of religion. Educ: Law, Philosophy and Psychology at Munich, Berlin and Göttingen. Infls: Literary influences include Plato and Hume; personal influences include Edmund Husserl and Theodor Lipps. Appts: 1909-14, Privatdozent, University of Göttingen.
Reinach was an outstanding exponent of the kind of realist phenomenology inspired by Husserl's Logical Investigations. This understanding of phenomenology is brilliantly artculated in a lecture delivered in 1914 in Marburg, the stronghold of neo-Kantianism. Everything has its 'what', its essence. Phenomenology is the study of essences and relations between essences. We can have a direct access to essences in a non-sensory kind of seeing or intuition (Wesensschau). Relations between essences are a priori. The a priori has, as such, nothing to do with how we think or even how we must think. In his study of the essence of judgement Reinach develops the notion of a state of affairs (Sachverhalt) as that which is believed or asserted. Negative states of affairs can obtain with precisely the same objectivity as positive states of affairs. In the area of the phenomenology of acts his treatment of social acts, i.e. those which essentially stand in need of being heard, is of particular interest. It anticipates later developments in the theory of speech acts.