The Influence of Common Sense Realism on Alexander Campbell's View of the Nature of Scripture and Hermeneutics
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This dissertation examines the influence of Common Sense Realism on Alexander Campbell's view of the nature of Scripture and hermeneutics. The first chapter discusses Campbell's relationship with the philosophy of Common Sense Realism. This chapter in particular lays out the beginning of Common Sense as a philosophy and the major contributors to the rise of Common Sense, namely, those involved in the Aberdeen Philosophical Society. The second half of the chapter examines Campbell's studies at Glasgow University, his references of Common Sense, and his concerns that mirror those of Common Sense. Chapters 2 and 3 show Campbell's acceptance of Common Sense epistemology and philosophy of language, respectively. Chapter two examines three main areas of epistemology to show how Campbell's correlates with Common Sense: the avenues of knowledge, the powers of knowledge, and the acquisition of knowledge. Chapter 3 continues on to the area of language to show how Campbell's correlates with Common Sense. Chapters 4 and 5 discuss how Campbell's acceptance of Common Sense's epistemology and philosophy of language undergird his view of Scripture and hermeneutics. In regard to Campbell's view of Scripture, a primary focus is divine revelation and language. Chapter 5, which discusses Campbell's hermeneutics, brings into view the theory of signs and tropes, to name only a few. Finally, chapter 6 serves as a conclusion. It primarily focuses upon drawing final conclusions from chapters two through five. In addition, a small discussion is included concerning further research and implications that may be drawn from the conclusions.