America and the political philosophy of common sense - download pdf or read online

By Scott Philip Segrest

ISBN-10: 0826218733

ISBN-13: 9780826218735

From Aristotle to Thomas Jefferson, seminal thinkers have declared 'common feel' crucial for ethical discernment and civilized residing. but the tale of common sense philosophy isn't really renowned this day. In "America and the Political Philosophy of universal Sense", Scott Segrest strains the historical past and explores the non-public and social which means of logic as understood specially in American idea and as mirrored in particular within the writings of 3 paradigmatic thinkers: John Witherspoon, James McCosh, and William James. the 1st symbolize Scottish good judgment and the 3rd, Pragmatism, the universities that jointly ruled American greater suggestion for almost centuries. trained americans of the founding interval warmly obtained Scottish logic, Segrest writes, since it mirrored so good what they already idea, and he uncovers the fundamental parts of yankee logic in reading the concept of Witherspoon, who brought that philosophy to them. With McCosh, he indicates the furthest improvement and boundaries of the philosophy, and with it of yank good judgment in its Scottish realist section. With James, he exhibits different dimensions of good judgment american citizens had lengthy embraced yet that had by no means been tested philosophically. in actual fact, Segrest's paintings is far greater than an highbrow historical past. it's a examine of the yankee brain and of logic itself - its crucial personality and its human importance, either ethical and political. It used to be logic, he affirms, that underlay the assertion of Independence and the founders' principles of correct and legal responsibility which are nonetheless with us this day. Segrest means that realizing this beginning and James' clean of it may be the major to conserving America's important ethical center opposed to a becoming alienation from logic around the Western global. Stressing the urgency of knowing and holding logic, Segrest's paintings sheds new mild on an undervalued point of yankee suggestion and event, supporting us to understand the ramifications of common-sense philosophy for dignified residing.

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From Aristotle to Thomas Jefferson, seminal thinkers have declared 'common experience' crucial for ethical discernment and civilized residing. but the tale of common sense philosophy isn't popular this present day. In "America and the Political Philosophy of universal Sense", Scott Segrest strains the historical past and explores the non-public and social which means of good judgment as understood in particular in American proposal and as mirrored in particular within the writings of 3 paradigmatic thinkers: John Witherspoon, James McCosh, and William James.

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28 Shaftesbury had been working on a theory of sensus communis before Vico developed his own theory in De nostri temporis studiorum ratione (On the study methods of our time) and further in the Scienza Nuova (New Science). Shaftesbury, however, traced the English “common sense” back to the Stoics’ koinonoemosune (objectively, the commonly perceived or thought; subjectively, like-mindedness) rather than to koine aesthesis. In his essay on Sensus communis, Shaftesbury provides in a footnote a remarkable account of the early development of the concept.

It is an attitude akin to the serious play or playful seriousness we see in Socrates. Wit takes opinions seriously, but not too seriously. Shaftesbury seems to play with the double meaning of “humour” in his discussion of wit—the humor of a people, their mood or emotional outlook, and then also what we would call a “sense of humor,” an ability to see absurdity in matters typically treated gravely or earnestly. 38 Vico likewise saw wit as the essence of good sense and considered it pivotal for directing the sense of the community.

29 The Common Sense Tradition 29 Here we see common sense as a virtue, and the lack of it a vice. ”30 Vico clearly drew on these overlapping Roman connotations in his theory of sensus communis, as did Shaftesbury. Whether they did so independently or Vico was motivated to work out his own more systematic view by Shaftesbury’s beginning remains a mystery. 31 He conceived of sensus communis as a kind of social recognition of natural right, marked by an abiding concern for the public good. It was a kind of rationally substantive public spiritedness.

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