By Scott Philip Segrest
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 popular at the present time. In "America and the Political Philosophy of universal Sense", Scott Segrest strains the heritage and explores the non-public and social that means of good judgment as understood in particular in American suggestion and as mirrored in particular within the writings of 3 paradigmatic thinkers: John Witherspoon, James McCosh, and William James. the 1st characterize Scottish logic and the 3rd, Pragmatism, the universities that jointly ruled American greater proposal for almost centuries. trained american citizens of the founding interval warmly obtained Scottish good judgment, Segrest writes, since it mirrored so good what they already suggestion, and he uncovers the fundamental parts of yank good judgment in interpreting the idea of Witherspoon, who brought that philosophy to them. With McCosh, he exhibits the furthest improvement and boundaries of the philosophy, and with it of yankee logic in its Scottish realist part. With James, he exhibits different dimensions of good judgment americans had lengthy embraced yet that had by no means been tested philosophically. basically, Segrest's paintings is way greater than an highbrow background. it's a examine of the yankee brain and of good judgment itself - its crucial personality and its human value, 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 figuring out this beginning and James' clean of it can be the main to holding America's very important ethical middle opposed to a growing to be alienation from logic around the Western global. Stressing the urgency of knowing and maintaining good judgment, Segrest's paintings sheds new mild on an undervalued point of yank concept and adventure, 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 feel' crucial for ethical discernment and civilized dwelling. but the tale of common sense philosophy isn't really 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 that means of logic as understood specially in American notion and as mirrored particularly within the writings of 3 paradigmatic thinkers: John Witherspoon, James McCosh, and William James.
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Extra resources for America and the political philosophy of common sense
2 Common Sense and the Common Sense Tradition The Basic Elements of Common Sense The philosophical and political import of common sense is strikingly suggested in a passage from Eric Voegelin’s Autobiographical Reflections. The passage has the additional merit of highlighting the surprising philosophic richness of American culture and outlook. ” His account of what he learned in the process is illuminating: I discovered English and American common sense philosophy. More immediately, the impact came through Dewey’s recent book, Human Nature and Conduct, which was based on the English common sense tradition.
From there, I worked back to Thomas Reid and Sir William Hamilton. This English and Scottish conception of common sense as a human attitude that incorporates a philosopher’s attitude toward life without the philosopher’s technical apparatus, and inversely the understanding of Classic and Stoic philosophy as the technical, analytical elaboration of the common sense attitude, has remained a lasting influence in my understanding both of common sense and [of] Classic philosophy. It was during this time that I got the first inkling of what the continued tradition of Classic philosophy on the common sense level, without necessarily the technical apparatus of an Aristotle, could mean for the intellectual climate and the cohesion of a society.
This mode of mind is the link connecting all the meanings. This book is most deeply and most essentially a meditation on the human meaning of common sense, first for the individual but ultimately for society. It is not intended except incidentally to be a history of ideas but, rather, a study in political philosophy. That is, it is concerned not merely with concepts or with intellectual discourses and debates but with fundamental human realities, with common sense itself, and with those basic moral and political realities that become clear through the common sense way of seeing, and beyond that with the ways common sense understanding helps lay the groundwork for humane society.