Download e-book for kindle: America and the political philosophy of common sense by Scott Philip Segrest

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 renowned 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 which means of good judgment as understood specifically in American concept and as mirrored particularly within the writings of 3 paradigmatic thinkers: John Witherspoon, James McCosh, and William James. the 1st signify Scottish good judgment and the 3rd, Pragmatism, the colleges that jointly ruled American greater suggestion for almost centuries. proficient american citizens of the founding interval warmly bought Scottish logic, Segrest writes, since it mirrored so good what they already notion, and he uncovers the elemental parts of yank logic in studying 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 yank good judgment in its Scottish realist part. With James, he indicates different dimensions of good judgment american citizens had lengthy embraced yet that had by no means been tested philosophically. sincerely, Segrest's paintings is far greater than an highbrow background. it's a research of the yankee brain and of logic itself - its crucial personality and its human importance, either ethical and political. It used to be good judgment, he affirms, that underlay the statement of Independence and the founders' rules of correct and legal responsibility which are nonetheless with us this present day. Segrest means that knowing this starting place and James' clean of it may be the foremost to retaining America's very important ethical center opposed to a starting to be alienation from good judgment around the Western international. Stressing the urgency of figuring out and protecting good judgment, Segrest's paintings sheds new mild on an undervalued element of yank suggestion and adventure, assisting us to understand the ramifications of common sense philosophy for dignified residing.

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Cicero had made several references to sensus communis in his writings and public speeches but had never made use of it as a technical philosophical concept. ” S. E. W. ”20 The meanings of humanitas, Bugter says, correspond closely to the four connotations of sensus communis that C. S. ’”21 The Stoic koine ennoiai (common conceptions) are “the axioms of theorizing and the norms of practical life, . . 23 Kant’s Gemeinsinn (common sense) has a similar meaning. In the Critique of Judgment, Kant presents Gemeinsinn as the “possibility ground of the conditions” (Parret’s language) of both theoretical and practical reason.

Such an appreciation has been shallow, too narrowly focused, misdirected, or missing altogether in most modern moral and political philosophy, with serious consequences, most significantly a loss of conviction that private and public justice has any basis deeper than will or mere consent. For example, Hobbes and Locke tried to ground natural right and natural law empirically, but the empirical foundation they laid, the natural drive for 16 America and the Political Philosophy of Common Sense self-preservation, was, in the context of the older natural law tradition, very thin, not taking account of other, equally fundamental human inclinations.

The essential thing is that the man of wit finds something to say that works for the occasion, that meets the needs of the community for an answer. Shaftesbury’s influence on Vico may be uncertain, but his influence on the course of thought in Britain is beyond question. His ideas on moral sentiments, in particular, spurred the thinking of Francis Hutcheson and David Hume. ”42 Like Shaftesbury, Hutcheson saw the moral sense as a kind of aesthetic faculty involving rational judgment. As Knud Haakonssen argues convincingly, “Moral perception [for Hutcheson] is not a subjective affective experience; and moral judgements are thus not simply the expressions of such The Common Sense Tradition 33 experience.

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America and the political philosophy of common sense by Scott Philip Segrest


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