Philosophy vs the common sense

  • V. V. Chernyshov Poltava Yuri Kondratuk national technical university
Keywords: analytics of subjective experience, authentic thinking, empathy, knowledge, love of wisdom, phenomenology, science, subjective experience, wisdom


The paper deals with the antinomy of philosophy and the common sense. Philosophy emerges as a way of specifically human knowledge, which purposes analytics of the reality of subjective experience. The study reveals that in order to alienate philosophy from the common sense it was essential to revise the understanding of wisdom. The new, philosophical interpretation of wisdom – offered by Pythagoras – has laid the foundation of any future philosophy. Thus, philosophy emerges, alienating itself from the common sense, which refers to the common or collective experience. Moreover, the study examines the role of emotions, conformity and conventionality which they play with respect to the common sense. Next the author focuses on the role of philosophical intuition, guided with principles of rationality, nonconformity and scepticism, which the author professes the foundation stones of any sound philosophy. The common sense, described as deeply routed in the world of human emotions, aims at empathy, as the purpose of philosophy is to provide the rational means of knowledge. Therefore, philosophy uses thinking, keeping the permanent efforts to check and recheck data of its own experience. Thus, the first task of philosophical thinking appears to overcome the suggestion of the common sense, which purposes the social empathy, as philosophical intuition aims at independent thinking, the analytics of subjective experience. The study describes the fundamental principles of the common sense, on the one hand, and those of philosophy, on the other. The author arrives to conclusion that the common sense is unable to exceed the limits of sensual experience. Even there, where it apparently rises to a form of any «spiritual unity», even there it cannot avoid referring to the data of commonly shared sensual experience; though, philosophy, meanwhile, goes beyond sensuality, creating a discourse that would be able to alienate from it, and to make its rational analysis. However, the authentic project of philosophy has not always remained faithful to itself, keeping its self-identity. A considerable part of that which now bears the name of philosophy has rather been an alienation of the original idea. Among these phenomena of the alienated philosophy, for example, we can mention a number of cases: the emergence of the philosophical paideia, political and social engineering, scholastics, and the interpretation of philosophy as a science that can (and should be) directed to gaining the ultimate positive result. All these witness the alienation from the authentic philosophical tradition, degrading philosophy to the role of a «servant-maid», which eventually brought to the ultimate rejection and denial of its profundity and its values. Finally, the study considers the place that the Modern philosophy has taken in emergence of the modern and contemporary science. He states that there were a number of efforts – beginning with Rene Descartes – to create a new philosophy not upon the foundations of the love of wisdom, but upon the ones of the common sense. Although philosophers had easily recognised the falsity of this enterprise and had rejected this idea, these efforts did not pass away without effect, having caused the emergence of the modern and contemporary science, recognising as its true basis the common sense rather than any metaphysics.


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How to Cite
Chernyshov, V. (2017). Philosophy vs the common sense. Grani, 19(10), 38-44.