COMMON SENSE

Skip to end of metadata
Go to start of metadata

*Originally *(premodern Europe): the common sense was the place in the brain where perceptions from all the senses came together to form a basic understanding of experience; the clearinghouse of the senses. Also called the imagination. Also called the sixth sense.

Kant: the common sense is something all humans can be expected to share. Common in the community sense, but more abstract.

Gramsci: common sense is the sedimented, processually changing, domain of explanations of social existence that are embedded in people's ordinary life consciousness; a terrain of struggle over the taken-for granted; containing a grain of "good sense" that could be mobilized politically; but not coherent or abstract, a philosophy.

Left/progressive thought: critique "against the grain" positioned itself against "common sense"--but this version of the concept pointed to normative notions of the proper, and people's tones often dripped with overassurance about their outsideness to what was stultifying or unimaginative in the socially normative.

Ranciere: politics is a scene of dissensus, a contestation in the "common sense" of how to frame things. Language, being metaphorical, is always opening up potentially actionable splits in the political, and at the same time forging new conventional substitutions through metaphor (substitution) rearranges the terms of political community, making new exclusions and new connections. The affectivity of (political) language is crucial to the potential redistribution of the senses toward dissensus/democracy.

Enter labels to add to this page:
Please wait 
Looking for a label? Just start typing.