Common Sense – A Political History (Anglais) Relié – 10 mai 2011
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Her account emphasizes post-Glorious Revolution England, 18th c. Aberdeen and Amsterdam (common sense philosophy, and the radical early Enlightenment), and revolutionary Philadelphia and Paris, but there's also a sort of postscript that takes the story into the present and lets her talk briefly about Hannah Arendt as well as Ronald Reagan and Sarah Palin.
There's no real discussion of the role common sense and good sense *should* play in our understanding of things, so the reader has to provide that for himself. As an academic she seems a bit uneasy about opposition to structures of intellectual authority while at the same time favoring subversion on general principles, but that's only to be expected of someone in her position and doesn't affect the value of the book.
And preceding Paine's fractional application of common sense upon American popular democracy, Sophia Rosenfeld reveals that it functioned in sundry manners in Britain and Europe during the Enlightenment and the political era which followed. In "Common Sense: A Political History" Rosenfeld (professor of history; author: "A Revolution in Language") discloses how populist notions have often been employed as a political devices; furthermore, common sense and populist thought have been flexible, a bit ambiguous, and mutable.
Paine wrote: "Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state, an intolerable one."
In Common Sense: A Political History, historian Sophia Rosenfeld explores the genesis of the phrase "common sense" and the evolution of its definition (and application) over the years. Arresting and enlightening, this book has as much to say about political history as it does the present day.
The Wall Street Journal opined:
"Rosenfeld seeks to explain how the "common sense" of the people became a touchstone of political wisdom and a ubiquitous catch-phrase in political debate across the Western world...Rosenfeld is a shrewd and inventive historian. She has excavated the rhetoric of common sense from an impressive number of sites and has shaped this diverse evidence into a smart and plausible narrative. She writes with verve... Rosenfeld warns us that common sense is sometimes just an honorific that we bestow upon our prejudices."
Rosenfeld offers many interesting and litigious views that often reveal little-known details and ideas regarding the founding of America and its political history.
Paine also asserted: "Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it."
- David Armitage
- Daniel Rodgers
- Christopher Grasso
- And others.
Rosenfeld writes: "Common Sense. Good luck finding a law-maker or pundit who does not claim it as his (or her) most trusted ally. We can argue over how we got to this point or even whether politics is better or worse off a result. Those questions animate Common Sense: A Political History. One thing, however, is beyond dispute. The idea of common sense has led to a lot of truly dreadful music. And its antithesis, nonsense--a big-time insult in the world of politics--has inspired some of the best music of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. As the great French writer Denis Diderot put it several centuries ago, when the politics of common sense was just coming into its own, a man has in common sense just about everything necessary to be "a good father, a good husband, a good merchant, [and] a good man," not to mention "a bad poet, a bad musician, a bad painter, [and] a very dull lover."
Moreover Thomas Paine and a few other political writers were critics of established religion. Paine opined: "It is not a God, just and good, but a devil, under the name of God, that the Bible describes."
The author of "Common Sense" added: "There are matters in the Bible, said to be done by the express commandment of God, that are shocking to humanity and to every idea we have of moral justice."
In touching revealed religion I prefer, but do not comprehensively affirm, the Common Sense philosophy of Thomas Reid: "In the strict and proper sense, I take an efficient cause to be a being who had power to produce the effect, and exerted that power for that purpose."
The term "common sense" is ambiguous and often difficult to define, I partially concur with Reid's statement: "There is no greater impediment to the advancement of knowledge than the ambiguity of words."
This volume offers a unique look at the varied initiators of common sense and populist thought in history. Furthermore, Rosenfeld furnishes a fresh and unique report concerning the era of revolutions as she describes what this period bestowed to the present and future political development.
See the book that defends the necessity of theistic ethics:
There Are Moral Absolutes: How to Be Absolutely Sure That Christianity Alone Supplies The Conditions For Moral Certainty Through Presuppositional Apologetics