Saturday, May 15, 2010

A clarification

To be clear, I actually didn't deny that there is something like common sense, but only observed that it is not legitimate to use it as an argument.

I looked back at what one of my preferred authors - little known in America but one of the greatest Christian thinkers of the last two centuries, the blessed Antonio Rosmini, who lived in the first half of the 1800 - says on this regard. He defined common sense as the faculty of first principles, something like what previously used to be named synderesis. But a simple appeal to it risks of losing the strength of the "common", to make it sound as an absolutization of our own ways of thinking and living.

That was the zest of my post. As human beings we are educated, and education makes the first principles reflexive, but, alas, con also deviate from them. That's why I oppose two styles of education, a kind of ivy league one, where the sense of tradition is lost into an empty universalism, and another, may be apparently less sophisticated, but better rooted in a tradition of wisdom.

I claim that only by starting from the second it is possible, in deep humility, to reach the higher learning that allows to really comprehend common sense, the knowledge and wisdom by which all men can come to know themselves as naturally participating of society, and, by way of society, of God.

Those who think to do without God, have actually taken themselves out of society, save wanting to reconstitute it by way of what is for them common sense. Too bad, for them and for us, that it is far from being common. Actually, in wanting to do away with God, they just fall prey to idols.


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