Category Archives: Philosophy

‘Scientific Persecution’ and the Argument from Common Sense

L. Jaffro (2009). L’argument du sens commun et la ‘persécution des scientifiques’. Philosophiques. Revue de la Société de philosophie du Québec, 36(1), 131-147.

Drawing mainly on An Essay on Philosophical Method (1933) and on The New Leviathan (1942), this paper sets out R. G. Collingwood’s main arguments against G. E. Moore’s appeal to common sense. According to The New Leviathan, the recourse to common sense as a safeguard against scepticism or idealism leads to ‘scientific persecution’ and ‘obscurantism’. That view might be considered as excessive. However, after a close examination of the structure of the argument from common sense, Collingwood’s critique appears to be relevant. This does not prevent him from using the notion of common sense, understood as a set of basic beliefs. There is no contradiction here, provided that we distinguish the notion of common sense from the argument from common sense.

The Objects of Education: What Ontology?

L. Jaffro (2007). Les objets de l’éducation : quelle ontologie? Revue de métaphysique et de morale, 56(4), 429-448.

The paper deals with the ontological status of the objects of education and takes a realistic stance on this issue. A typology that stresses differences between various kinds of skills and objects is outlined. The author argues that the objects of education, though not identical to the objects of knowledge, depend on them, so that learning processes must not be construed in a subjectivist or skeptical way. This ontological standpoint casts light on the significance of taste and sensitivity in the context of education.

From Hermeneutics to Common Sense. Stanley Rosen on Precomprehension

L. Jaffro (2006). From Hermeneutics to Common Sense. Stanley Rosen on Precomprehension ». In N. Ranasinghe (ed.), Logos and Eros. Essays Honoring Stanley Rosen. South Bend, Ind: St Augustine Press, 36-49.

The chapter defends Stanley Rosen’s claim that hermeneutics presupposes pre-theoretical reason, and analyses the nature of that presupposition. Insofar as they do not use it as a criterion, philosophers are right when they recognize that they must needs necessarily draw on common sense as the medium of mutual understanding and criticism.