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Common Sense: A Political History. Sophia Rosenfeld. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2011.
 
Sophia Rosenfeld’s Common Sense aims to show the crucial but heretofore little noticed role of appeals to “the people’s common sense” in the development of modern democracy and democratic populism.  The evolution from monarchism or from mixed government of the British type to modern democratic politics of the…


Our subject of “Common Sense Philosophy and Politics in America” suggests a number of important questions about the rational basis of society, the practical role of philosophy in politics, and American identity and order. Here are the key relevant questions as I see them, in what strikes me as their natural logical sequence:

What is common sense?
What is common…

America and the Political Philosophy of Common Sense. Scott Philip Segrest. Columbia, MO: University of Missouri Press, 2009.
 
Scott Segrest begins with the remark that it will be a study of the “significance of something called common sense philosophy.” The common sense philosophy he has in mind is that of the Scottish realist thinkers in the philosophical tradition of Thomas Reid.…


The philosophical and political import of common sense is strikingly suggested in a passage from Eric Voegelin's Autobiographical Reflections. The passage has the additional merit of highlighting the surprising philosophic richness of American culture and outlook. As a young German scholar studying in America at Columbia University around 1922, Voegelin found himself "overwhelmed by a new [cultural and intellectual] world…

No matter whether the empirical structural analyses of "political life," including the in-depth studies of individuals and groups, are intended to supplement, deepen, or confirm an understanding of the manifold mani­festations of the American zoon politikon in a quantitative-empirical di­mension, all — regardless of the differing conclusions drawn from the far-reaching sociopolitical changes in formal and informal government — are…