Two Senses of Common Sense

Zacharoula Renia Gasparatou


Analytic philosophy often appeals to a conceptual consensus of mankind in order
to justify its analyses. This appeal could be interpreted as a plea for some
kind of “common sense”. I would like to suggest that analytic philosophy’s call
for common sense can be of at least two kinds. The first one suggests an appeal
to everyday intuitions of plain men and is best represented historically in the
writings of G. E. Moore and J. L. Austin. The second invites an ideal common
sense of a “second nature”. It is the one found in the grammatical investigation
performed by L. Wittgenstein. I will conclude that Wittgenstein’s approach
invites an ‘enlightened’ common sense, an ideal that is more becoming a
philosophical criterion.


philosophy; 20th century philosophy; Wittgenstein Ludwig; ordinary language; common sense

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