A Philosophy of Common Sense: The Modern Discovery of the Epistemic Foundations of Science and Belief

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9781934542361: A Philosophy of Common Sense: The Modern Discovery of the Epistemic Foundations of Science and Belief
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The author provides, in A Philosophy of Common Sense, a logical justification for the modern philosophical choice of realism, over both scepticism and rationalism. Many contemporary philosophers have deemed it necessary to use the term “common sense” during the course of their epistemological discussions; moreover, they have used the term “common sense” with a positive epistemic meaning. The epistemic value of common sense was the best critical argument in order to re-vindicate the possibility of metaphysics—a metaphysics they wanted to be radically realistic and capable of avoiding both rationalism and scepticism. Livi groups their discourses into two basic categories: a) the value of common sense as a universal body of experience-grounded truths that constitute the logical condition of possibility for both science and faith; and b) common sense as the absolute condition of possibility for inter-subjective communication. Neither category, however, has been able to clarify either the concrete contents of common sense or its proper nature and epistemic function. Livi provides a new, organic proposal for a critically sustainable definition of what “common sense” is that will give full value to the many modern efforts to rehabilitate realism. In a work of interest to both British and American scholars, he founds his original proposal on a new investigation of those modern thinkers who argue against the idealistic presupposition.

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Antonio Livi is Dean of the Philosophical Faculty at the Lateran University (Rome). The main subject of his research is the truth-value of knowledge in its different levels or meanings: ordinary knowledge, scientific inquiry, and religious belief (especially Christian faith). He is the author of some twenty books and hundreds of essays and journal articles.

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