The Philosophy of Common Sense

The Philosophy of Common Sense

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The Philosophy of Common Sense

The Philosophy of Common Sense

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Excerpt

The function of Philosophy is to form the foundation of Morals, Politics, and Religion. It is not an end in itself: it is the indispensable means of reaching an end otherwise unattainable. -- PROFESSOR LÉVY-BRUHL, after COMTE.

IN a former book -- The Creed of a Layman -- I set forth the grounds on which I had found peace in a religion of Common Sense -- the silent, it may be, unconscious, and too often the unavowed faith of many good and sensible men. I shall now endeavour to show the intellectual basis on which such a faith is grounded; and this I venture to describe as The Philosophy of Common Sense. Rational Philosophy indeed, from the time of the early Greek sages down to Auguste Comte, has never been anything but the Common Sense of the best minds systematised and correlated to a righteous life. For some sixty years I have studied competing systems of Philosophy, finding some truths and much verbiage in all. And long ago I came to see that philosophy, like Religion, is much more simple, more practical, closer to a strenuous life on earth, than philosophers are thought to admit.

At the outset a question may be asked -- Why should we trouble about Philosophy at all? What good will it do us? Is it not to waste time on a superfluity of Culture? No mistake could be greater -- and indeed more dangerous. All sane and serious men have some general ideas which lie at . . .

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