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The Common Instruments of Knowledge

Francis Bacon insisted we must question everything and arrive at our knowledge through our grappling with first principles built on experience and engagement of the ‘thing itself’ – a commons which we all draw upon.

Observation and direct involvement with the thing in itself is our only universal anchor point on knowledge; a discussion of Russell’s paradox would be useful here. In his work – Novum Organon – the New Instrument, that he lays out his thinking of how we arrive at knowledge; gnosis; siens (words I use to broaden the sense of what we are working with).

It is in the opening to this book that he sparks a tinder to at once acknowledge the ancient thinkers and to build from them: Read more

Article on Common Sense by Richard Gunn

My article falls into three parts. In the first, I attempt to answer such questions as “What is Scottish commom sense philosophy?” and “What, in the history of philosophy, does the term ‘common sense’ mean?”. That’s to say, my first section comments on the concept of common sense; in addition, it comments on ‘common sense’ as a term in the history of ideas.

My second section offers some thoughts on common sense and education. In particular, it asks why the notions of common sense and “general” education appear to be linked. Read more