On “The Temptation to Attack Common Sense”

Chapter

Abstract

In The Blue Book (BB, pp. 58–59), Wittgenstein defends common sense as a guide for our thinking and as a relief from mental discomfort. It might stand as a powerful educational ideal. Wittgensteinian common sense is related to the practice of rule-following. While theories, practices and even norms evolve or change, the mastering of rule-following is what keeps us within the community and within the realm of reason, that is, within common sense. Stepping outside amounts to mental discomfort. There is, however, a downside: His attachment to ordinary language “as it is” might be considered a conservative by-product of this argument. Yet such an implication can be avoided. Common sense is a promising educational ideal—if only we do not take Wittgenstein too literally. It is an ideal that, in education today, is currently under attack from various sources.

Keywords

Common sense Education Rule-following Science Verificationism Wittgenstein 

Notes

Acknowledgments

I would like to thank Paul Standish for comments that greatly improved the manuscript.

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Educational Sciences and Early Childhood EducationUniversity of PatrasPatrasGreece

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