The tyranny of common sense

The Philosophers' Magazine 34 (34):19-25 (2006)
Sometimes I despair of my philosophical colleagues. They are so conservative. I don’t mean this in a political sense. In conventional party-political terms, most professional philosophers are probably well to the left of centre. As a group, they have a strong sense of fairness and little commitment to the social status quo. But this political openmindedness doesn’t normally carry over to their day jobs. When it comes to philosophical ideas, they are congenitally suspicious of intellectual innovation. In their eyes, a good philosophical theory is one that agrees with the views found on the Clapham omnibus. Few philosophers, in the English-speaking world at least, think of philosophy as a source of radical new ideas. Rather they view it as way of systematising the everyday reactions of ordinary people.
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