Abstract

Commonsensism is a thesis about commonsense beliefs: our commonsense beliefs are items of knowledge (or should be so regarded) that have epistemic or methodological priority. This account of commonsensism risks making our commonsense beliefs impervious to philosophical argument. But in Santayana's commonsensism, what deserves our trust is not our commonsense beliefs but the development of common sense over successive generations. Our commonsense beliefs deserve only a secondary or subsidiary trust; we trust them only insofar as we trust the momentum of common sense. I examine Santayana's distinctive form of commonsensism and explain why he avoids putting trust primarily in commonsense beliefs.

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