Hannah Arendt’s Notion of Common Sense and Reality
Hannah Arendt refers to ‘common sense’ in many places in her work and attributes it a significant role: it makes us fit into the common world; when lost, society disintegrates as happened under totalitarian regimes at the start of the twentieth century. There is controversy about what Arendt exactly means by ‘common sense’. In this paper it is argued that the ‘common sense’ should not be understood as a kind of knowledge, nor as a mental organ, or a community feeling. Instead, I argue that Arendt’s notion of common sense refers to having a valid understanding of human reality, enabled by the conditions of plurality and communication.
Faculteit der Filosofie, Theologie en Religiewetenschappen