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Croatian Journal of Philosophy

Volume 21, Issue 2, 2021

Martin Nuhlíček
Pages 319-337

The Priority of Common Sense in Philosophy

The aim of this paper is to explore the issue of priority of common sense in philosophy. It is divided into four parts. The first part discusses examples of common-sense beliefs and indicates their specific nature, especially compared to mere common beliefs. The second part explores in more detail the supposed positive epistemic status of common-sense beliefs and the role they play in delimiting plausible philosophical theories. The third part overviews a few attempts to formulate a legitimate argument, or justification, in favor of the positive epistemic status of common-sense beliefs, none of which, however, appears to be clearly successful. Finally, the fourth part addresses the central issue of priority of common sense. Two different types of priority are introduced, epistemic and methodological, and it is argued that only the latter applies to common-sense beliefs. If so, then common-sense beliefs are not to be conceived as cases of knowledge but as the clearest cases of what we believe is knowledge.