Système des contradictions économiques/Tome II/160

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Système des contradictions économiques/Tome II/160/159 Système des contradictions économiques/Tome II/160/161

[original French]


[English translation]

and as society is nothing other than this constitution and this organization; the object is to found judgment by determining the value of knowledge and organizing the common sense; and what we call logic is nothing other than this determination and organization.

Logic, society, that is to say always reason: such is then the destiny here below of our species, considered in its generative faculties, activity and intelligence. Thus humanity, by its successive manifestations, is a living logic: it is this which made is say, at the beginning of this work, that each economic fact is the expression of a law of the mind, and that as there is nothing in the understanding that has not been auparavant in experience, neither is there anything in social practice which does not provienne from an abstraction of reason.

Thus, society, like logic, has as a primordial law the agreement of reason and experience. To bring reason and experience into accord, to advance theory and practoce in unison, that is what both the economist and the philosopher equally propose; that is the first and last commandment imposed on every man who acts and thinks. A simple condition, doubtless, if one only envisions it in that formula, seemingly so simple; a prodigious effort, if one considers all that man has done from the beginning, [...]

But what do we mean by the agreement of reason and experience, or, as we have called it, that organization of common sense, which is itself only logic?

I first call common sense judgment insofar as it applies to things that are intuitively and immediately evident, of which the perception requires neither deduction nor research. Common sense is more than instinct: instinct has no consciousness of its determinations, while common sense knows what it wants and why. Common sense is no more faith, genius or habit, which is neither known nor judged: while common sense is known and judged, as it knows and judges all that surrounds it.

The common sense is equal in all men. It is from this that comes to ideas the highest degree of evidence and the most perfect certainty: it is not it which has aroused philosophical doubt.