Système des contradictions économiques/Tome II/161

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Système des contradictions économiques/Tome II/161/160 Système des contradictions économiques/Tome II/161/162

[original French]

[English translation]

Common sense is at once reason and experience synthetically united: it is, once more, judgment but without dialectic nor calculation.

But common sense, by the very fact that it falls only on things of immediate evidence, rejects general ideas, and the linking/sequence of propositions, and consequently method and science: so that the more a man gives himself to speculation, the more he seems to depart from common sense, starting with certainty. How then do men, equal by common sense, become equal by science, which they naturally reject?

Common sense is susceptible to neither increase nor decrease: judgment considered in itself cannot cease to be always the same, always equal to itself and identical. How, once more, is it possible, not only to maintain equality of capacities apart from common sense, but also to raise in them knowledge above common sense?

That difficulty, so formidable at first glance, evaporates when we look at it closely. To organize the judiciary faculty, or common sense, is, properly speaking, to discover the general procedures by means of which the mind comes to know the unknown by a series of judgments which all, taken in isolation, are of an intuitive and immediate evidence, but taken together give a formula that one could not have obtained without that progression, a formula which, consequently, surpasses the ordinary portee of common sense.

Thus the entire system of our knowledges rests on common sense; but raises itself indefinitely above common sense, which, bound to the particular and the immediate, cannot embrace the general with its simple regard, and must, in order to achieve that, divide it: like a man who, covering in a step only the width of a furrow, by repeating the same movement a certain number of times, circles the globe.<ref>Dialectic is properly theadvance of the mind from one idea to another, across a superior idea, a series.</ref>

Agreement of reason and experience, organization of the common sense, discovery of the general procedures by which the judgment, always identical, raises itself to the most sublime contemplations: