ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Charles TaylorSubscribe to Charles Taylor

Common Sense, Habitus, and Social Imaginary

A comparative perspective of pre-theoretical consciousness is presented here. By comparing Gramsci’s common sense (from the interwar period; 1999) with Bourdieu’s habitus (1977) and Taylor’s social imaginary (2004)—the two most influential post-war conceptualisations—the paper argues that the latter two conceptually enrich Gramsci’s common sense. However, both say that a theoretical system penetrates the non-intellectual (pre-theoretical) world from the outside and transforms it. In contrast, Gramsci claims that a theory constantly evolves in dialogue with the cognitive activities of the ordinary. The non-intellectual is a teacher, not simply a pupil waiting for transmission of philosophy from the above.
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