Guido Liguori


This is an abstract of the entry on “Common sense” (translated into English) published in the Dizionario gramsciano (Gramsci Dictionary). There exist more than one “common senses” distinguishable by area, social stratum and period, continually enriched with scientific notions, and standing in-between folklore and the philosophy of the scholars. It is a “disorderly aggregate of philosophical conceptions” in which “whatever one likes” may be found. It must be subjected to critique, since it is often connotated by the various forms of conservatism. It is a social group’s most wide-spread and often implicit ideology, and dialectically related to philosophy, meaning that a social group that aligns itself with the subalterns must enter into a dialectical relation with common sense in a mutually transformative way. Differently from Bukharin’s approach, the critique of common sense, Gramsci states, must be one of the starting points for a compendium of Marxism: forcing the introduction of new truths into common sense is proof of its capacity for expansion. At stake is the transformation of the subalterns’ conception of the world, by and through launching a struggle for hegemony involving a new common sense, culture and philosophy which, together, form a mass ideology which rendering politically possible the intellectual progress of the mass.

Abstract Format