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LE SENS COMMUN COMMON SENS

par Thomas Paine

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4,162532,096 (3.95)1 / 123
This pamphlet, which Paine published in 1776, put into print the word every man was thinking but no man dared say: Independence!
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    The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin par Benjamin Franklin (Teresa_Pelka)
    Teresa_Pelka: Paths by Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Paine parted, in their living experience. The names continue together in history, for the role both men had in American independence.
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» Voir aussi les 123 mentions

Affichage de 1-5 de 52 (suivant | tout afficher)
Thomas Paine references history and the Bible. He assumes his readers are well education in both history and the Bible. He also brings in humor to his writing. ( )
  nx74defiant | Mar 1, 2021 |
The best thing about this prophetic pamphlet is that one can find the seeds of American exceptionalism in its pages. Grand ideas about freedom, religious tolerance, government of the people, and, above everything else, breaking with the old European monarchies. The making of “the first new nation”.

Paine writes at a time when “the Continent” is hesitating between “reconciliation” with Britain and “independance” [sic] from her, and he cannot be more emphatic about his support for the latter.

In any case, Paine doesn't delve into the details of political philosophy, ethics, or legal considerations about independence. It's not an academic paper. He speaks more like a politician, or at most an intellectual addressing the masses. He appeals to laymen, and tries to convince them with simple arguments — even populist ones, at times.

One aspect of Common Sense that causes frustration is the lack of — let's say — “scientific rigour”. This is something I've noticed in all essays I've read that were written before the modern era of strict adherence to the scientific method and to peer review in the Academy (eg On Liberty, Il Principe, The Communist Manifesto, On the Origin of Species). Every other page, you find yourself replying to the author in your head: “citation needed!”; or lamenting the absence of numerical support for his thesis, in the form of statistics, studies, polls, etc. Or very sceptical about the liberal use of quotations from scripture. There are no references. And there isn't much structure. All these things feel strange for anyone today who has had at least minimal exposure to scientific papers, or even to non-fiction books written in the last few decades: we now understand that to describe natural phenomena, to annotate past events, to defend a course of action for society… it is essential to write in an unambiguous and concise way; to produce evidence that supports every single claim we make; to lay out the main thesis, state of the art, arguments and counter-arguments comprehensively; and to measure them as objectively as possible. The huge differences between the styles of those old essays and the strict format of scientific papers and press articles today (even less formal ones, not reviewed by peers) are very interesting to watch. One wishes sometimes that the old authors were alive today, to rewrite their important books in a manner that would better support their ideas…

I'm giving the book 🌟🌟 only because, while it is historically very relevant, it doesn't make for a particularly enlightening or entertaining read. ( )
  tripu.info | Jan 5, 2021 |
Convinced the Americans to go for independence from England, but was a bit too unorganized... Like someone's ramblings... made some good points, again, and again. ( )
  rendier | Dec 20, 2020 |
After reading David McCullough's 1776 I went for this. It's surprisingly readable, short and consumable. Some of the writing and insights are quite striking! And he had only recently come to America when this was written, so his passion is a bit surprising. ( )
  viking2917 | Oct 25, 2020 |
Thomas Paine defines the arguments for independence from Britain instead of any attempt at reconciliation. He also proposes ways to organize and finance the new American government and argues that America would be capable of defeating the British army and navy. This particle edition (the Kindle edition) is atrocious and should be avoided by everyone. It reads like a sloppy translation from a foreign language. ( )
  M_Clark | Aug 30, 2020 |
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Nom de l'auteur(e)RôleType d'auteurŒuvre ?Statut
Thomas Paineauteur(e) principal(e)toutes les éditionscalculé
Appleby, JoyceDirecteur de publicationauteur secondairequelques éditionsconfirmé
Beeman, Richard R.Directeur de publicationauteur secondairequelques éditionsconfirmé
Cronauer, AdrianNarrateurauteur secondairequelques éditionsconfirmé
Deitschman, CraigNarrateurauteur secondairequelques éditionsconfirmé
Gabaldon, DianaIntroductionauteur secondairequelques éditionsconfirmé
Herder, RonaldDirecteur de publicationauteur secondairequelques éditionsconfirmé
Kramnick, IsaacDirecteur de publicationauteur secondairequelques éditionsconfirmé
Ortolà, JaumeTraducteurauteur secondairequelques éditionsconfirmé
Tietjen, GregoryIntroductionauteur secondairequelques éditionsconfirmé
Wendel, ThomasDirecteur de publicationauteur secondairequelques éditionsconfirmé
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Perhaps the sentiments contained in the following pages are not sufficiently fashionable to procure them general favor; a long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defense of custom.
Some writers have so confounded society with government, as to leave little or no distinction between them; whereas they are not only different, but have different origins.
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This pamphlet, which Paine published in 1776, put into print the word every man was thinking but no man dared say: Independence!

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