Common Sense, How to Exercise It

Yoritomo Tashi (1147 - 1199)
Translated by Lily Berthelot De La Boileverie

One of three seminal philosophical works by the twelfth century Japanese Shogun, Yoritomo-Tashi. (From the Preface) He knows how to clothe his teachings in fable and appealing legend, and his exotic soul, so near and yet so far, reminds one of a flower, whose familiar aspect is transmuted into rare perfume.

By him the sternest questions are stripped of their hostile aspects and present themselves in the alluring form of the simplest allegories of striking poetic intensity.

When reading his works, one recalls unconsciously the orations of the ancient philosophers, delivered in those dazzling gardens, luxuriant in sunlight and fragrant with flowers.

In this far-away past, one sees also the silhouette of a majestic figure, whose school of philosophy became a religion, which interested the world because it spoke both of love and goodness.

But in spite of this fact, the doctrines of Yoritomo are of an imaginative type. His kingdom belongs to this world, and his theories seek less the joys of the hereafter than of that tangible happiness which is found in the realization of the manly virtues and in that effort to create perfect harmony from which flows perfect peace.

He takes us by the hand, in order to lead us to the center of that Eden of Knowledge where we have already discovered the art of persuasion, and that art, most difficult of all to acquire—the mastery of timidity.

Following him, we shall penetrate once more this Eden, that we may study with Yoritomo the manner of acquiring this art—somewhat unattractive perhaps but essentially primordial—called Common Sense. - Summary by B. Dangennes.

Genre(s): Philosophy

Language: English

Section Chapter Reader Time
Play 00 Announcement & Preface Thomas Rose
Play 01 Lesson I. Common Sense: What is it? Thomas Rose
Play 02 Lesson II. The Fight Against Illusion Thomas Rose
Play 03 Lesson III. The Development of the Reasoning Power Thomas Rose
Play 04 Lesson IV. Common Sense and Impulse Thomas Rose
Play 05 Lesson V. The Dangers of Sentimentality Thomas Rose
Play 06 Lesson VI. The Utility of Common Sense in Daily Life Thomas Rose
Play 07 Lesson VII. Power of Deduction Thomas Rose
Play 08 Lesson VIII. How to Acquire Common Sense Thomas Rose
Play 09 Lesson IX. Common Sense and Action Thomas Rose
Play 10 Lesson X. The Most Thorough Business Man Thomas Rose
Play 11 Lesson XI. Common Sense and Self-Control Thomas Rose
Play 12 Lesson XII. Common Sense Does Not Exclude Great Aspirations Thomas Rose