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

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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.

How Zakir Naik Appropriated Liberalism's Flaws--and Won

If Islamic televangelist Zakir Naik is symptomatic of religious fundamentalism, we have to pin which part of his rhetoric accounts for it, and how is it different from other secular affirmations of truths. Any attempt to rerun the old narrative of the irrationality of religion, and of Naik’s supporters being blinded by unexamined religious passion, falls flat on its face. Naik’s religion in fact, is an embarrassingly evolved version of how a rational religion was conceived post-Enlightenment, and his justification of punishment and justice in Islam strikingly mimics the operation of the modern secular world. This is also how he has been able to gain legitimacy amidst an audience that sees itself as modern.


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