FACTOID # 23: Wisconsin has more metal fabricators per capita than any other state.
 Home   Encyclopedia   Statistics   States A-Z   Flags   Maps   FAQ   About 


FACTS & STATISTICS    Advanced view

Search encyclopedia, statistics and forums:



(* = Graphable)



Encyclopedia > Common sense

Common sense (or, when used attributively as an adjective, commonsense, common-sense, or commonsensical), based on a strict construction of the term, is what people in common would agree: that which they "sense" in common as their common natural understanding. Some use the phrase to refer to beliefs or propositions that in their opinion they consider would in most people's experience be prudent and of sound judgment, without dependence upon esoteric knowledge or study or research, but based upon what is believed to be knowledge held by people "in common", so: the knowledge and experience most people have, or are believed to have by the person using the term. Common sense may refer to : Common sense, that which is broadly accepted without dependence upon esoteric knowledge or study or research Common Sense, a revolutionary pamphlet by Thomas Paine Common Sense, an earlier name of rapper Common Common Sense, a semi-monthly, right-wing, U.S. publication in the mid... Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... In grammar, an adjective is a word whose main syntactic role is to modify a noun or pronoun (called the adjectives subject), giving more information about what the noun or pronoun refers to. ... Interpretation, or interpreting, is an activity that consists of establishing, either simultaneously or consecutively, oral or gestural communications between two or more speakers who are not speaking (or signing) the same language. ... Senses are the physiological methods of perception. ... This article needs additional references or sources for verification. ... This article is about the word proposition as it is used in logic, philosophy, and linguistics. ... Prudence, by Luca Giordano Allegory of Prudence, by Simon Vouet Look up Prudence, prudence in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... A judgment or judgement (see spelling note below), in a legal context, is synonymous with the formal decision made by a court following a lawsuit. ... Esoteric knowledge is knowledge that is secret or not generally known. ...

Whatever definition is considered apt, identifying particular items of knowledge that are "common sense" is more difficult. Philosophers may choose to avoid using the phrase where precise language is required. Common sense is a perennial topic in epistemology and widely used or referred to by many philosophers. Some related concepts include intuitions, pre-theoretic belief, ordinary language, the frame problem, foundational beliefs, good sense, endoxa, and axioms. A philosopher is a person who thinks deeply regarding people, society, the world, and/or the universe. ... It has been suggested that Meta-epistemology be merged into this article or section. ... Intuition has many meanings across many cultures, including: quick and ready insight seemingly independent of previous experiences and empirical knowledge immediate apprehension or cognition knowledge or conviction gained by intuition the power or faculty of attaining to direct knowledge or cognition without evident rational thought and inference. ... Pre-theoretical belief has been an important notion in some areas of linguistics and philosophy, especially phenomenology and older versions of “ordinary language” philosophy. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... In artificial intelligence, the frame problem has a number of possible formulations. ... Endoxa derives from the word doxa. ... This article is about a logical statement. ...

Common sense ideas tend to relate to events within human experience (i.e. good will), and thus commensurate with human scale. Thus there is no commonsense intuition of, for example, the behavior of the universe at subatomic distances or speeds approaching that of light. Human scale means of a scale comparable to a human being. A number of characteristic physical quantities can be associated with the human body, the human mind, and the preservation of human life. ...


Philosophy and common sense

Main article: Common-sense metaphysics

Of two general meaning attached to the term "common sense" in philosophy, one is a sense of things being common to other things, and the second is a sense of things that are common to humanity. Common-sense metaphysics is a metaphysical system which makes an appeal to common sense understanding of reality. ...

Aristotle and Ibn Sina

Common Sense is the place where the senses come together, are processed, and made available to consciousness. Thus the modern Psychological term, Perception, fulfills the same function. Individuals could have different common senses depending on how their personal and social experience had taught them to categorize sensation.


The first meaning was proposed by John Locke in his An Essay Concerning Human Understanding. This interpretation is based on phenomenological experience. Each of the senses gives input, and then these are to be integrated into a single impression. This is the common sense, the sense of things in common between disparate impressions. It is therefore allied with "fancy", and it is opposed to "judgment", or the capacity to divide like things into separates. Each of the empiricist philosophers approaches the problem of the unification of sense data in their own way, giving various names to the operation. However, if approaches can agree, it is over there being a sense in the human understanding that sees commonality and does the combining. This is "common sense". For other persons named John Locke, see John Locke (disambiguation). ... An Essay Concerning Human Understanding is one of John Lockes two most famous works, the other being his Second Treatise on Civil Government. ... This article is about the philosophical movement. ... In philosophy generally, empiricism is a theory of knowledge emphasizing the role of experience in the formation of ideas, while discounting the notion of innate ideas. ...

As a response to skepticism

Two philosophers perhaps champion a different approach to defining "common sense", the view (to state it imprecisely) that common sense beliefs are true and form a foundation for philosophical inquiry: Thomas Reid, G. E. Moore. Both Reid and Moore, individually, appealed to common sense to refute skepticism. Thomas Reid Thomas Reid (April 26, 1710 – October 7, 1796), Scottish philosopher, and a contemporary of David Hume, was the founder of the Scottish School of Common Sense, and played an integral role in the Scottish Enlightenment. ... George Edward Moore George Edward Moore, also known as G.E. Moore, (November 4, 1873 - October 24, 1958) was a distinguished and hugely influential English philosopher who was educated and taught at the University of Cambridge. ... This article is about the psychological term. ...


The Scottish philosopher Thomas Reid, a contemporary of Hume and the founder of the so-called Scottish School of Common Sense, devotes considerable space in his Inquiry and the Intellectual Powers into developing a theory of common sense. While never providing an explicit definition, as such, a number of so-called "earmarks" of common sense (sometimes referred to as "principles of common sense"), appear, such as "principles of common sense are believed universally (with the apparent exceptions of some philosophers and the insane)"; *it is appropriate to ridicule the denial of common sense"; "the denial of principles of common sense leads to contradictions". Reid of course explicates that case more extensively than appears presently in this article. David Hume (April 26, 1711 – August 25, 1776)[1] was a Scottish philosopher, economist, and historian. ... The Scottish School of Common Sense was a school of philosophy that flourished in Scotland in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. ...


Main article: Here is a hand

The British philosopher G. E. Moore, who did important work in epistemology, ethics, and other fields near the beginning of the twentieth century, gave a programmatic essay, "A Defence of Common Sense". This essay had a profound effect on the methodology of much twentieth-century Anglo-American philosophy. In this essay, Moore lists several seemingly very obvious truths, such as "There exists at this time a living human body which is my body.", "My body has existed continuously on or near the earth, at various distances from or in contact with other existing things, including other living human beings.", and many other such platitudes. He argues (as Reid did previously) that these propositions are more obviously true than the, alternative, premises of those philosophical claims which entail their falsehood (such as the claim that time does not exist, a claim of J. M. E. McTaggart). Here is a hand (or aw come on) is the name of a philosophical argument created by George Edward Moore against Philosophical skepticism and in support of common sense. ... George Edward Moore George Edward Moore, also known as G.E. Moore, (November 4, 1873 - October 24, 1958) was a distinguished and hugely influential English philosopher who was educated and taught at the University of Cambridge. ... It has been suggested that Meta-epistemology be merged into this article or section. ... For other uses, see Ethics (disambiguation). ... John McTaggart Ellis McTaggart (1866-1925) was the leading Hegel scholar in England at the beginning of the 20th Century, and friend and teacher of Bertrand Russell and G. E. Moore. ...


Appeal to common sense is characteristic of a general epistemological orientation called epistemological particularism (The appellation derives from Roderick Chisholm.): this orientation is contrasted with epistemological methodism. The particularist gathers a list of propositions that seem obvious and unassailable and then requires consistency with this set of propositions as a condition of adequacy for any abstract philosophical theory. (An entry on the list, however, may be eventually rejected for inconsistency with other, seemingly more secure, entries.) Methodists, on the other hand, begin with a theory of cognition or justification and then apply it to see which of our pre-theoretical beliefs survive. Reid and Moore are paradigmatic particularists, while Descartes and Hume are paradigmatic methodists. Methodist methodology tends toward skepticism, as the rules for acceptable or rational belief tend to be very restrictive (for instance, being incapable of doubt for Descartes, or being constructible entirely from impressions and ideas for Hume). Particularism is exclusive devotion to the interests of ones own group. ... Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Luther Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Pope · Archbishop of Canterbury Patriarch of Constantinople Christianity Portal This box:      For school of ancient Greek medicine...

Particularist methodology, on the other hand, tends toward a kind of conservatism, granting perhaps an undue privilege to beliefs we happen to be confident about. An interesting question is whether the methodologies can be mixed. Then, is it not problematical to attempt logic, metaphysics and epistemology absent original assumptions stemming to common sense? Particularism, applied to ethics and politics, may seem to simply entrench prejudice and other contingent products of social inculcation. Is there a way to provide a principled distinction between areas of inquiry where reliance on the dictates of common sense is legitimate (because necessary) and areas where it is illegitimate because it is an obstruction to intellectual and practical progress? A meta-philosophical discussion of common sense may then, indeed, proceed: What is common sense? Supposing that a precise characterization of it cannot be given, does that mean appeal to common sense is off-limits in philosophy? Of what utility is it to discern whether a belief is a matter of common sense or not? And under what circumstances, if any, is it permissible to advocate a view that seems to run contrary to common sense? Should considerations of common sense play any decisive role in philosophy? If not common sense, then could another similar concept, perhaps "intuition" play such a role? In general, are there "philosophical starting points", and if so, how are they to be characterized? Supposing that there are no beliefs we are willing to hold come what may, are there some we ought to hold more stubbornly at least? Logic (from Classical Greek λόγος logos; meaning word, thought, idea, argument, account, reason, or principle) is the study of the principles and criteria of valid inference and demonstration. ... Plato (Left) and Aristotle (right), by Raphael (Stanza della Segnatura, Rome) Metaphysics is the branch of philosophy concerned with explaining the ultimate nature of reality, being, and the world. ... Intuition is an unconscious form of knowledge. ... Hold come what may is a phrase popularized by the late Harvard philosophy professor, W. V. Quine. ... Hold more stubbornly at least is a phrase popularized by the late Harvard philosophy professor, W. V. Quine. ...


Common sense is sometimes regarded as an impediment to abstract and even logical thinking. This is especially the case in mathematics and physics, where human intuition often conflicts with probably correct or experimentally verified results. A definition attributed to Albert Einstein states: "Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen." Euclid, Greek mathematician, 3rd century BC, as imagined by by Raphael in this detail from The School of Athens. ... This is a discussion of a present category of science. ... “Einstein” redirects here. ...

Common sense is sometimes appealed to in political debates, particularly when other arguments have been exhausted. Civil rights for African Americans, women's suffrage, and homosexuality—to name just a few—have all been attacked as being contrary to common sense. Similarly, common sense has been invoked in opposition to many scientific and technological advancements. Such misuse of the notion of common sense is fallacious, being a form of the argumentum ad populum (appeal to the masses) fallacy. Civil rights or positive rights are those legal rights retained by citizens and protected by the government. ... African Americans, also known as Afro-Americans or black Americans, are an ethnic group in the United States of America whose ancestors, usually in predominant part, were indigenous to Sub-Saharan and West Africa. ... The term womens suffrage refers to an economic and political reform movement aimed at extending suffrage — the right to vote — to women. ... Homosexuality refers to sexual interaction and / or romantic attraction between individuals of the same sex. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... In Philosophical logic, an informal fallacy is a pattern of reasoning which is false due to the falsity of one or more of its premises. ...

Projects: collecting common sense

John McCarthy proposed the Advice Taker in his 1958 paper Programs with Common Sense [1]. It was probably the first proposal to use logic to represent information in a computer and not just as the subject matter of another program. ... Mathematical logic is a major area of mathematics, which grew out of symbolic logic. ... Automated theorem proving (currently the most important subfield of automated reasoning) is the proving of mathematical theorems by a computer program. ... Cyc is an artificial intelligence project that attempts to assemble a comprehensive ontology and database of everyday common sense knowledge, with the goal of enabling AI applications to perform human-like reasoning. ... Garry Kasparov playing against Deep Blue, the first machine to win a chess game against a reigning world champion. ... Open Mind Common Sense is an artificial intelligence project based at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology whose goal is to build a large common sense knowledge base from the contributions of many thousands of people across the Web. ... Wikipedia (IPA: , or ( ) is a multilingual, web-based, free content encyclopedia project, operated by the Wikimedia Foundation, a non-profit organization. ... WWWs historical logo designed by Robert Cailliau The World Wide Web (commonly shortened to the Web) is a system of interlinked, hypertext documents accessed via the Internet. ... Common Sense redirects here. ... For other persons of the same name, see Thomas Paine (disambiguation). ...


  • Somerville, James. Moore's Conception of Common Sense. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, Vol. 47, No. 2. (Dec., 1986), pp. 233-253.
  • Ambrose, Alice. Three Aspects of Moore's Philosophy. The Journal of Philosophy, Vol. 57, No. 26. (Dec. 22, 1960), pp. 816-824.
  • Toro, Felix R. "The Return of Common Sense",Llumina Press, march/2007, Website- [http://www.commonsense-mentalhealth.com

Further reading

  • Hookway, C. (2002). Common Sense, Pragmatism, and Rationality, Chapter 8 in Truth, Rationality and Pragmatism, Oxford Scholarship Online [1]

See also

Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to:
Common sense
Look up Common sense in
Wiktionary, the free dictionary.

  Results from FactBites:
Common Sense Media - Family Friendly Reviews (1512 words)
In accordance with our Terms of Use, you agree that Common Sense Media will be the owner of all user content submitted to the website.
If you are already a Common Sense Media registered member and you would like to change your personal information, you can do this by clicking on the "My Profile" button located in the top right corner of the screen.
If you decide that you would no longer like to be a member of Common Sense Media and you would like your personal information deleted from our database, please send an email to privacy[at]commonsensemedia[dot]org and include your screen name and email address.
Free Blog about Kids and Media - Common Sense Media Blog (1087 words)
Common Sense Media is dedicated to improving the media and entertainment lives of kids and families.
The media is buzzing about the new season of The Simple Life in which scary skinny rich girls Nicole Richie and Paris Hilton take on the role of camp counselor, including counseling kids at a fat camp (or as E! prefers to call it, a weight loss/ fitness camp).
In a world where kids spend an average of 45 hours per week with the media when they are in school, it’s a sure bet that kids on Spring Break are going to look to fill their extended free time with even more television, movies, video games, Web sites and text messages.
  More results at FactBites »



Share your thoughts, questions and commentary here
Your name
Your comments

Want to know more?
Search encyclopedia, statistics and forums:


Press Releases |  Feeds | Contact
The Wikipedia article included on this page is licensed under the GFDL.
Images may be subject to relevant owners' copyright.
All other elements are (c) copyright NationMaster.com 2003-5. All Rights Reserved.
Usage implies agreement with terms, 1022, m