Is Common Sense a Well We All Have within Us?

Optimystic (@optimystic) 7 years, 8 months ago

I can’t tell if common sense is something we all have, or if it’s something we all have “access” to but inconsistently utilize. I guess there’s not much difference between the two, but I’m essentially wondering if it’s something inherent to each of us, or if it has to be realized or “taught.” This is important because if we reason that it’s out of the grasp of some individuals, we have to address them substantially differently than those who have it but choose not to wield it (this is laziness). Personally, I’d like to believe that we all have it within us, but it’s troubling to see some decisions made, actions taken, and words said by individuals claiming the concept as a motivation backing.

What do you all think?

November 17, 2014 at 12:27 pm
Anonymous (12) (@) 7 years, 8 months ago ago

no one can know if their sense of common sense is common…. its very different across cultures. society kills common sense by having rigid expectations to structure it and not following natural flows of energy. but that wouldn’t have a common principle, so no one could pride themselves for their sense.if someone doesn’t see something the way that you do, it would be arrogant to act as if they are just completely disconnected from reality. you are only plugged into your perspective. no matter how much you “realize” you can’t measure how close your idea is to reality, so it’s not really taught. I think people gravitate towards others with similar sense. but its not sense as in the utmost sensibleness. it has a lot to do with the individuals’ sensibilities.

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Alex (551) (@hollowinfinity) 7 years, 8 months ago ago

Common sense isn’t really a thing. It’s about observation really. Take all the people you know that have a lack of common sense. Notice how aware and observant they are about what’s going on around them. People without common sense have a lower level of observational skills.

So no, we don’t all have it..or we do, but in various extents.

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Anonymous (17) (@) 7 years, 8 months ago ago

Haha. That’s the most simple way to put it. I looked at it a little differently, because even society has its sub-categories of common knowledge depending on where the people live and what cultures they’re concerned to follow. Common sense is usually equivalent to ultimate truth if more than one culture is concerned. For example pop culture changes to whatever kids modernize while a sub-culture stays a bit longer to be something commonly known.

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sian (109) (@siantastic) 7 years, 8 months ago ago

I have a well of uncommon nonsense…does that count?

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Martijn Schirp (112,780)A (@martijn) 7 years, 8 months ago ago

That certainly does!

I actually went seeing a philosophical lecture the other day and the professor said something really interesting. Over thousands of generations our ancestors, before other tools and probably language, we made hand-axes. Tons of them, primarily for hunting. And basically, his argument was that this is in our DNA the same way some birds know how to make nests. (making better hand-axes improves rate of survival, more offspring, etc, thus selective pressure on making better hand-axes. etc.)

In this way, you could actually argue that people have tons of common sense, learning how to speak and walk, how to protect yourself from falling, and many other things that might not get into expression in a world that is fundamentally different than most of our common sense dictate. I think most people you would know call stupid, would be actually very smart in a different environment.

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sian (109) (@siantastic) 7 years, 8 months ago ago

That makes sense within a culture that doesn’t focus on practical skills heavily. I would say it’s possible that many labeled as stupid, would have a quicker survival response, even if just because of the heightened stress due to being labeled stupid.

http://www.livescience.com/41898-alligators-crocodiles-use-tools.html
This popped into my mind when you mentioned our early use of tools. Common sense comes before anything we recognise as significant consciousness. So it would make sense that the truest of truths seem to come from inner knowing.

Hmmm this has definitely given me something to think about today.

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Martijn Schirp (112,780)A (@martijn) 7 years, 8 months ago ago

Great comment, and fascinating article!

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