7
   

Does common sense exist?

 
 
Arjuna
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 Sep, 2010 11:39 am
@GoshisDead,
Yea, emotion can heighten awareness, it can obliterate awareness. That's a weird thing about adrenalin.

I've often thought that emotion is more a part of liberal arguments. Conservatives come from logic. People sometimes change it up though and coopt each other's style.
GoshisDead
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 Sep, 2010 11:47 am
@Arjuna,
Emotion is a part of all rhetoric about logic. An appeal to logic is really an appeal to a person's emotional attachment to logic.
Arjuna
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 Sep, 2010 12:05 pm
@GoshisDead,
GoshisDead wrote:

Emotion is a part of all rhetoric about logic. An appeal to logic is really an appeal to a person's emotional attachment to logic.
You're speaking my language, dude. That's scary.
0 Replies
 
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 Sep, 2010 12:34 pm
@GoshisDead,
GoshisDead wrote:

cg2028 wrote:

So one might establish the notion that common sense decisions are those embodying a rational approach to a problem versus an emotive approach.

So what scenarios would present a rational approach versus an emotive approach?

Also, is an emotive response better in some situations? Which, if any, call for one or the other approach?



An emotive response would be better in situations that require an emotive response. For example, in rhetoric appeal to logic is rarely effective. It is common sense to appeal to an emotion of some sort. Persuasion.

One has to remember that the word common is part of the term common sense. To use a completely unemotional and logical decision method is not all that common. Being in tune with the emotional needs of one's self and his/her interlocutors is paramount to living in a common world. It is entirely rational to employ and respond to emotions.

Take and example used earlier, crossing the street. There is much more going on in the decision to cross the street than, "are there cars comming?" A person making this choice takes into account her own feelings, her own history of dealing with dangerous situations, the time constraints involved in getting where he's going, who might be waiting for her, what the feelings are the people waiting having about him not being accross the street yet.... etc... etc... etc... leading to pre and post decision making doubts which are also emotions and factor into the choice and how the choice is handled before during and after the action. Although I can set all these out in a rational context in writing, the person choosing to cross a busy road with oncoming traffic has that little anxious feeling in her gut from hasty emotion and logic based risk analysis.


Since the definition of a "common sense judgment" was "sound and prudent judgment based on a simple perception of the situation or facts", and that seems to me to capture what is ordinarily meant by the term, "common sense judgment" (except, perhaps for the term, "simple") it seems to me that when one looks both ways, and cautiously traverses a busy roadway, one is clearly making a common sense judgment since if that is not a paradigm example of one, then there are no common sense judgments. I suppose that some "emotion" does play a part in making this common sense judgment in that one exercises common sense in this situation because one wants to get across the roadway in safety, but since the term "emotion" is so vague, nothing much is being said when that is said. I don't think that whether of not someone who makes the common sense judgment "takes into account her own feelings, her own history of dealing with dangerous situations, the time constraints involved in getting where he's going...." has anything to do with whether the judgment is a common sense one or not. It has to do with the factors that may lead up to the judgment, but that is about all. Whether it is a common sense judgment depends on (as the definition states) whether it is prudent and sound. And, of course, whether or not the person crossing the thoroughfare has an anxious feel while do it, is irrelevant to whether he is exercising a sound an prudent judgment. Not every thing that happens concerns everything that happens. To think it does simply confuses the issue.
The idea is to keep focused on the issue. Philosophy is not free association.

"Everything is what it is and not another thing". Joseph Butler.
GoshisDead
 
  2  
Reply Fri 3 Sep, 2010 12:50 pm
@kennethamy,
The issue is not being confused by all the factors that I presented. The definition you are using does not take into account the factors of a real time real life decision. If in fact your defenition is what common sense is, it means that the answer to the OP is 'no there is no common sense'. If we interpret the definition as incorporating feelings, biological reactions surroundings, psychological reactions and implications as all part of the rational process, then there is such a common sense.

"Everything is what it is and not another thing". Joseph Butler.
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 Sep, 2010 01:03 pm
@GoshisDead,
GD, Good explanation.
0 Replies
 
HexHammer
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 Sep, 2010 04:19 pm
I'll withdraw all my former statemen, for once a person has actually diverted from headline to another question, and my shameless rash behaviour to not read the following questions closely, which I only did on 2nd read through since so many of the following answers didn't floow the headline.
0 Replies
 
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Sat 4 Sep, 2010 01:07 pm
@GoshisDead,
GoshisDead wrote:

The issue is not being confused by all the factors that I presented. The definition you are using does not take into account the factors of a real time real life decision. If in fact your defenition is what common sense is, it means that the answer to the OP is 'no there is no common sense'. If we interpret the definition as incorporating feelings, biological reactions surroundings, psychological reactions and implications as all part of the rational process, then there is such a common sense.

"Everything is what it is and not another thing". Joseph Butler.


It is not my definition. I don't claim to own any definitions. What I think is that "prudent and sound judgment" is what is usually meant by the term, "commonsense". And, even if you happen to think (on what evidence?) that is not true, that does not mean that what you believe that the term "commonsense" should mean is that the term does, in fact mean. What a term does mean is determined by how it is used by fluent speakers of the language, and is a matter of fact. Any objection concerning what you or someone else thinks it should mean is quite irrelevant. I have no idea why you would think that no once makes prudent and sound judgments. What is your evidence that is true?
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Sat 4 Sep, 2010 01:13 pm
@kennethamy,
Common sense is simply what the majority believes it to be. That's the reason the word "common" is used. It doesn't mean it's good or true to outsiders of that group, and who believes as something is "common sense."
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Sat 4 Sep, 2010 01:34 pm
@cicerone imposter,
cicerone imposter wrote:

Common sense is simply what the majority believes it to be. That's the reason the word "common" is used. It doesn't mean it's good or true to outsiders of that group, and who believes as something is "common sense."


No, the word "commonsense" means what the fluent and literate speakers of English mean by it, as do all English word do. That is why there are dictionaries with inform us how fluent and literate speakers of the language use the terms defined in the dictionary. In fact, people in general, are very bad lexicographers, and are often bewildered when asked to define a term in their language. Not that they do not know how to use the term, because since it is a term in English, they, as fluent English speakers do, of course, know how to use the term in ordinary conversation. So, in that sense of "knowing the meaning of a term" they, of course, know what the term, "commonsense" means. But in the sense of knowing the meaning of a term in which it implies being able to define the term correctly, most speakers of the language (as I pointed out) do a very bad job with that task. (This has, by the way, been studied). Professional lexicographers collate many examples of how a word is actually used in conversation, in writing, and in other ways, and then they reach a collective decision on the definition of the word in question (or, frequently, when the word is used ambiguously, several decisions about the definition of the word). Then they formulate the dictionary entry with is a report as to how the term is actually used by fluent speakers of the language. This report simply reports how the word is actually used. It is a matter of fact. Not how anyone like to use the word. That is irrelevant.

You can, then, look up the term, "commonsense" in a reputable dictionary (say) the American Collegiate Dictionary and find out what the word mean: not what it should mean, not what anyone likes it to mean, but what, in fact, it does mean. I think you will find most good dictionaries will define "commonsense" as sound and prudent judgment, or something to that effect.
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Sat 4 Sep, 2010 02:05 pm
@kennethamy,
You must live in a very small village who's thinking is similar in kind.
0 Replies
 
reasoning logic
 
  1  
Reply Sat 4 Sep, 2010 02:12 pm
@kennethamy,
Yes Kennethamy You seem to be very correct about only part of what you have said in my opinion. Let me explain. common sense is defined by the person useing the word, even though the person may have a incorrect understanding of what is reasonable and rationable as you may define it.
It is still well understood by the group that may be in opposition of your definition and maybe what you would define as the fluent and literate speakers of English.
In reality we do not always have the privilege to define what the group interprets as being reasonable and rational.
You may be seen as some one who should be burnt at the stake because of your logical type of thinking. They may see you as a witch or possessed by the devil if you see outside of their paridigm.

cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Sat 4 Sep, 2010 02:15 pm
@reasoning logic,
rl, Very good! The life examples we have are many. Just look at the building of the community center/mosque two blocks from ground zero. Who's "common sense" is the correct one (sans the Constitution)?
reasoning logic
 
  1  
Reply Sat 4 Sep, 2010 02:23 pm
@cicerone imposter,
Thanks
0 Replies
 
GoshisDead
 
  1  
Reply Sat 4 Sep, 2010 10:44 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy wrote:

GoshisDead wrote:

The issue is not being confused by all the factors that I presented. The definition you are using does not take into account the factors of a real time real life decision. If in fact your defenition is what common sense is, it means that the answer to the OP is 'no there is no common sense'. If we interpret the definition as incorporating feelings, biological reactions surroundings, psychological reactions and implications as all part of the rational process, then there is such a common sense.

"Everything is what it is and not another thing". Joseph Butler.


It is not my definition. I don't claim to own any definitions. What I think is that "prudent and sound judgment" is what is usually meant by the term, "commonsense". And, even if you happen to think (on what evidence?) that is not true, that does not mean that what you believe that the term "commonsense" should mean is that the term does, in fact mean. What a term does mean is determined by how it is used by fluent speakers of the language, and is a matter of fact. Any objection concerning what you or someone else thinks it should mean is quite irrelevant. I have no idea why you would think that no once makes prudent and sound judgments. What is your evidence that is true?


Kenny kenny kenny ken ken ken. Use whatever definition you like. As long as the definition is related to a choice, all factors of a choice must be accounted for for it to be common sense. These include but are not limited to, feeling emotion, social factors, political factors, biological factors, interpersonal factors, and what actually is common and what is not.
kennethamy
 
  2  
Reply Sat 4 Sep, 2010 11:19 pm
@GoshisDead,
GoshisDead wrote:

kennethamy wrote:

GoshisDead wrote:

The issue is not being confused by all the factors that I presented. The definition you are using does not take into account the factors of a real time real life decision. If in fact your defenition is what common sense is, it means that the answer to the OP is 'no there is no common sense'. If we interpret the definition as incorporating feelings, biological reactions surroundings, psychological reactions and implications as all part of the rational process, then there is such a common sense.

"Everything is what it is and not another thing". Joseph Butler.


It is not my definition. I don't claim to own any definitions. What I think is that "prudent and sound judgment" is what is usually meant by the term, "commonsense". And, even if you happen to think (on what evidence?) that is not true, that does not mean that what you believe that the term "commonsense" should mean is that the term does, in fact mean. What a term does mean is determined by how it is used by fluent speakers of the language, and is a matter of fact. Any objection concerning what you or someone else thinks it should mean is quite irrelevant. I have no idea why you would think that no once makes prudent and sound judgments. What is your evidence that is true?


Kenny kenny kenny ken ken ken. Use whatever definition you like. As long as the definition is related to a choice, all factors of a choice must be accounted for for it to be common sense. These include but are not limited to, feeling emotion, social factors, political factors, biological factors, interpersonal factors, and what actually is common and what is not.


But as I have been trying to explain, the definition of a term is not up to me, or up to any individual. Individuals cannot decide for themselves what a term means. What a term means is the result of how fluent speakers of the language use that term. It is a convention, and therefore, a collective and not individual decision. And, of course, the report of that collective decision is objective, and is either true or false. So, for instance, no matter how a child (say) uses the term "dog", if the child uses it to refer to cats, the child is mistaken, and his mistake is corrected by adults. (No Sarah, that is not a dog, that is a cat). And that is how, as children, we learn our language, by being corrected by adults until our use of a particular term conforms to the general convention for the use of that term. If the meaning of a term were subjective (up to the individual) there would be no such thing as correction of meaning. But there is such a thing. It may very well that two individuals have very different attitudes toward dog, cause by their previous experiences with dogs, but that, in no way will influence the fact that they will be able to agree on calling dogs "dogs" and not "cats". Attitudinal differences are one thing, but the objective meaning of a term is a very different thing. Otherwise, we would not be able to communicate with one another. So, suppose that someone were actually to say that it was commonsense to cross a busy street wearing a blindfold. I would think that such a person was joking, and intentionally saying that some action was commonsense when it was clear that it was the very opposite of commonsense, or I would think that the person simply did not know the meaning of the term, "commonsense". And so, if you are honest, would you.

Thus, all this "Kenny kenny kenny ken ken ken" condescension may seem funny, or heaven knows what, to you, but you are simply dead wrong, and I have shown you are.
GoshisDead
 
  1  
Reply Sat 4 Sep, 2010 11:58 pm
@kennethamy,
here, let's go back to this. A definition is simply that which is most easily and effectively used to explain the usage of a word. In any definition factors such as common usage, common understanding, common acceptance, colloquial usage, common conversational framing, metaphor, allegory, synechdocal usages, and conflated terms are used. With the assumption, as you have put it so many times, 'So that the common fluent speaker of a language' understands and uses it. the logic in language is efficiency, not accuracy. Thus definitions dictionary or otherwise pack as much meaning into as small as space as possible and cannot be taken out of the context in which they are formed. So by restricting all cultural and linguistic shared knowledge of common sense and choice making to a skeleton, you have scarcely begun to unpack the efficiency of the definition and not even come close to nailing the accuracy of it. So refer to the below because I don't feel like typing it again.


GoshisDead wrote:

The definition you are using does not take into account the factors of a real time real life decision. If in fact your defenition is what common sense is, it means that the answer to the OP is 'no there is no common sense'. If we interpret the definition as incorporating feelings, biological reactions surroundings, psychological reactions and implications as all part of the rational process, then there is such a common sense.



What I and other are saying here is that you are using the term in a manner which restricts all the various parts of choice making that do not conform exactly to the same logic which you presented earlier. 'a common sense choice is; person crosses a street when s/he doesn't see oncoming cars'. Whereas people with common sense understand that a choice about crossing a street most often consists much more than the presence of oncoming cars. What I am expressing is that the definition which was presented, although brief contains the shared cultural and linguistic knowledge of common sense which include more than the restricted usage which you seem to be using.

0 Replies
 
dadpad
 
  2  
Reply Sun 5 Sep, 2010 12:16 am
an examination of the definition of "common" may shed some light.
what may be common sense to a longtime resident of New York would in some cases not be common sense to me.
and vise versa
I can imagine a city based person on a hot summers day walking in shorts through a field here in Australia because they had not realised the danger of snakes.
Long pants and sturdy shoes would surely just be common sense.
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Sun 5 Sep, 2010 01:04 am
@dadpad,
dadpad wrote:

an examination of the definition of "common" may shed some light.
what may be common sense to a longtime resident of New York would in some cases not be common sense to me.
and vise versa
I can imagine a city based person on a hot summers day walking in shorts through a field here in Australia because they had not realised the danger of snakes.
Long pants and sturdy shoes would surely just be common sense.



But what has that to do with it? It would not be commonsense to a New Yorker to walk across Seventh avenue at high noon blindfolded. Are you suggesting that it would be commonsense to an Australian to walk across Seventh avenue at high noon blindfolded? That has absolutely nothing to do with whether it would be commonsense to walk though a field in Australia with, or without long pants. What has one to do with the other? Obviously different circumstances call for different judgments. But, that is only commonsense.
0 Replies
 
mollydrew
 
  2  
Reply Sun 5 Sep, 2010 03:47 am
@cg2028,
Common sense is paying attention to the obvious. Common sense flourishes when there is ample opportunity for individualism and free expression. Common sense is not going to be very widespread in an environment in which government and/or religion determines the activities of ordinary individual's lives. Common sense emphasizes the importance of the connection between actions and consequences and it represents the action that gets the best results, at the lowest cost and with the fewest side-effects. To a large extent, the development of common sense involves the process of judgment. Ironically good judgment is based on experience, while experience is often based on bad judgment. It is difficult for kids today to see the value in common sense when they are surrounded by people that make bad decisions, it is a necessity to direct students in the art of common sense. My opinion
0 Replies
 
 

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