7
   

Does common sense exist?

 
 
plainoldme
 
  2  
Reply Sun 5 Sep, 2010 06:03 am
I always liked Ben Franklin's example of common sense: the story about cutting two cat doors in his own door, one for the large cat and another for the small.

0 Replies
 
reasoning logic
 
  1  
Reply Sun 5 Sep, 2010 07:20 am
@kennethamy,
I do agree that you seem to have a logical approach to how words are defined.

A sad truth is that there have been many words that have been named by people for a particular reason [new word] and come to find out that the word actually is more relevant to another matter and the meaning given to the word that has been named is nothing at all realitive to the new word that is being named. it just happens to be that the person made a mistake when nameing the word. Even though we know that the word being used is a bad description of the matter at hand many of us still call the word a fact and scientific even though it is incorrectly describing the matter at hand.
Fido
 
  1  
Reply Sun 5 Sep, 2010 07:54 am
@reasoning logic,
What we call a wrench in this country is called a spanner in England though it is said we both speak English, and in both countries it is possible to wrench on a bolt, or a nut; but though it is possible to use a wrench for a pry bar, what may be called a jimmy in England for all I know, it is not possible to use a pry bar for a wrench or a spanner...

I am only telling you this because it should be common sense, that if you need a tool, and consider language to be a dynamic sort of tool without being in any sense exact, then don't ask Kenny to hand you a wrench, or he might hand you his tool, or his idea of a tool, or no tool at all because your request did not meet his expectations or specifications or limitations... Language is a tool... The more time spent talking about it the less time there is for using it, and correcting for it, or taking it back and starting over...No one here is writing in stone... Hit the back space and no one will ever know what you were trying to say... It is all wind... Our words like raindrops on rock will soon enough evaporate... Let them drop on fertile ground....
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Sun 5 Sep, 2010 08:05 am
@Fido,
Fido wrote:

What we call a wrench in this country is called a spanner in England though it is said we both speak English, and in both countries it is possible to wrench on a bolt, or a nut; but though it is possible to use a wrench for a pry bar, what may be called a jimmy in England for all I know, it is not possible to use a pry bar for a wrench or a spanner...

I am only telling you this because it should be common sense, that if you need a tool, and consider language to be a dynamic sort of tool without being in any sense exact, then don't ask Kenny to hand you a wrench, or he might hand you his tool, or his idea of a tool, or no tool at all because your request did not meet his expectations or specifications or limitations... Language is a tool... The more time spent talking about it the less time there is for using it, and correcting for it, or taking it back and starting over...No one here is writing in stone... Hit the back space and no one will ever know what you were trying to say... It is all wind... Our words like raindrops on rock will soon enough evaporate... Let them drop on fertile ground....


Indeed, what we call "bread" in English, is called, "pain" in French. But, so what? What is important is not the particular sound or mark w we use to express our meaning, but their meaning. So, if I say, "Donnez-moi du pain, SVP" at the baker's ("boulangerie") I am not evincing my masochism, since it is bread I want (whatever it is called) and not pain (or "le doleur"). To confuse the sign with its meaning is just as much a mistake, as to confuse the sign with what it signifies (if anything).

As Thomas Hobbes wisely wrote, "Words are wise men's counters, they do but reckon with them, but they are the money of fools".
plainoldme
 
  0  
Reply Sun 5 Sep, 2010 08:22 am
@Fido,
Let's apply common sense both to naming and to linguistic research.

I took a class called Slavic Language, Linguistics and Folklore.

The professor brought up the widely held theory that the Slavs were rather primitive people, who remained hunter/gatherers for too long. That notion was fostered by the fact that there was no native word for plough/plow.

She suggested that two farmers might have been at work at either side of a river and watched each other. One farmer's work seemed easier because there was an improvement made to the plough/plow, so the struggling farmer adapted the plough/plow to the innovation and adopted the word the name successful farmer used for the tool as well. The adapted word wiped out the old Slavic word for plough/plow.

Now, we do not know that this is what happened but her lecture aside demonstrates something: that until we know the exact chain of events, common sense dictates we keep all avenues open.

So, many Americans now call a monkey wrench a spanner. Not because British-made spanners are superior but because John Lennon's book of poetry was called, "A Spanner in the Works."

Hmm, the phrase about a tool fouling things up is the same on both sides of the pond.
Fido
 
  1  
Reply Sun 5 Sep, 2010 08:43 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy wrote:

Fido wrote:

What we call a wrench in this country is called a spanner in England though it is said we both speak English, and in both countries it is possible to wrench on a bolt, or a nut; but though it is possible to use a wrench for a pry bar, what may be called a jimmy in England for all I know, it is not possible to use a pry bar for a wrench or a spanner...

I am only telling you this because it should be common sense, that if you need a tool, and consider language to be a dynamic sort of tool without being in any sense exact, then don't ask Kenny to hand you a wrench, or he might hand you his tool, or his idea of a tool, or no tool at all because your request did not meet his expectations or specifications or limitations... Language is a tool... The more time spent talking about it the less time there is for using it, and correcting for it, or taking it back and starting over...No one here is writing in stone... Hit the back space and no one will ever know what you were trying to say... It is all wind... Our words like raindrops on rock will soon enough evaporate... Let them drop on fertile ground....


Indeed, what we call "bread" in English, is called, "pain" in French. But, so what? What is important is not the particular sound or mark w we use to express our meaning, but their meaning. So, if I say, "Donnez-moi du pain, SVP" at the baker's ("boulangerie") I am not evincing my masochism, since it is bread I want (whatever it is called) and not pain (or "le doleur"). To confuse the sign with its meaning is just as much a mistake, as to confuse the sign with what it signifies (if anything).

As Thomas Hobbes wisely wrote, "Words are wise men's counters, they do but reckon with them, but they are the money of fools".

I thought it was pan, so I guess that is another one I would lose on the French test... What Voltaire, I think, said was more to the point: That if you would discuss with me, define your terms... Well that is all about philosophy at times, and that much is true, but it is also something we do while we are doing philosophy... I say: I am going fishing, and by that I mean Etc, and Etc...

We do not pick up the most common words and use them without redefining what has already been often redefined... And for the most part the meaning of all words, and the meaning of our own individual lives rests on moral forms which cannot be specifically defined, that we define as we go as part of a linguistic deal making: What shall good mean to us today??? What point of agreement will get us through this moment intact and on to the next???

Communication is essential to our survival and your supply train is always stuck in a swamp... You get hung up on details that might easily be corrected in the process of communication, so your forward progress is limited by your personal need to find firm footing... I went many places wadding through miles of mud.. I once crossed a rather larger river in the dark without ever being dry and never leaving the land all because there the river inundated a marsh.... And no, I did not carry a great load excepting a rifle, and that was plenty...

My point being that we must often, perhaps always get from point a to point b never being certain of our steps in between, and the time we spend mired in dictionary definitions is forever lost to us... Consider that insight in science is what leads to conclusion that are never exactly proved, but accepted because they cannot be disproved by experiment or in reality...
0 Replies
 
reasoning logic
 
  2  
Reply Sun 5 Sep, 2010 08:47 am
@plainoldme,
It is amazing how much influence that poetry has had on words. poetry can be more influential than science at times when renaming words is considered.
Fido
 
  0  
Reply Sun 5 Sep, 2010 09:00 am
@plainoldme,
plainoldme wrote:

Let's apply common sense both to naming and to linguistic research.

I took a class called Slavic Language, Linguistics and Folklore.

The professor brought up the widely held theory that the Slavs were rather primitive people, who remained hunter/gatherers for too long. That notion was fostered by the fact that there was no native word for plough/plow.

She suggested that two farmers might have been at work at either side of a river and watched each other. One farmer's work seemed easier because there was an improvement made to the plough/plow, so the struggling farmer adapted the plough/plow to the innovation and adopted the word the name successful farmer used for the tool as well. The adapted word wiped out the old Slavic word for plough/plow.

Now, we do not know that this is what happened but her lecture aside demonstrates something: that until we know the exact chain of events, common sense dictates we keep all avenues open.

So, many Americans now call a monkey wrench a spanner. Not because British-made spanners are superior but because John Lennon's book of poetry was called, "A Spanner in the Works."

Hmm, the phrase about a tool fouling things up is the same on both sides of the pond.

Language is history, and I know the slavs gave their name to slavery, if not the reverse, but I believe they also gave fairy tales their ogres, named after a real tribe who were strong enough once to threaten Constantinople... So the Boki pirates became the boogee man, after a fashion, everywhere... The plough and the horse collar brought on a great increase in population in Europe... The Stirrup, thought to have arrived in Europe from India for the first time made Calvary possible and this gave to Charlemange the basis of European Feudalism, and the uniting of wealth with rights of government.... It is easy to confuse technological superiority with cultural superiority... Some times hords would overcome more cultured people, and only from a position of inferiority could the more cultured influence the less cultured... It was from positions of slaves that the Chinese reclaimed the conquests of the Mongols, which they would never have done if a slave had not changed their behavior toward their captives, which before was to kill all but the most useful or intelligent...
Fido
 
  0  
Reply Sun 5 Sep, 2010 09:01 am
@reasoning logic,
reasoning logic wrote:

It is amazing how much influence that poetry has had on words. poetry can be more influential than science at times when renaming words is considered.
In the poetry of Shakespeare there is much philosophy...
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Sun 5 Sep, 2010 09:14 am
@Fido,
Fido wrote:

reasoning logic wrote:

It is amazing how much influence that poetry has had on words. poetry can be more influential than science at times when renaming words is considered.
In the poetry of Shakespeare there is much philosophy...


Not really, although there are a few philosophical remarks. But a philosophical remark like, for instance Hamlet's "There is nothing good or bad except thinking makes it so" is just that, a philosophical remark, but not philosophy. But, anyway, what has that to do with the issue?
parados
 
  0  
Reply Sun 5 Sep, 2010 09:31 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy wrote:


Not really, although there are a few philosophical remarks. But a philosophical remark like, for instance Hamlet's "There is nothing good or bad except thinking makes it so" is just that, a philosophical remark, but not philosophy. But, anyway, what has that to do with the issue?

That isn't poetry you quoted kenneth. That would be an example of prose.

Common sense should have been able to show you the difference.
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Sun 5 Sep, 2010 09:37 am
@parados,
parados wrote:

kennethamy wrote:


Not really, although there are a few philosophical remarks. But a philosophical remark like, for instance Hamlet's "There is nothing good or bad except thinking makes it so" is just that, a philosophical remark, but not philosophy. But, anyway, what has that to do with the issue?

That isn't poetry you quoted kenneth. That would be an example of prose.



Common sense should have been able to show you the difference.


If what was meant was that (say) Shakespeare's sonnets contained philosophy, but most of his plays did not, because they consisted of prose and not poetry, then, of course, there are even fewer philosophical remarks than I first believed there were in Shakespeare. But, I must confess that I thought that what was meant was that there was much philosophy in the works of Shakespeare, and not merely in his poetry. Thank you for correcting me, if you did.
parados
 
  0  
Reply Sun 5 Sep, 2010 09:43 am
@kennethamy,
Much of the plays are also poetry. You just happened to select a quote that was not verse.

It's that common sense thing again kenneth.
It would be rational to know the difference between verse and prose.
It would be prudent to not mix up which is which.
Fido
 
  1  
Reply Sun 5 Sep, 2010 11:54 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy wrote:

Fido wrote:

reasoning logic wrote:

It is amazing how much influence that poetry has had on words. poetry can be more influential than science at times when renaming words is considered.
In the poetry of Shakespeare there is much philosophy...


Not really, although there are a few philosophical remarks. But a philosophical remark like, for instance Hamlet's "There is nothing good or bad except thinking makes it so" is just that, a philosophical remark, but not philosophy. But, anyway, what has that to do with the issue?

Your reply makes me ask: Is a peach and tree or a fruit, because my perspective you cannot have the fruit without the tree, and no one comes by a philosophical remark without some philosophy around it... And since I used to write some poetry, I must confess that I can hardly tell the difference in most of Shakespeare since the rythem, the meter, the cadence of the spken word certainly differs from that of regular speech.. Not a fraction of it can be declared prose..
Fido
 
  1  
Reply Sun 5 Sep, 2010 12:24 pm
@parados,
parados wrote:

Much of the plays are also poetry. You just happened to select a quote that was not verse.

It's that common sense thing again kenneth.
It would be rational to know the difference between verse and prose.
It would be prudent to not mix up which is which.
There is a fine line between poetry and prose that good prose writers often trespass upon, but by the very nature of the work, public performance representing what was then becoming a sense of national identity, bringing the richness and versatility of the tongue to the fore also required that the lines, like those of the Iliad, be tied together with a consistent meter, and it is meter more than any other quality that makes poetry, just as subject matter makes art...Meter is a mimotic device, making it more likely that one anable to read could memorize by immitation...
parados
 
  1  
Reply Sun 5 Sep, 2010 12:42 pm
@Fido,
Quote:
There is a fine line between poetry and prose that good prose writers often trespass upon

In Shakespeare, there is no fine line because the verse is in iambic pentameter. While one could argue that the prose is "poetic" in its use of language, it wouldn't be mistaken for poetry by anyone that has read Shakespeare.
0 Replies
 
parados
 
  1  
Reply Sun 5 Sep, 2010 12:54 pm
@Fido,
Quote:
Not a fraction of it can be declared prose..

Actually, almost all of the comic characters are written in prose.

Here is a simplistic explanation
http://shakespeare.about.com/od/shakespeareslanguage/a/prose.htm
0 Replies
 
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Sun 5 Sep, 2010 01:26 pm
@parados,
parados wrote:

Much of the plays are also poetry. You just happened to select a quote that was not verse.

It's that common sense thing again kenneth.
It would be rational to know the difference between verse and prose.
It would be prudent to not mix up which is which.


Trouble is, there is what is called, "blank verse", and blank verse is poetry that does not rhyme. Now, some people may think that is a contradiction in terms, like songs without words, but Mendelsohn composed songs without words, and many modern poets wrote blank verse, so I suppose we fuddy-duddies will have to reconcile ourselves to it. Maybe all that is required of poetry is that it be poetic, and, maybe scan. The notion that a sharp line can be drawn between poetry and prose may be what is inimical to commonsense.
parados
 
  1  
Reply Sun 5 Sep, 2010 02:02 pm
@kennethamy,
Quote:
Trouble is, there is what is called, "blank verse", and blank verse is poetry that does not rhyme.

Of course there is blank verse. Much of Shakespeare is blank verse.

There is no requirement that poetry rhyme to be poetry. Common sense should have told you that too but it appears when it comes to poetry you have no common sense.

Common sense should have told you not to try to instruct me in poetry when you know so little. I find it interesting how your actions seem to prove what you said wasn't true. It is clear that "common sense" is different from person to person or you wouldn't have tried to school me in blank verse while not being familiar with it's history.
parados
 
  1  
Reply Sun 5 Sep, 2010 02:40 pm
@parados,
Just to clarify for you kenneth

Shakespeare uses blank verse, rhyming verse and prose.
It is easy to tell which is which. There is little blurring between them other than the changes in pronunciation has changed some of the rhymes.

"Come, tears, confound!
Out, sword, and wound!"
 

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