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Cognitive Science

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What is common sense?

Common sense = Good example is the US Supreme Court of 9 persons who vote on a topic. Rarely is the vote 9 to 0 or 0 to 9; often it is a split vote like 5 to 4 or 4 to 5 which means common sense varies. Common sense is the most real of fictions. Everyone believes it and nobody wants it. Everybody wants to believe it and nobody wants to want it. I would definitely say that it is. When common sense is used it is used in such a way that is relevant to a particular goal or category. For instance if the goal is for the individual himself to survive, his goal may conflict with those who have the goal of a prosperous society. An individual with himself in mind will probably not follow most orders that will put his life at risk. For example it is common sense to most people that being put in the front lines of a battle is a recipe for death. most uncommon among us is common sense.. Survival of the individual also includes survival of offspring. Without survival of humankind, survival of offspring is impossible, so survival of humankind is necessary condition for survival of individuals and their descendants.

The problem lies in the fact that for most people it is hard to perceive imminent dangers for humankind, as well as the consequences and significance of their individual actions. If these are made more obvious, common sense will mandate the survival of society. Common sense develops through experience. As young children we don't have much common sense at all, and our mums run after us with the jumper so that we don't freeze ourselves silly in the sub-zero temperatures. By the time we are a little older and wiser we'll have learned that it is good practice to dress up warm in the snow. Common sense is to do the least deleterious thing for the occasion.

So is the common sense for the survival of an individual different from that needed for the survival of a society and humankind?

We live in societies that have leaders. Now, leaders do have common sense - they don't stare at sun, nor do they pet lion in a cage. They also take care that their families have a very good existence. However, they are a little self centered, and they don't care if they send *You* to war and death if that will bring them more powerful existence. Because of this ability of people to apply common sense to their situation but not to collective one, we may need a not so common sense for solution.

Do we really need experts in various fields to tell us what is good for us and our nation? Do we really have to believe in their esoteric theories and definitions and problem solutions? Do we really need to give up our common sense "simply stop fighting" and try to find some fancy technological, sociological, legal, and philosophical solutions to this ancient problem? Why do people not agree about some fundamental things in regards to survival? Or do they not agree? Not many people enter lion's cage in the zoo.

Issue about the survival of nations and civilizations is entirely different one... or is it? It certainly is more complex and common sense may not necessarily be of use here as this situation requires much more knowledge and experience in order to be resolved. It is not something where a child can say: "simply stop fighting wars". Or maybe it can? [1]

So common sense reasoning can be based on intuition which helps you stay healthy and alive, as well as on learned knowledge that helps you in the similar way to stay alive and healthy. As most people (just like animals) do have strong survival instincts, and since most people regardless of geographical and cultural and educational backgrounds do know what is good and what is bad for their existence, common sense is something they all would agree upon.

So why that does not happen? "Common sense" is: *common* among people -- most of us have it because it is something we are born with, and that *it* is *sense* -- "any of the faculties by which stimuli from outside or inside the body are received and felt, as the faculties of hearing, sight, smell, touch, taste, and equilibrium"

It is common sense not to stare straight into the sun as your eyes will hurt (sense of pain is innate).

It is common sense not to pet the lion as he will eat you (based on learned information). Is there something objective that could be called like that? Is it really *common* to all or most of us? Why often your common sense is different from my common sense?What is common sense?

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