Common Sense

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Common Sense

 

the attitudes of people toward themselves and surrounding reality, formed spontaneously under the influence of everyday experience and constituting the foundation of their practical activity and morality. Common sense functions as the practical attitude of a philosophically unsophisticated person who persists in regarding reality as it immediately appears to him. Common sense is, in the final analysis, an uncritical combination of “naïve realism” with those traditional attitudes that are predominant in a given society. Inasmuch as the foundation of common sense is the immediately practical relation of man to the world, it never rises to the level of a scientific and philosophical perception of reality; in this lies its limitation. F. Engels wrote: “To the metaphysician, things and their mental reflexes, ideas, are isolated, are to be considered one after the other, are objects of investigation fixed, rigid, given once and for all. ... At first sight this mode of thinking seems to us very luminous, because it is that of so-called human common sense. Only sound common sense, a very respectable fellow that he is, in the homely realm of his own four walls, has very wonderful adventures directly he ventures out into the world of research” (K. Marx and F. Engels, Works, 2nd ed., vol. 20, p. 21). The problem of common sense is posed by Marxism in the context of building up the scientific world view and is above all a problem of the critical analysis of everyday, spontaneously formed consciousness.

In the history of philosophy there are opposing tendencies in the interpretation of the nature and significance of common sense. Thus, the French materialists of the 18th century held that man’s common sense was incompatible with religion, while representatives of the 18th-century Scottish school of common sense asserted that common sense must inevitably lead to belief in god. T. Reid believed that man’s consciousness is not a tabula rasa filled in through experience, as the sensationalists affirmed. On the contrary, experience itself was possible only to the extent that the human spirit possessed inborn principles of common sense, such as unshakable faith in god and in the surrounding world; philosophy could be constructed only on the basis of these principles.

In contemporary bourgeois philosophy there are contradic-tory interpretations of common sense as well. The so-called realistic movements (neorealism, critical realism) proceed from the assumption that common sense by necessity must postulate the existence of actual reality, without which “man can neither live nor philosophize” (G. Santayana, USA). On the other hand, the representatives of religious thought believe that common sense leads to an unavoidable recognition of the existence of god. Finally, according to pragmatism, common sense is identical with the utility or advantage a man derives in a given situation.

D. M. LUKANOV

References in periodicals archive ?
But overall, the human race seems to become smarter and stronger in managing its commonsensical existence as well as chartering its evolutionary journey compared to other species in nature.
There is no fixed content which can be marked as common sense, therefore any kind of "inhuman" ideology or any other types of ideologies that critical theory takes as its object of criticism cannot be marked per se as commonsensical. What should be considered common sense is not determined by content.
The book begins by asking why such apparently commonsensical reforms would meet resistance to implementation in an age of democracy and decentralization, when public sentiment often seems sympathetic toward indigenous rights.
Steven Goldsmith's answer is at once counterintuitive and commonsensical: the root of the problem is our combative approach.
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Anticipating the future, it would therefore be commonsensical for many depositors -- the kind with other options -- to sidestep similar levies both there and in other fiscally challenged euro-zone countries.Led by paymaster Germany, the Eurogroup may have chosen Cyprus for this experiment in economic engineering because it ranks No.
Some of these are intuitive and commonsensical. Chapter one recommends "using your connections" to identify underfunded needs in one's own community; chapter two suggests "sending your money where you can't go" to help worthy causes outside of your community.
A disarming example of documentary filmmaking that stakes out an opinion with plain-spoken, commonsensical wisdom, this insightful effort from helmers Sara Lamm and Mary Wigmore doubles as a defense of natural childbirth and an affectionate look back at the movement's '70s countercultural roots.
Wudurite's design is rather commonsensical -- it looks like a cross between a chair and a lavatory.
If Americans Elect turns out to be what it purports, an organization that wants to put in the race a reasonable, pragmatic, commonsensical, bipartisan, statesman-focused ticket, then the only threat can possibly be to Obama, who you now believe represents that space in government leadership."
Reacting to the new US defence strategy unveiled on 5 January, which will see US resources reoriented toward the Asia-Pacific region, Hillen called it "a commonsensical response to a rapidly changing world".