What is Common Sense and How to Use It

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Common sense is the way of logical thinking that is available to almost every person in the world since it does not require philosophical or scholarly knowledge to be utilized. It is common in a sense that one of the only requirements to have it is to be alive, but, on the other side, this feeling is unique to every person, and the variation is caused by the difference in certain elements of background: life events, actions, religious views, and experiences. Common sense cannot be called unique sense however because the different elements of the personal background build the persons wisdom differently enabling them to react in different ways to various situations. Stanley Rosen, professor of philosophy at Boston University, defines a person with common sense in The Journal of General Education:

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The man of common sense is he who can reduce a complex situation to its simplest components. In the example of the fight against poverty, to reduce the problem to its simplest components is not to remove poverty but to decide what must be done. More specifically, it means deciding upon the kind of special knowledge that is needed. Common sense fulfills its task in this situation by deciding to whom it must turn over the responsibility for achieving the remedy or goal, which it has itself prescribed (Rosen 118).

In The Journal Of General Education Stanley Rosen writes that the proper use of common sense allows to identify the origin of the problem using the technique of tracking back the actions that happened when the problem tree had just started growing its first roots down into the ground. A person with good common sense will try to fertilize the soil for the tree of poverty with money-inducing minerals, rather than try to cut the tree down, get rid of its roots, and plant a new tree, which will take too long to grow back and stabilize the economy within the society. Common sense is used as the engine that quickly drives people to the solutions to their problems, given that the subject has the skill of common sense and tendency to simplify otherwise serious problems that might seem to have no resolution (Rosen 118).

It is very often that people use the term common sense in ways that it should never be used in. We have to remember that common sense cannot be built through education and schoolwork. A great achiever in a higher institution might know everything about the rocket projectile motion and rocket propulsion, but it does not necessarily mean that he will use this knowledge for judgment and quick response to different situations. The scientist would not have to calculate the tangent plane to the space curve of the sound wave to figure out where the sound is coming from when his wife is calling him for dinner from somewhere in their apartment. Common sense is the skill of good judgment independent of specific laws, theorems, and studies.

Another misconception is that people attach the meaning of easiness to the term common sense. A college student majoring in engineering might say that it is common sense that the domain of the three-dimensional multi-variable function is defined in two dimensions. However, using the term, in this case, is completely irrelevant, since scientific and scholarly knowledge cannot be acquired naturally as part of the process of maturation and learning to conduct oneself in certain circumstances (Desmarais 2). In this case, the engineering student finds it so easy to understand the concept of the three-dimensional multi-variable function because it has been built over time from continuous learning thus the memory has retained it almost permanently.

The fact that it takes time and experience to develop a certain sense does not mean that it cannot be considered one of the senses, whose seeds are planted within us from the first day of life. It is the equivalent to saying that a boy has no testosterone at all at the age of ten, just because his voice is not deep and he has no mustache. We all have genes hidden in our DNA as bits of information for the body cells to process, and the fact that certain genes start their expression later than others does not indicate that they have just appeared of nowhere and do not fit the definition of the true gene expression.

Works Cited

Desmarais, Christina. "20 Embarrassing Phrases Even Smart People Misuse."Inc.com.

INC, 13 Mar. 2015. Web. 20 Oct. 2015.

Fruchtman, Jack. "'Common Sense' and Its Meaning Today by Jack Fruchtman of

Towson University."The Thomas Paine National Historical Association. 26 Jan.

2001. Web. 20 Oct. 2015.

Israel, Michael. "Common Sense and 'Literal Meaning'" Terpconnect Literalisms.

University of Maryland, College Park. Web. 20 Oct. 2015.

Mangaraj, Subrat. "Common Sense."Common Sense Commentary. Web. 20 Oct. 2015.

Rosen, Stanley. "The Journal Of General Education." 18.2 (1985): 112-36. Print.

Taylor, Jim, Ph.D. "Common Sense Is Neither Common nor Sense."Ps...

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