What does “common sense” mean to you?

Where does common sense come from?
How does one get it?


  1. 0 Votes

    Oh this is good question and one that my husband and I fight over all the time! I have an issue with the term “common sense” because it implies that there is a general sense of knowledge that is instilled in someone without it having to be acquired or learned and I disagree with this (whereas my husband agrees with this statement). I think that everyone’s idea about what common sense is differs because it is knowledge that is actually based on one’s upbringing, life experience, etc. and this varies across the board for everyone! So, how can there really be common sense? What you know is what you know, but that doesn’t mean that somebody else knows it. I think that it is wrong to assume that other people know what you know and then worse, to judge them as stupid or an idiot for not knowing what you know.

  2. 0 Votes

    I think common sense relates to logical deduction. For example, I would say that it is common sense to not jump into a fire. From a distance you can tell that a fire is very hot. You know that something very hot can burn you, therefore you do not want to get too close. I think you can also say it is common sense to avoid injury. I think common sense is logic inherent to survival. It is common sense to not buy something when you don’t have the money (before the days of credit cards, or even during them). 

    • 0 Votes

      You make a very valid point, but again, I have to constructively and respectfully argue that even instincts for survival are linked to experience. For example, my 1 and 2 year olds will not hesitate to run right to that fire because they are curious and want to know what it is. It is going to either take me or my husband to teach them that they will get hurt or they will get hurt on their own and learn from the experience. We can use the survival instinct of hunger or thirst. My kids know when they want food or drink, however, they don’t know what’s ok to eat and drink. They have to again, either learn from me and my husband, or eat something (sometimes off the ground or out the trash, they have even drank toilet water) and not like to taste or get sick for the substance in order to know not to eat or drink it again. I believe that common sense is knowledge instilled in someone due to their upbringing and experience.

    • 0 Votes

      Well, I don’t think that humans could much knowledge without any kind of sensory input. I think if your children touched a fire and got burned, then it would be common sense to not touch it again. “Sense” should come from the senses (sight, hearing, taste, touch, and smell). If you didn’t tell your children how to do something, they would learn by doing. So yes, I would agree that experience may be necessary. I am not sure if one could argue that there is some inherent survival sense that could be considered common sense. If a child did not know that they could fly, would they jump from a very high place in order to find out, or a lower one? Would someone eat something that smells horrible verses something that smells good? I think an inherent sense would tell you to eat something that smells or looks better. But then again, maybe that it not always the healthiest choice. I’ll have to think on this one some more….

  3. 0 Votes

    common sense is something my mom says i lack in 😛 😛 😛 😛 😛


    (especially in maths) 😛 😛 😛 😛 😛 😛

  4. 0 Votes

    Common sense is what makes the most sense to you. Therefore everyone’s own definition of common sense is different from everyone else. Common sense comes from your life experiences, through trial and error, through advice from people you trust, the media, education. For example: is it common sense to not drink and drive? If everyone believes in the same thing, then no one will suffer from the impacts of drinking and driving. Does this answer make sense? Sorry for sounding vague. 

  5. 0 Votes

    I do not think common sense is an easily defined concept. Common sense is subjective depending on people’s experience. The way I conceptualize common sense is a solution that does the least harm in the most effective way (effective does not necessarily mean cheap though!). To me, using your common sense means finding effective, practical, and beneficial resolutions. I take a utilitarian stance on common sense: it means doing the greatest good for the greatest number of people. It will be a logical solution, but may not seem logical to everyone, because common sense is subjective! Safety is common sense. Welfare is common sense. And sustainability is common sense. 

Please signup or login to answer this question.

Sorry,At this time user registration is disabled. We will open registration soon!