TED Conversations

This conversation is closed.

Common sense is not so common. Why?

How come some people get it and others don't? Based on my experience you can't learn it at school.

Share:

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • Jul 19 2012: A lot of people here have said that common sense isn't common, and defined what common sense is. I must say that I strongly disagree. Hate to get technical here, but I hate when people use the wrong term to talk about something like this. You guys don't seem to realize that common sense is the average amount of intelligence and skill at problem-solving and thinking within the population. Hence, common sense. What you guys define common sense as you should define good sense as. Good sense is positive thinking and choices. We think of this as common sense because we are raised to think that good is what we want to work towards. If nobody has common sense, then common sense doesn't exist! I like the idea of talking about the absence of good sense in the general population, and the cause, but use the correct terminology.
    The real question should be "Why has the value of common sense decreased?"
    • thumb
      Jul 19 2012: Agreed. Common sense is by definition common. But I don't know if I'd restate it as "Why has the value of common sense decreased?" so much as "Why don't we value common sense?" I hardly think that people are, on average, stupider than they used to be; the collective knowledge of society is constantly increasing. But I do think that we pay less attention than we should to this body of common sense than is innate within us and those around us. I think that valuing common sense is a matter of listening to the simple, instinctive impulses that often get drowned out by the complexities of society.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.