TED Conversations

This conversation is closed.

The common misunderstanding between common knowledge and common sense

I have always believed that the word common sense made no sense and was only ever used in a derogative way, however after a long debate with my father I decided to look up the meaning of the word and found the definition to be very different to what I believe the majority of people believe the statement suggests. Please could people suggest (without looking up the word) what they believe the meaning to be, and in what context would you use it. Thank you.


Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • thumb

    Gail . 50+

    • +2
    Jan 4 2013: Common knowledge = knowledge that is commonly known.

    Common sense = an ability to make a RATIONAL decision based on the known.

    People with no common sense confuse emotions with thoughts, and process input through their emotions not their intellect. This causes them to make irrational decisions because they do not know what emotions are and how they should be used.
    • thumb
      Jan 4 2013: so, part of having common sense would be the ability to operate and make decisions logically without an unreasonable influence from emotion? in my last comment, i never thought about how controlling emotion played into it. i like that definition.
      • thumb
        Jan 5 2013: Emotions can be a part of the decisions that are made outside of common sense. But there is also this outlier called stupid that is a factor.

        And in the words of an American comedian, you can't fix stupid.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.