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Philosophy Tuesday

July 5, 2016

This is a philosophical statement.  It is intended to spark thinking and examining.

I’ve become wary of the phrase “common sense.”

It’s become a rather fashionable expression of late, commonly and growingly attached to various statements, policy suggestions, moral proclamations, and worldviews.

“We should do this,” they may say, “it’s the common sense thing to do.”

“Common sense tells us that this is the truth,” is another.

Hmm.

The thing is, common sense rarely is.

What is, or isn’t, “common sense” is just as much an assertion as whatever’s being proclaimed.

Using the axiom of “common sense” is just trying to lay claim to authority:  “Us, normal people, who are legion in number, think this, therefore it must be accurate.”

But are the numbers really legion?

And even so, does popularity guarantee being accurate?

What’s even normal?  Or normal people?

“Common sense” is an attempt to bring inviolable weight and righteousness* to the declaration.

But it’s a false weight.  A fallacy.

It may not be common, and it may not be sensical.

And so I have begun, and I recommend, taking “common sense” as a red flag, a signal to examine the claim(s) far more carefully, in a very “citation needed” kind of way.

To look beyond the veil and see what’s really going on.

 

* Which is a thing that is a whole other post in of itself…

2 comments

  1. What we need is a revolution. A Common Sense Revolution at that.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mike_Harris

    It’s time to revolute.


    • Haha, oh that brings back… memories. I’d forgotten about that. Hmmm, maybe that’s when my misgivings about the phrase started…



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