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VIVEKA

The power TO DIFFERENTIATE WHAT IS GOOD AND BAD, RIGHT AND WRONG.

Definition of COMMON SENSE

COMMON SENSE: RATIONALITY= DISCRIMINATION :VIVEKA= THE ABILITY TO DIFFERENTIATE WHAT IS GOOD AND BAD, RIGHT AND WRONG.

Simple Definition of COMMON SENSE

: the ability to think and behave in a reasonable way and to make good decisions

Rationality is the quality or state of being reasonable, based on facts or reason. Rationality implies the conformity of one’s beliefs with one’s reasons to believe, or of one’s actions with one’s reasons for action.

Discrimination is treatment or consideration of, or making a distinction in favor of or against, a person or thing based on the group, class, or category to which that person or thing is perceived to belong to rather than on individual merit. This includes treatment of an individual or group, based on their actual or perceived membership in a certain group or social category, “in a way that is worse than the way people are usually treated”. It involves the group’s initial reaction or interaction going on to influence the individual’s actual behavior towards the group leader or the group, restricting members of one group from opportunities or privileges that are available to another group, leading to the exclusion of the individual or entities based on logical or irrational decision making.

Determining optimality for rational behavior requires a quantifiable formulation of the problem, and making several key assumptions. When the goal or problem involves making a decision, rationality factors in how much information is available (e.g. complete or incomplete knowledge). Collectively, the formulation and background assumptions are the model within which rationality applies. Illustrating the relativity of rationality: if one accepts a model in which benefitting oneself is optimal, then rationality is equated with behavior that is self-interested to the point of being selfish; whereas if one accepts a model in which benefiting the group is optimal, then purely selfish behavior is deemed irrational. It is thus meaningless to assert rationality without also specifying the background model assumptions describing how the problem is framed and formulated.
Common sense is a basic ability to perceive, understand, and judge things, which is shared by (“common to”) nearly all people and can reasonably be expected of nearly all people without any need for debate.

The everyday understanding of common sense is derived from philosophical discussion involving several European languages. Related terms in other languages include Latin sensus communis, Greek κοινὴ αἲσθησις (koinē aísthēsis), and French bon sens, but these are not straightforward translations in all contexts. Similarly in English, there are different shades of meaning, implying more or less education and wisdom: “good sense” is sometimes seen as equivalent to “common sense”, and sometimes not.
“Common sense” has at least two specifically philosophical meanings. One is a capability of the animal soul (Greek psukhē) proposed by Aristotle, which enables different individual senses to collectively perceive the characteristics of physical things such as movement and size, which all physical things have in different combinations, allowing people and other animals to distinguish and identify physical things. This common sense is distinct from basic sensory perception and from human rational thinking, but cooperates with both. The second special use of the term is Roman-influenced and is used for the natural human sensitivity for other humans and the community. Just like the everyday meaning, both of these refer to a type of basic awareness and ability to judge which most people are expected to share naturally, even if they can not explain why.

All these meanings of “common sense”, including the everyday one, are inter-connected in a complex history and have evolved during important political and philosophical debates in modern western civilisation, notably concerning science, politics and economics. The interplay between the meanings has come to be particularly notable in English, as opposed to other western European languages, and the English term has become international.

In modern times the term “common sense” has frequently been used for rhetorical effect, sometimes pejorative, and sometimes appealed to positively, as an authority. It can be negatively equated to vulgar prejudice and superstition, or on the contrary it is often positively contrasted to them as a standard for good taste and as the source of the most basic axioms needed for science and logic. This began with Descartes’ criticism of it, and what came to be known as the dispute between “rationalism” and “empiricism”. In the opening line of one his most famous books, Discourse on Method, Descartes established the most common modern meaning, and its controversies, when he stated that everyone has a similar and sufficient amount of common sense (bon sens), but it is rarely used well. Therefore, a skeptical logical method described by Descartes needs to be followed and common sense should not be overly relied upon. In the ensuing 18th century Enlightenment, common sense came to be seen more positively as the basis for modern thinking. It was contrasted to metaphysics, which was, like Cartesianism, associated with the ancien régime. Thomas Paine’s polemical pamphlet Common Sense (1776) has been described as the most influential political pamphlet of the 18th century, affecting both the American and French revolutions. Today, the concept of common sense, and how it should best be used, remains linked to many of the most perennial topics in epistemology and ethics, with special focus often directed at the philosophy of the modern social sciences.

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