The Late Great History of Common Sense

From the ancient Greeks through the present.

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Photo by Ekaterina Z. on Unsplash

Today, there seems to be less common sense around than ever before. You’ve heard of the “Dark Ages?” We may look back in a few decades and call these times we are living in the “Darker Ages”.

As basic as the idea may seem, “common sense” is less common than ever before.

The discussion of what or what is not common sense spans across a diverse range of disciplines including social science, and especially economics. The question of “Moral sense*” and “ethical sense” as opposed to “rationality” is a never-ending one, and has required greater inquiry in the age of Trump. It will require even greater inquiry in the days to come.

Often when I discuss a concept or idea with my students or in a gathering of the Wisdom Path Community — a Group of practical philosophers I host on Facebook, I will often hear someone say to me that something seems “obvious” or is “common sense.” The fact that this is being said at all tells me that this individual doesn’t really understand what “common sense” is.

Final Thoughts

The takeaway here is that clearly, many people lack common sense which is a mystery to those who have convinced themselves that they have an abundance of it. The challenge is that if we study history we soon learn that the very definition of common sense has shifted and changed since the ancient Greeks first began writing and discussing the subject.

To explore more of these ideas and some of my longer pieces on common sense and applied game theory please visit my website and sign up for my free newsletter.

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By Lewis

“Lewis amazing. I recommend him to anyone who wants less stress and more energy.” — Jack Canfield, Co-author, The Chicken Soup for the Soul books and films…

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I offer advice on the arts, innovation, self-improvement, life lessons, mental health, game theory strategies, and love.

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