Common Sense v Critical Thinking

What is common sense?

What is critical thinking?

Basic Philosophy

Reality is comprised of people/organisms/objects/events comprised of matter/energy.

People/Organisms/Objects = Unities which retain their identities for longer periods of time than relevant events.

Examples of People/Organisms/Objects: Jane, a ball, Dick.

Event = Relationship, esp. causal or coincidental, between/among people/organisms/objects.

Example of an Event: Jane throws the ball to Dick.

Concept = Mental representation/idea of a person/organism/object.

Examples of Concepts: Concept: Jane; Concept A ball; Concept: Dick.

Principle = Mental representation/idea of an/event.

Example of a Principle: Event: Jane is the cause of the ball being thrown to Dick.

Technique = Application of a concept or/and principle to solve a problem.

Problem = Learning how to achieve desires and avoid fears and thereby experience happiness and avoid experiencing unhappiness. [See Basic Psychology]

Example of a Technique: To solve the problem of getting the ball to Dick without Spot catching it and playing with it jane can use the technique of throwing the ball to Dick and not use the technique of asking Spot to carry the ball to Dick.

Basic Psychology

People have minds inside of bodies.

Mind = A person’s set of desires, fears and priorities.

Desire = Wanting a person/organism/object/event.

Observations confirming desires: People/organisms approach desired people/organisms/objects/events.

Example of the Observation of a Desire: Jane has a desire for the event of getting a ball to Dick; she employs the technique of throwing the ball to Dick instead of the technique of asking her dog, Spot, to carry the ball to Dick.

Fear = Not-Wanting a person/organism/object/event.

Observations confirming fears: People/organisms avoid feared people/organisms/objects/events.

Desires and fears are interrelated by being opposites; the desire to live is interrelated with the fear of dying by being the opposite of the fear of dying.

Priorities = Desires for the achievement of certain desires/fears of not avoiding certain desires; the importance of each desire/fear compared to all other desires/fears.

Feelings are reactions to the realizations of desires/fears.

Feelings develop in a sequence:

1. Desire/Fear: _____ (?) [Wanting/Not-Wanting a Person/organism/Object/Event]

2. Realization: _____ (?) [The Achievement/Avoidance of the Desire/Fear]

3. Feeling: _____ (?) [The Reaction to the Realization of the DEsire/Fear]

Feelings = (1) Sensations, physical feelings as reactions to realizations of physiological desires/fears/priorities which are unlearned because they are inherent in the body, and (2) Emotions, mental feelings as reactions to realizations of psychological or learned desires/fears/priorities which are learned in the experiences of the interaction of desires/fears with people/organisms/objects/events in an environment.

Emotions = (1) Happiness = Reaction to the Realization which is an Achievement of a Desire/Avoidance of a Fear; (2) Unhappiness = Reaction to the Realization which is a Non-Achievement of a Desire/Non-Avoidance of a Fear.

Unhappiness = (A) Sadness in reacting to an actual loss of a person/organism/object/event, a accident, injury, illness, or verbal or physical attack; (B) Anger in reacting to a violation of an expectation or a promise/contract/law or an ethic/moral principle; (C) Fear in reacting to a threat of a loss of a person/organism/object/event, an accident, injury or illness, or a verbal or physical attack.

Mental Disorder/Problem = Unrealistic or/and Inappropriate Desire/Fear/Priority.

Mental Health/Solution = Realistic and Appropriate Desire/Fear/Priority.


If philosophy is (A) the process by which individuals develop concepts [mental representations/ideas of people/organisms/objects—unities which retain their identities longer than relevant events], principles [relationships, esp. causal/coincidental relationships, between/among people/organisms/objects], and techniques [applications of concepts and principles to solve problems], (B) an individual's or organization's set of concepts/principles/techniques, or (C) the discipline or study inre guidelines for developing concepts/principles/techniques, then we are all philosophers because we all develop concepts and principles and techniques for solving problems and achieving happiness and avoiding unhappiness.

We achieve common sense when we develop concepts and principles which appear to be accurate and techniques which are effective in solving problems and achieving happiness/avoiding unhappiness.

Operational Definition of Common Sense: Common sense is a set of concepts, principles, and techniques a person develops or a group of people develop for solving problems/achieving desires/avoiding fears/experiencing happiness/not experiencing unhappiness.

Operational Definition of Critical Thinking: Critical thinking occurs when people verify claims of facts by proof consisting of (1) physical evidence consisting of (A) causal explanations consisting of descriptions of people/organisms/objects who/which are comprised of matter/energy and who/which are causes cause the effects of changes of other people/organisms/objects or (B) coincidental descriptions of people/organisms/objects/events who/which are present when other people/organisms/objects/events are observed, (2) eyewitness reports of physical evidence from credible eyewitnesses [people not known to lie or deceive or to think irrationally] and which are corroborated by credible corroborators, or (3) logical arguments in which the premises are verifiable/falsifiable/verified by physical evidence and relevant to the conclusions which are avoid if relevant to the premises and true of the premises are verified/true.


Common sense is an individual’s or organization's philosophy which consists of concepts/principles/techniques which achieve desires/avoid fears/solve problems and enable individuals to experience happiness and to avoid experiencing unhappiness.

The concepts/principles/techniques of common sense must be continuously improved/updated by verification by physical evidence to remove/replace concepts/principles/techniques which are either unreliable or otherwise are less reliable for achieving desires/avoiding fears/solving problems/experiencing happiness/not experiencing unhappiness than the new/improved concepts/principles/techniques.