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On Common sense...


Common sense is a silly phrase, because as Voltaire and others have pointed out, it is not common, although it often seems obvious in hindsight.

See also

being creative, ideas, illumination, judgement, knowledge, memory, mind, perception, thinking*, seeing, rationality*, understanding*


‘Common sense is the knack of seeing things as they are, and doing things as they ought to be done.’

Josh Billings

‘Common sense is instinct, and enough of it is genius.’

Josh Billings

‘Common sense is only a modification of talent. Genius is an exaltation of it. The difference is, therefore, in degree, not nature.’

Edward George Bulwer-Lytton

‘Fairyland is nothing but the sunny country of common sense.’

G. K. Chesterton

‘All true knowledge contradicts common sense.’

Mandell Creighton

‘Common sense is the best distributed thing in the world, for everyone thinks he is so well-endowed with it that even those who are hardest to satisfy in all other matters are not in the habit of desiring more of it than they already have.’

René Descartes

‘Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by the age of 18.’

Albert Einstein

Science is a first-rate piece of furniture for a man’s upper chamber, if he has common sense on the ground floor.’

Oliver Wendell Holmes

‘Common sense is in spite of, not as the result of education.’

Victor Hugo

‘Common-sense appears to be only another name for the thoughtlessness of the unthinking. It is made of the prejudices of childhood, the idiosyncrasies of individual character and the opinion of the newspapers.’

W. Somerset Maugham

‘Common sense is instinct. Enough of it is genius.’

George Bernard Shaw

‘Common sense means living in the world as it is today; but creative people are people who don’t want the world as it is today but want to make another world.’

Abraham Maslow

‘Common sense is genius in homespun.’

Alfred North Whitehead

‘Common sense is not so common.’




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