This article refers to a broad form of understanding.
- For the political tract Common Sense, see Thomas Paine.
- For the rapper formerly known as "Common Sense", see Common (rapper).
Common sense, roughly speaking, is what people in common would agree: that which they "sense" in common as their shared natural understanding. Some use the phrase to refer to beliefs or propositions that in their opinion they consider would in most people's experience be prudent and of sound judgment, without dependence upon esoteric knowledge or study or research, but based upon what is believed to be knowledge held by people "in common".
- Alphabetized by author
- There is nothing more uncommon than common sense.
- Anonymous saying, dating back at least to its citation in Natural Theology (1836) by Thomas Chalmers, Bk. II, Ch. III : On the Strength of the Evidences for a God in the Phenomena of Visible and External Nature, § 15, where the author states: "It has been said that there is nothing more uncommon than common sense."; it has since become misattributed to particular people, including Frank Lloyd Wright.
- Common sense should be renamed, cos nower days it's rare
- Jamie Adenuga, aka JME, grime artist and rapper, from the song JME
- Misprize common sense at your peril is my motto.
- A policeman, in Stanley and the Women (1984) by Kingsley Amis
- Common Sense and Education: The more you think you have of one, the less you think you need of the other.
- Tom Heehler, The Well-Spoken Thesaurus (2011)
- Common sense always speaks too late. Common sense is the guy who tells you you ought to have had your brakes relined last week before you smashed a front end this week. Common sense is the Monday morning quarterback who could have won the ball game if he had been on the team. But he never is. He's high up in the stands with a flask on his hip. Common sense is the little man in a grey suit who never makes a mistake in addition. But it's always somebody else's money he's adding up.
- Common sense is that which tells us the world is flat.
- Le bon sens est la chose du monde la mieux partagée; car chacun pense en être si bien pourvu, que ceux même qui sont les plus difficiles à contenter en toute autre chose n'ont point coutume d'en désirer plus qu'ils en ont.
- Good sense is of all things in the world the most equally distributed, for everybody thinks he is so well supplied with it that even those most difficult to please in all other matters never desire more of it than they already possess.
- René Descartes, Discours de la Méthode (1637), Part I, incipit.
- Common sense is nothing more than a deposit of prejudices laid down by the mind before you reach eighteen.
- Nothing astonishes men so much as common sense and plain dealing.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson, Art (1841)
- The original Marxist notion of ideology was conveniently forgotten because it inconveniently did not exempt common sense and empiricism from the charge of ideology.
- Russell Jacoby, Social Amnesia (1975), pp. 6-7
- Common sense, the half-truths of a deceitful society, is honored as the honest truths of a frank world.
- Russell Jacoby, Social Amnesia (1975), p. 23-25
- They were so full of common sense that they have been widely copied and commented upon all over the world. They did not present a single new idea — they simply brought back to memory a lost art — the art of taking your employes — not alone your superintendent and your foreman — your employees into your confidence enough to take them out of the class of machine tools and to put them into the class of intelligent human beings. This does not mean turn the shop over to them or put them on the board of directors — not a bit of it, simply tell the workers, your workers what they are doing, why they are doing it and what the results will be — stop treating them exactly as you do the mule that pulls the ash cart.
- A. F. Greaves-Walker, on the writings of Boyd Cable, which bore the title "Tell the Workers", which he used for his own article in Brick and Clay Record, Vol. 55, Issue 10, (4 November 1919), p. 853
- In the present case it is a little inaccurate to say I hate everything. I am strongly in favor of common sense, common honesty and common decency. This makes me forever ineligible to any public office of trust or profit in the Republic. But I do not repine, for I am a subject of it only by force of arms.
- H. L. Mencken, as quoted in LIFE magazine, Vol. 21, No. 6, (5 August 1946), p. 52; this has also been paraphrased as "It is inaccurate to say I hate everything. I am strongly in favor of common sense, common honesty, and common decency. This makes me forever ineligible for public office."
- In the little corner of Umbria of which I am now writing there are samples of buildings so beautiful and so full of common sense that they give the lie to modern so-called utilitarian rubbish. It is amazing they are not copied, or at any rate that their great qualities as domestic architecture do not stimulate emulation and awaken some symptom of good taste in modern Italy.
- William Blake Richmond, in Assisi: Impressions of Half a Century (1919), p. 192
- Since the world is what it is, it is clear that valid reasoning from sound principles cannot lead to error; but a principle may be so nearly true as to deserve theoretical respect, and yet may lead to practical consequences which we feel to be absurd. There is therefore a justification for common sense in philosophy, but only as showing that our theoretical principles cannot be quite correct so long as their consequences are condemned by an appeal to common sense which we feel to be irresistible. The theorist may retort that common sense is no more infallible than logic. But this retort, though made by Berkeley and Hume, would have been wholly foreign to Locke's intellectual temper.
- Bertrand Russell, A History of Western Philosophy (1945)
- On dit quelquefois: "Le sens commun est fort rare."
- People sometimes say: "Common sense is quite rare."
- Voltaire, "Common Sense," Dictionnaire philosophique portatif (1765)
- The better known variant of this quote is "Common sense is not so common," said to be in the Dictionnaire philosophique entry "Self-Love"; but it is not found there.
- People sometimes say: "Common sense is quite rare."
- There are people who are so full of common sense that they haven't the slightest cranny left for their own sense.