KARL  JASPERS  FORUM

TA100 (Smith)

 

Commentary 4

 

THE  DIAGNOSIS  OF  LACK  OF  COMMON  SENSE
by Herbert FJ Müller
29 December 2007, posted 5 January 2008

 

<1>
RW Smith’s work on common sense is of great potential interest, I would think.  As he shows, there is a similar notion in all languages.  However, much depends on the solidity of this concept. 

 

<2>
What did not become clear to me how a diagnosis of disorder of common sense is to be made in practice.  RWS mentions questions relating to this point in several places, such as TA100 [54] and [65].  He comes back to the question of using tests of mathematics and reading abilities in R1 [6], but I was not able to understand what his proposal for a diagnostic procedure would be; and this would be a pre-requisite for inclusion in ICD or DSM.  And also, how reliable is such an ‘axis II diagnosis’ ?

 

<3>
Aside from psychiatric classification, RWS emphasizes the practical importance of common sense, for instance in politics.  Would he suggest that candidates for political office should be pre-screened for common sense, as opposed to the lack of it (as in fanaticism, or more generally, a tendency to hold and promote pre-conceived assumptions in an uncritical manner) ? 

 

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Herbert FJ Müller
     e-mail <herbert.muller (at) mcgill.ca>