What Is “Common” about Common Sense? Cautionary Tales for Travelers Crossing Disciplinary Boundaries

  • Marilyn Maccrimmon
Part of the Studies in Fuzziness and Soft Computing book series (STUDFUZZ, volume 94)


Understanding the process of proof in judicial decision making necessarily involves an appreciation of the operation of commonsense knowledge and reasoning in fact determination. Throughout the history of Western civilization, commentators have recognized the crucial role of common sense in our understanding of the world.3 The central role of common sense is further highlighted by the attempts of artificial intelligence (“AI”) to build machines that can see, move, and act. These efforts confirm that we cannot navigate through life without tacitly drawing upon common sense. Steven Pinker illustrates:

You know when Irving puts the dog in the car, it is no longer in the yard. When Edna goes to church, her head goes with her. If Doug is in the house, he must have gone in though some opening unless he was born there and never left. If Sheila is alive at 9 A.M. and is alive at 5 P.M., she was also alive at noon. Zebras in the wild never wear underwear.4


Common Sense Supra Note Social Meaning Fact Determination Default Reasoning 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Physica-Verlag Heidelberg 2002

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  • Marilyn Maccrimmon

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