Published online by Cambridge University Press: 06 November 2020
A crucial methodological recourse in matters of deliberation and inquiry, common sense has a dual bearing. On the positive side, there is a strong pro-presumption that any answers we give to questions of policy and procedure shall incorporate and stand in confirmation with our common-sense beliefs on the matter. On the negative side, there is a strong con-presumption against any rejection or abandonment of common-sense beliefs, and a cogent justification should be provided for any step in this direction. Methodologically, the common-sense approach exerts a strong constraint on our procedures of explanation and validation. This chapter explores how we should think of methodology in common-sense philosophy. Common sense is neither a cognitive faculty nor a way of producing beliefs. A common-sense belief is not produced in a certain way but rather a particular sort of belief, that is, one that is available to people in general on account of its triteness, its palpable obviousness. A common-sense belief is pervasive among the members of a community on the basis of their shared experiences in managing everyday affairs. Common-sense beliefs address matters of everyday run-of-the-mill; they relate to what transpires within the sphere of the ordinary course of things in everyday life.